SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. this morning reported a net loss of $79.2 million dollars in the three months ending September 30, 2020. The theme park chain welcomed 1.6 million guests during the period, a decline of 6.6 million guests from the third quarter of 2019, as its parks in San Diego and Williamsburg, Virginia remained largely closed due to the pandemic and other parks operated at reduced capacities.
For the first nine months of 2020, SeaWorld parks welcomed 4.2 million guests, a decline of 13.8 million guests from the same period a year ago. Total revenue was $277.7 million, a decline of $822.5 million from the first three quarters of 2019, with a net loss of $266.8 million for 2020 to date.
The good news? Admission per capita increased 22.4 percent to $40.39 per person in the third quarter of 2020, while in-park per capita spending increased 8.9 percent to $27.55.
"I am... pleased with our strong admissions and in park per capita performance during the quarter, despite Covid-19 operational impacts and a higher mix of season pass visitors in the quarter when compared to prior year. Our pricing and product strategies are working and our guests appear willing to spend when they visit our parks," SeaWorld Entertainment Interim Chief Executive Officer Marc Swanson said.
"Monthly attendance improved throughout the quarter relative to prior year as we re-opened more parks and our guests demonstrated an increasing desire and willingness to visit our parks, including attending our reimagined events. We are particularly pleased with our recently concluded Halloween events and look forward to starting our popular Christmas events next week."
SeaWorld is operating limited-capacity special events at SeaWorld San Diego and Busch Gardens Williamsburg in order to keep those parks open to at least some guests while complying with state orders limiting theme park operations.
The company estimated its average monthly net cash burn during the quarter was $22 million per month, which included payment of "certain previously deferred payments to vendors." Excluding the deferred payments, SeaWorld said that its average monthly adjusted net cash burn during the quarter was approximately $2 million per month. During the previous quarter, SeaWorld reported an average cash burn of about $12 million a month.
Interim CFO Elizabeth Gulacsy said in an investors' conference call that the company's deferred payment balance was about $70 million and that the company expected to be paying that through April of next year, which would keep the company's cash burn closer to the $22-25 million a month range.
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SeaWorld must be in rough shape. We visited today and Kraken and Atlantis both aren’t running. My 11-year-old was so disappointed. Infinity Falls didn’t open until noon, so we had an early lunch and tried to go right at noon. And ... it was down and wouldn’t be back up for hours. We came back to the Royal Pacific at 1 with plans to hit Universal some more on our vacation.