Once again we see the power of a relatively small group of animal and environmental activists and a well-coordinated media campaign as Sea World announces that they will lay off 350 employees.
Much of SeaWorld’s woes can be attributed to the 2013 documentary Blackfish, which detailed the purported abuse of “killer whales” (orcas) at SeaWorld. Without its iconic star “Shamu” attraction, attendance plummeted. This movie and all of the surrounding hype greatly upset children and their virtue signaling parents who refused to visit the attraction.
This layoff was preceded by another 320 jobs last December (2015) and 300 jobs the previous year (2014). Declining attendance, revenue, and profits – and the rising value of the company’s real estate may mean that there is more money in high-rise condos than an amusement venue.
No matter how much fun amusement attractions seem, the idea of a family of four paying a little over $3,0200 for a four-day vacation including hotel but exclusive of travel seems excessive. Especially with an increasing degree of 3-D and immersive virtual reality devices that can replicate everything but the smell, the crowds, and the fatigue, hassle, and long lines.