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BUSINESS
April 18, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., the theme park chain owned by Blackstone Group, priced its shares at the top of the marketed range and raised $702 million in its initial public offering. SeaWorld sold 26 million shares at $27 each, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. The shares, which represent 28% of the outstanding stock, will start trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SEAS. At the offering price, SeaWorld's market value is about $2.5 billion. The Orlando, Fla., company operates 11 theme parks, including two under the Busch Gardens brand.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- The county Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 1 Tuesday to oppose any attempt by the state Legislature to "eliminate or restrict the use of orcas at SeaWorld . " A legislative committee last week delayed a vote on a bill that would end orca shows at SeaWorld San Diego. The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), was sent out for "interim study," an ill-defined process that could last 18 months. The county board alerted the chief administrative officer to be ready to oppose any attempt to reintroduce the Bloom bill or any other bill to curtail the killer whale shows.
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BUSINESS
October 3, 2009 | Stuart Pfeifer
SeaWorld in San Diego, the fourth-most-popular theme park in California, may soon have a new owner. Reports surfaced Friday that private equity firm Blackstone Group is closing in on a deal to buy 10 theme parks owned and operated by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Busch Entertainment Corp.'s largest parks include SeaWorld attractions in San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando, Fla., as well as Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla., and Williamsburg, Va. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Blackstone Group is in the process of acquiring the theme parks for $2.5 billion to $3 billion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SeaWorld lost a major round Friday in its legal fight to put its trainers back into the water with killer whales during the parks' marquee orca shows. By 2-1, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., rejected an appeal by SeaWorld of a citation issued in 2012 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after its investigation into the 2010 drowning death of a trainer at the SeaWorld park in Orlando, Fla. In court documents, SeaWorld had argued that proximity of the trainers to the killer whales was central to the appeal of the orca shows and without that proximity the shows would lose popularity.
MAGAZINE
May 5, 1996
With sequins and swirling skirts, swimsuits fit for a siren.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 25, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
PARK CITY, Utah - It was Samantha Berg's dream job: swimming with orcas. But with only a bachelor's degree in animal science from Cornell University and no hands-on experience with whales, the then-22-year-old assumed she was not qualified to perform stunts in a SeaWorld pool with the powerful 8,000-pound animals. Still, she decided to send her résumé to marine parks nationwide in the hopes that she might land a low-level gig and learn more about sea life. To her surprise, she was called in for an audition at SeaWorld's Orlando park, which asked her to prove her physical acumen by diving 25 feet underwater, picking up a weight, returning to the surface, carrying heavy fish buckets and then jumping up on stage even as she was struggling for breath.
NEWS
June 6, 2013 | By Rosemary McClure
Make a splash at SeaWorld this month with a $338 vacation package at San Diego's Paradise Point Resort & Spa  that includes a stay in a bungalow-style hotel room and two adult tickets to the park. Paradise Point, just across the street from SeaWorld, includes breakfast, parking and a water taxi ride in the package. The deal: Book your trip by June 30 for a stay in June, July or August. The discount is 20% off the regular rate of $423 for a Lanai Garden Room. Other savings include two adult tickets to SeaWorld ($156 value)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 1, 2014 | By Ryan Menezes and Seema Mehta
Sixteen people protesting a SeaWorld float in the Rose Parade on Wednesday were arrested, according to the Pasadena Police Department. The SeaWorld float, which depicted a boy snorkeling above sea life including orcas, was surrounded by heavy security throughout the parade. As the float headed toward the grandstand on Orange Grove Boulevard, several protesters with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ran in front of the float, wearing shirts reading “SeaWorld Hurts Orcas” and waving signs urging the boycott of the amusement park.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2013 | By Hailey Branson-Potts
Animal-rights activists dressed as orcas will be protesting Wednesday at two Colorado Boulevard intersections in Pasadena over the design of the SeaWorld float for the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Eight people in whale costumes will post themselves at Colorado's intersections with Fair Oaks Avenue and De Lacey Avenue at noon, said  David Perle, a PETA spokesman.   The design for the SeaWorld-sponsored float -- called Sea of Surprises, which is to be built by Fiesta Parade Floats -- features a snorkeler, whales, a sea turtle and brightly colored reef.
NATIONAL
December 3, 2012 | By Amy Hubbard
After an incident in which an 8-year-old girl was bitten by a dolphin, officials at SeaWorld in Orlando said they responded quickly to treat Jillian Thomas of Georgia. "A member of our health services team ... quickly responded and treated the young girl," read a statement from the Florida theme park. Jillian's parents weren't quite so impressed with the park's reaction. They told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that there were no warnings of possible infection, no manager was sent over, and "'we had to ask for a Band-Aid," said Jillian's mom, Amy Thomas.
OPINION
April 8, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The lives of captive killer whales are nothing like those of their wild counterparts. Instead of roaming for miles every day in close-knit family groups, captive whales perform for audiences in tanks that, though roomier than those of early marine parks, are far too small for such large ocean predators. In the wild, killer whales have not been known to kill humans or one another. The same cannot be said for the whales in amusement parks around the world, even though they represent only about a tenth of a percent of the numbers in the wild.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
Amid ongoing controversy over its killer whale shows, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. reported a 13% drop in attendance for the first three months of the year. The attendance numbers were included in a notice to the Securities and Exchange Commission that SeaWorld was buying 1.75 million of its own shares from private equity firm Blackstone Group. The notice said attendance for the quarter that ended March 31 dropped to about 3.05 million visitors from 3.5 million in the same period in 2013.
BUSINESS
April 2, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Amid ongoing controversy over its killer whale shows, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. reported a 13% drop in attendance for the first three months of the year. The attendance numbers were included in a notice to the Securities and Exchange Commission that SeaWorld was buying 1.75 million of its own shares from Blackstone Group. The notice said attendance for the three-month period that ended March 31 dropped to about 3.05 million visitors from 3.5 million in the same period in 2013.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 2014 | By Tony Perry
 SAN DIEGO -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has filed a lawsuit against the San Diego Airport Authority after PETA's anti-SeaWorld advertisement was rejected for display at Lindbergh Field. PETA sought to buy space at the airport terminal for an ad featuring actress Kathy Najimy ("Sister Act," "Hocus Pocus") asking people to avoid SeaWorld "if you like animals like I do. " PETA is backed by the ACLU. "While the government has some authority to regulate advertising, this is an example of the government abusing that authority and unfairly discriminating against the message of a specific advertiser," said ACLU senior staff attorney Sean Riordan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- A bill by a Santa Monica assemblyman that would ban orca shows at SeaWorld is being blasted in San Diego, home of the marine theme park. SeaWorld expressed doubt about the legality of the legislation. "The premise behind this proposed legislation is severely flawed on multiple levels, and its validity is highly questionable under the U.S. and California constitutions," the park said in a statement. Others said the ban would hurt the local economy. "SeaWorld is a critical part of San Diego's economy," said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican who made job growth a key part of his recent campaign.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- A state legislator from Santa Monica is introducing a bill that would prohibit orca shows at SeaWorld in San Diego. The bill by Assemblyman Richard Hershel Bloom, a Democrat, would make it illegal to use orcas "for performance or entertainment purposes. " It would also ban captive breeding done at SeaWorld of orcas, also known as killer whales. The bill is supported by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and is prompted by the documentary "Blackfish," which was highly critical of the use of orcas at SeaWorld parks and centered on the death of a trainer at the park in Orlando, Fla. As state legislation, the bill would only apply to the San Diego park, the only park in the state with orca shows.
NEWS
February 28, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard, This post has been updated. See note below for details.
SeaWorld closed Friday amid the strong storms that have hit Southern California. "Safety of guests/team members/animals is a top priority," tweeted Clyde the sea lion. Extreme weather conditions (heavy rain & strong winds): We're closed today (2/28). Safety of guests/team members/animals is a top priority. - Clyde Sea Lion (@ClydeSeaWorldSD) February 28, 2014 But if you still feel like heading to a theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood was open Friday and handing out free hot chocolate and coffee for those willing to brave the rain -- and the traffic -- for the Transformers and Shrek 4-D rides.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2012 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
David W. Kenney, SeaWorld's first veterinarian, who played a key role in bringing the original Shamu to the San Diego amusement park as well as a gray whale believed to be the first raised by humans, died Feb. 14 in Montrose, Colo. He was 77. The cause was cancer, said his sister, Meredith Maler. Kenney was hired by the park a few weeks before its 1964 opening and over the next several years displayed an ingenuity and dedication that helped the fledgling tourist attraction build and maintain an impressive collection of marine animals.
NEWS
February 28, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard, This post has been updated. See note below for details.
SeaWorld closed Friday amid the strong storms that have hit Southern California. "Safety of guests/team members/animals is a top priority," tweeted Clyde the sea lion. Extreme weather conditions (heavy rain & strong winds): We're closed today (2/28). Safety of guests/team members/animals is a top priority. - Clyde Sea Lion (@ClydeSeaWorldSD) February 28, 2014 But if you still feel like heading to a theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood was open Friday and handing out free hot chocolate and coffee for those willing to brave the rain -- and the traffic -- for the Transformers and Shrek 4-D rides.
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