SeaWorld C.E.O. Hints at Overseas Ambitions

SeaWorld is one of the best known brand names, easily recognizable by people across America, but SeaWorld has remained just that, an American chain. Now, C.E.O. James D. Atchison has announced plans to change that and move the chain to an international level.

After a very successful I.P.O., SeaWorld has the assets available to reduce debt and expand aggressively, assisted by much greater confidence in the economy boosting consumer spending. This new consumer mindset is much different from that of 2008, when SeaWorld halted plans to expand. There are possible plans to build in Dubai.

SeaWorld’s confident stance is an example of how large owners in the company can make a big difference in how a business fares. Under their prior owner, Anheuser-Busch InBev, the focus of the SeaWorld brand name and entertainment chains were not the best for the company, affected by Anheuser-Busch InBev’s focus on alcoholic drinks. Now, under Blackstone, Atchison is excited to see a better utilization of the SeaWorld name.

I think that if SeaWorld is planning expansion internationally, an entertainment business reliant on extra disposable income, there must be a lot of confidence in a brighter economy. Although the short term may still be uncertain, by the time the arrangements are made and the park is established, I’m sure Atchison is expecting a much more favorable environment.


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