SeaWorld attendance takes big hit after coronavirus reopening

Attendance fell to as low as 10% of park's usual crowds on some days

Attendance at SeaWorld parks has plummeted to as low as 10 percent of its usual crowds in recent weeks due to self-imposed restrictions implemented to safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus.

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SeaWorld Entertainment began the phased reopening of some of its parks with reduced operating days and capacity limitations as early as June 6 after being shuttered since mid-March.

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This includes the company's Aquatica park in Texas, followed by all five of its Florida parks reopened on June 11, its SeaWorld park in Texas on June 19 and its Sesame Place park in Pennsylvania, which reopened its gates July 24.

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Since the phased reopening, attendance compared to last year has ranged from as low as 10 to 15 percent up to approximately 50 percent depending on the park and day, the company said in its preliminary financial report.

SeaWorld Orlando President Kyle Miller talks to invited guests during a media preview on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Without the restrictions, SeaWorld projected that its attendance versus the prior year would "likely" have exceeded 50 percent within some of its parks on certain days.

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However, total attendance at its reopened parks has improved since the first week of reopening, increasing roughly 14 percent on a same-park basis from the week ending June 28 to the week ending July 26.

The company's revenue also took a deep dive at the same time due to all of its parks being closed for the vast majority of the last three months as well as the decline in attendance following its phased reopening.

Visitors wear protective masks while riding on a roller coaster at the SeaWorld amusement park in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday, June 11, 2020. (Zack Wittman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

During the last three months ending June 30, the company expects revenue to sit around  $18 million compared to $406 million during the same time last year, according to the company's preliminary financial report.

The future looks up fo the company, however, with bookings for its Discovery Cove park, which accepts reservations up to 18 months in advance, "showing strong 2021 bookings and significantly outpacing prior year to date," SeaWorld said.

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As of July 19, bookings for Discovery Cove were 169 percent higher compared to bookings for the previous year.

The company projects attendance levels will strengthen as it reintroduces in-park offerings, including special events and interactive experiences, that were temporarily suspended.

Representatives for SeaWorld did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for additional comment.

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