SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), a leading theme park and entertainment company, held the company's Investor and Analyst Day today. The event was also webcast live via the investor relations section of the company's website.
A SeaWorld Animal Rescue-theme ride concept announced in today's SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. Analyst and Investor presentation.
During the presentation, President and Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby shared with investors and analysts a plan to build on the company's strong business fundamentals by evolving the guest experience to align with consumer preferences for experiences that matter -- to learn more about the natural world, the plight of animals in the wild, along with family entertainment and attractions.
The plan includes a new approach to in-park activities as well as greater connection to the company's award winning television programming that highlights SeaWorld Entertainment's world-class veterinary care and animal rescue operations. Other elements of the plan include a more simplified approach to value-based pricing, investment in new attractions, and an ongoing focus on cost control as part of a larger commitment to financial discipline.
In addition, Manby announced several new business initiatives, including partnerships with Panasonic and Evans Hotel Group.
As a part of a multi-year partnership with Panasonic Enterprises Solution Company, Panasonic will become an Official Technology Partner of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and its Parks. Panasonic Enterprises Solution Company provides advanced technology solutions serving sports, entertainment and retail industries.
"Panasonic is very pleased to be chosen by SeaWorld Entertainment as their new technology partner," said Jim Doyle, President of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company. "There are endless possibilities when it comes to adding technology to update and enhance the guest experience throughout all of the parks. Panasonic looks forward to delivering the most cutting-edge technology solutions to impress and amaze."
Manby said after the presentation that a key objective of the Panasonic partnership is to use technology to better connect park guests with animals and the company's 23,000 employees, now known as ambassadors, with the larger goal of inspiring a shift in behavior.
"We hope that experiencing animals in our parks moves our guests to a deeper understanding of the plight of all animals – and an increasingly threatened natural environment -- and inspires those guests to help conserve the world we share," Manby said.
The company also announced Monday that it has signed a letter of intent with Evans Hotels Group to explore development of a resort hotel on SeaWorld's leased land in San Diego. Evans owns and operates well-known resorts and attractions in San Diego County, including The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, the Bahia Resort Hotel and the Bahia Belle and William D. Evans sternwheelers. The Evans partnership is part of SeaWorld Entertainment's strategy to look at opportunities and partners to develop resort properties in or near some of its parks.
"We are delighted to partner with Panasonic and Evans Hotels, companies that have such well-established reputations for quality and innovation," Manby said. "We are excited to begin deploying Panasonic technology solutions to enhance the guest experience in our parks and to explore resort development opportunities on Mission Bay with Evans Hotels."
"Evans Hotels and SeaWorld Entertainment have been pioneers in helping to make Mission Bay the leisure and entertainment destination it is today. Our companies have each served the local community and visitors to San Diego for more than half a century. This project is an exciting opportunity for our iconic brands to join together to create the ultimate resort experience," said Robert H. Gleason, President and CEO of Evans Hotels.
SeaWorld Entertainment's management also announced that the Company's Saturday morning family television programs, Sea Rescue and The Wildlife Docs, have been renewed by Litton Entertainment through summer 2018. The award-winning and Emmy-nominated shows are number one in ratings in their respective Saturday morning timeslots on ABC. The shows document the Company's long-standing commitment to assisting wild animals in need – more than 27,000 to date -- and the sophistication of animal husbandry and veterinary care in its zoological parks.
"Animal rescue is part of what we have always been and a key way we are different from other theme park companies. These shows are part of a larger strategy and we are looking to transform what guests experience in our parks and what the public learns about us," Manby said. "In developing new experiences in our parks we want guests to explore, to be inspired and, ultimately, to act and we feel our parks are uniquely suited to creating meaningful and fun vacations -- experiences that matter.
"The overwhelming majority of adults – nearly 95 percent according to research we have seen -- tell us that they believe that visiting a zoo or aquarium can inspire conservation," Manby said. "We see a growing trend within our core guest demographic that a vacation can and should be more than just fantasy and entertainment. Guests want to know that they're making a difference for the world we share and our parks deliver on that promise."
As part of that commitment, Manby announced the company has initiated production on a new orca presentation for its San Diego park. The new experience will engage and inform guests by highlighting more of the species' natural behaviors. The show will include conservation messaging and tips guests can take home with them to make a difference for orcas in the wild. The current show, One Ocean, will run through 2016.
Manby also provided investors and analysts details of new attraction concepts and seasonal events, including a SeaWorld Rescue-themed roller coaster and the addition of holiday shows and experiences featuring characters from the Christmas classic, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
A replay of the webcast and the related presentation materials will be available beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern Time on November 10, 2015 via the investor relations section of the company's website at http://www.seaworldentertainment.com.
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