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  1. #1

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    SeaWorld Attendance Levels Drop: Is Blackfish Backlash Still the Cause?

    One year ago CNN aired the documentary movie, Blackfish. The documentary alleges abuses to the captive Orca's of SeaWorld. It was clear early on, SeaWorld suffered in park attendance.

    Is the movie still impacting attendance with the general population? Or, are attendance numbers down for another reason, such as weather, Easter schedules or the like?

    At the time this is posted, the shares of stock suddenly dropped 30% in value because SW revenues declined due to attendance drops. They were selling for about $28 and are now worth about $20. The business writers are busy analyzing SeaWorld's 2nd quarter revenue reports. SeaWorld suits never mentioned the movie as the cause in attendance drops. They blame the decrease in revenue because of a threat of legislation that would prevent Orca shows in California. (SeaWorld stock sinks 30% on poor attendance and sales - Business - CBC News.) I believe that SeaWorld's second quarter results are showing that Blackfish continues to have an impact. It was the movie that was the catalyst of the proposed legislation. The movie caused musicians to cancel playing at SeaWorld. It was the movie that is causing an uproar with the orca researchers. (Apparently, SeaWorld to incorrectly cite noted Orca researcher Dr. Ingrid Visser for the proposition that dorsal fin collapse is common in wild.)
    Last edited by kjorgensen43; 08-18-2014 at 06:03 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: SeaWorld Attendance Levels Drop: Is Blackfish Backlash Still the Cause?

    This article popped up on the news today here in Canada, about when Tilikum still resided at Sealand in Victoria:
    New video unearthed of unacceptable killer whale treatment | CTV Vancouver News

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    Re: SeaWorld Attendance Levels Drop: Is Blackfish Backlash Still the Cause?

    Sea World's days are numbered as we know them, they will really need to revamp their business plan to not rely on Whale and Dolphin shows for long term success into the future. It's only a matter of time before government's start to ban these shows, so they need to be pro-active instead of reactive.

    Even long term partner Southwest Airlines has distanced themselves from Sea World and will no longer have planes painted like killer whales and no longer sponsor Sea World after 25 years, so other companies are feeling the pressure as well.

    India has appeared to have banned the keeping of dolphins for entertainment purposes as well.

    India Declares Dolphins To Be “Non-Human Persons”, Dolphin Shows Banned | The Mind Unleashed

    Sea World is unlikely to ever see the success of the past unless they really change for the better for the future.

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    Re: SeaWorld Attendance Levels Drop: Is Blackfish Backlash Still the Cause?

    I hope people are starting wake up. Animals like orcas should only be seen in nature or on TV!
    The world according me: http://www.youtube.com/user/TimmyME

  5. #5

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    Re: SeaWorld Attendance Levels Drop: Is Blackfish Backlash Still the Cause?

    After learning about how dangerous captivity is for whales and dolphins--both of which are intelligent, sentient beings who need to live with their families (pods) and have been cruelly taken away from them--I stopped going to Sea World. Even though I loved seeing the shows in the past and one of the highlights of my life was swimming with dolphins, both of these practices cause harm to the animals physically, emotionally and psychologically. I will not step foot inside any of their parks until they stop contributing to what's going on in Taiji (see The Cove if you're not aware of the cruelty that's bringing the dolphins into SW & other parks). Sadly, the dolphins & whales they have may not be able to be released into the wild safely but they need to stop breeding both & phase out the programs. Then SW can focus on what they're really good at: animal rescue and education. (I am not a member of PETA but after reading Ric O'Barry's story, I cannot in good conscience support programs that cause dolphins & whales to be harmed--in the cove at Taiji or in the tanks at SW).

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    Re: SeaWorld Attendance Levels Drop: Is Blackfish Backlash Still the Cause?

    A great way to see whales and dolphins is to go to Santa Barbara and go on a cruise offered by Condor Cruises. Their boat is custom designed to protect marine animals and the whales and dolphins recognize it and will come right up to it--so you can see them frolicking and playing up close and personal in their own environment. They also work closely with the Aquarium of the Pacific, Monterey Bay Aquarium and Channel Islands Nature Preserve. Great company, amazing way to see (literally) hundreds of dolphins riding the waves around you, and all the whales that migrate along the West Coast.

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    Re: SeaWorld Attendance Levels Drop: Is Blackfish Backlash Still the Cause?

    Wow....people finally doing something after they see bad things happening in the world...too bad this can't happen more often

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    Re: SeaWorld Attendance Levels Drop: Is Blackfish Backlash Still the Cause?

    I don't think Blackfish is the cause. Ever since SeaWorld went public, their attendance has been dropping.

    I think the lack of any *GREAT* new attractions at their parks along with increased competition from other parks is the cause.

    Then add on top of that a delayed opening of Falcons Fury (missed the entire summer), cuts in entertainment, and price increases to their parks that bring them inline with Disney and Universal. I think people are now starting to see that the value to one of their parks just isn't that great.



    SeaWorld will be fine if they get new leadership that will invest heavily into their parks.

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    Re: SeaWorld Attendance Levels Drop: Is Blackfish Backlash Still the Cause?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan120420 View Post
    I don't think Blackfish is the cause. Ever since SeaWorld went public, their attendance has been dropping.

    I think the lack of any *GREAT* new attractions at their parks along with increased competition from other parks is the cause.
    I completely agree with this. What has SeaWorld done lately to get people pumped about visiting? The penguin encounter was a nice try, but horrible in execution...and Manta in San Diego is pretty lack luster.

    Build something new worthwhile and the people will come.
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    Re: SeaWorld Attendance Levels Drop: Is Blackfish Backlash Still the Cause?

    I'd agree as well. I thought a few of the ideas like the new entrance would be pretty cool, but honestly their aquariums seem to be growing increasingly dated and there just isn't much NEW in general.

    I last went to Seaworld in 06 and it felt too much like my trip in 99. I've pretty much written off trips until things change sufficiently and it's just not happening. I guess you could blame reliance on animal shows but it's not that I started disliking Animal shows so much as the shows became very samey and arn't changed very often (I do like the Sealion shows).

    Seaworld parks just arn't as repeatable as their competitors it seems to me.
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