On May 6, 2021, SeaWorld Entertainment announced that Marc Swanson is taking the reins as their new Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”).
Swanson was part of the SeaWorld team for 20-years and previously served as Interim CEO on two separate occasions. Most recently he was at the helm as SeaWorld Entertainment navigated the COVID-19 pandemic.
SeaWorld Entertainment is best known for its sea life theme parks owning 12 destination and regional parks. They describe their focus as “providing experiences that matter.” Their zoological work involves rescuing and rehabilitating marine animals striving to release them back into the wild. Over the past 50-years, SeaWorld treated over 38,000 animals.
In addition to promoting Swanson, SeaWorld also announced the appointment of Elizabeth Castro Gulacsy as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Gulacsy previously served as interim CFO and treasurer.
“After careful consideration and working closely with Marc and Elizabeth in their interim roles over the past year, the Board of Directors is confident they are the right leaders for SeaWorld as we emerge from this pandemic and continue executing on our long-term strategic plan,” said SeaWorld Chairman Scott Ross.
SeaWorld released its first-quarter earnings. They reported attendance at all parks was down by 4.5% compared to the previous year with 2.2 million guests visiting SeaWorld parks. While attendance was down, per capita spending increased by 26.4% to $34.38 up from $27.20.
“Our first-quarter events including new or expanded event days at some of our parks as well as several new or reimagined venues we launched during the quarter helped contribute to the increased guest spending,” SeaWorld CEO Swanson said. “We are excited to have experienced a robust Spring Break season across our parks including several days where our parks reached capacity limitations for the current operating environment. To be clear, we believe our attendance would’ve been notably higher, were it not for capacity limitations and closed parks.”