SeaWorld Entertainment Inc (NYSE:SEAS) shares experienced positive gains despite the company’s underwhelming attendance figures.
Less people traveled to the company’s water parks during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, marking yet another period of less people visiting its locations. This trend has existed for several years now following the Blackfish documentary that exposed the poor manner in which its animals are treated due to the fact that they are caged.
“Our…plan and path forward are very clear and we are moving with urgency on all fronts,” Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby told analysts. The company is looking to add new attractions and features that will draw in more consumers.
One such concept that SeaWorld is pushing forward consists of virtual reality capabilities on existing rides and festivals. Its popular ride Kraken will come equipped with goggles that will give off an image of entering an underwater plane.
The company’s financials will also improve thanks to a cost-cutting initiative, including laying off at least 320 workers. Another move that SeaWorld is making to help reduce costs consists of a refinancing of its debt.
“The customer we’re going at after is more value-conscious than some of Disney and Universal’s customers,” Manby said. This comment is in light of the company’s rivals’ newest attractions, which includes the Harry Potter Wizarding World and the upcoming Avatar land.
SEAS stock was 3.5% better by day’s end.