Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando have already raised ticket prices this year, but SeaWorld Orlando might wait a couple of months before matching them.
During a conference call last week to discuss SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.'s fourth-quarter earnings, company executives twice suggested that they were likely to wait to raise prices at their flagship park until around June, the same point at which SeaWorld Orlando prices went up last year.
"With respect to the recent price increases that we've seen at Disney and Universal, we certainly take note of them," SeaWorld President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Atchison told analysts.
But he added that SeaWorld is more likely to make "additional price increases" closer to when it opens new attractions in its parks, which typically happens right before the start of the summer.
In addition, SeaWorld also told analysts that it did a little less discounting in the fourth quarter of 2013 than it did a year earlier. That was significant because the company drew attention in December for beginning to use online discounter Groupon Inc., prompting some questions about whether it was ramping up promotions to prop up attendance.
The amount of ticket revenue SeaWorld earns per visitor rose in the quarter, though not as much as it did earlier in the year. Per-visitor ticket revenue was up 4.3 percent for the quarter (to $38.84) but 8.6 percent for the year (to $39.37).
Still, SeaWorld Chief Financial Officer Jim Heaney said the company's promotional activity was "a little lighter" during the final three months of 2013 than it was during the fourth quarter of 2012.
KSC to use accesso ticketing
The company that operates the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has signed on with accesso Technology Group, the United Kingdom-based e-commerce firm whose North American headquarters are in Lake Mary.
Delaware North Cos. signed a three-year contract with accesso, which will provide online and mobile ticketing portals.
"Few places are as competitive as Central Florida when it comes to engaging our visitors, and accesso's ticketing platform will allow us to better compete by helping increase our pre-arrival sales opportunities," Kevin Quinlivan, Delaware North's chief information officer, said in a prepared statement.
Jobs PAC gets Disney money
Walt Disney World just reminded everyone why it's such an influential voice within the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
The resort last month wrote a $250,000 check to the "Florida Jobs PAC," a political committee set up by the chamber to influence state elections. Disney is by far the largest contributor to the committee so far this cycle, followed by Florida Power & Light (which has given $150,000) and U.S. Sugar Corp. and Publix Super Markets ($100,000 each).
The committee's largest single expense so far this cycle is a $50,000 donation to Republican Gov. Rick Scott's "Let's Get to Work" committee.
The quarter-million-dollar check is the largest single donation made so far this cycle by Disney, which has given about $2 million to various state candidates and committees.
Wyndham aims to fill 300 jobs
Wyndham Worldwide will host a job fair Tuesday to fill nearly 300 positions.
The company is looking to fill both full- and part-time positions in resort and hotel operations, call centers, telesales, vacation planning and marketing and sales. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive, 8001 International Drive.
Those who are unable to attend can get more information at http://www.wyndhamworldwide.com/careers.
A convention about conventions
How's this for a wheel within a wheel?
Visit Orlando points out that the area was featured recently on TravelDailyNews.com in an article about how the area is preparing for 2014's AIBTM, or Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition.
Yes, that's the industry meeting for the folks who plan and run industry meetings. The AIBTM will be at the Orange County Convention Center from June 10 to 12.
The exhibition director said Central Florida is considered "a key choice for international buyers looking to place business within the U.S."
Just one question: Who runs conventions for the people who run conventions for the other people who run conventions?