Boss Joel Manby sat down with USA Today to elaborate on the company’s future plans, as well as how it has changed its policies in recent years. Since his appointment a year and a half ago, Manby has put the treatment of orca whales at the top of SeaWorld’s priority list.
Following the release of the Blackfish documentary that gives us some insight into how these endangered species are treated in the company’s theme parks, attendance and revenue at most SeaWorld parks has plummeted, causing great concern for its future.
The first step towards winning back its audience relied around starting a dialogue with animal activists to see what both parties have in common. Manby made the difficult decision of improving the way orcas are handled, but he believes the move will make it a stronger company in the next two years.
Its California and Texas parks are expected to be profitable once again in 2017 and 2018, while its Florida parks are still reeling due to a situation that is affecting the state as a whole. Once some progress is made, SeaWorld will look into changing the treatment of other animals such as sea lions and dolphins.
Changing the treatment of orcas as been a difficult business decision due to the fact that the company’s business revolves around entertainment with the animal.
SEAS shares popped 4.8% Monday.