San Diego, SeaWorld Spar in a $10 Million Difference of Opinion

May 6, 2023, 5:15 PM · Walt Disney World is not the only theme park company having government issues these days. Across the country in San Diego, the city government there has a $10 million issue with the original SeaWorld park.

The City of San Diego claims that the Mission Bay theme park owes more than $10 million in back rent, dating from the pandemic start in 2020. SeaWorld does not own the land it sits on in San Diego, and leases its property from the city.

The park's deal with the city requires that it pay a percentage of its gross income every year as rent. Obviously, revenue stopped coming in during the lockdown, and San Diego suspended rent payments from its lessees.

But, according to media reports, the city says its deal with SeaWorld requires the park to make a minimum payment each year, regardless of income. That's the amount in dispute now, plus interest and late fees. SeaWorld says that there's no problem, but city officials want the park to pay the money that they say the city is owed.

So far, the city is saying that it will extend its rent deferral program to SeaWorld, which the city says is its only lessee in default on its rent payments. But the city says that SeaWorld has declined to make its payments.

In a statement, a SeaWorld representative told local repotrters, "the City of San Diego has been a great partner of ours over the years, and we continue to work with them in an attempt to resolve this issue."

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Replies (1)

May 8, 2023 at 10:43 AM

They can make up those 10 million dollars with those sneaky 5% extra "just because" surcharge that they tack on to in-park purchases.

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