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SeaWorld San Diego To Have Last Orca Show Sunday

Shamu, the star of SeaWorld San Diego's One Ocean show, performs in this undated photo.
Mike Aguilera / SeaWorld® San Diego
Shamu, the star of SeaWorld San Diego's One Ocean show, performs in this undated photo.
SeaWorld San Diego To Have Last Orca Show Sunday
SeaWorld San Diego To Have Last Orca Show Sunday GUEST:Miro Copic, marketing professor, San Diego State University

San Diego, C word -- SeaWorld, shampoo. After this week in, SeaWorld in San Diego puts on the last shampoo show. The last time killer whales will perform at the park. The orc as will have a new role as the world and they will change their image. Will SeaWorld be a world class attraction without shampoo -- shampoo. Welcome. Thank you. We did SeaWorld start the performing shows and how big of an attraction has been? They started early after the park open. Is what SeaWorld has been known for for forever. There are all parks around the country. There are dolphin shows but really, what made SeaWorld stand out was the orc is. They had a number of them. The performances were majestic. It became a place that people needed to stop by and visit because you would not see it anywhere else. Did the perception of the show's changed dramatically after the documentary? They did to a certain percentage of potential visitors. While the vast majority of visitors came to the park to enjoy the show and did not think a lot about, and those visitors, there perceptions change. A lot of the revenue comes from the local community. San Diego and Orange County and Sandy you, these people biannual passes. They need these people to renew at a high rate. The rest is, tours that come during the tourist season in the summer and during key holiday windows. Oftentimes, they are there and you do not think about it because they are coming from Ohio. This is not a topic like Orlando. SeaWorld's initial reaction to this uproar that started around the document, it was not terrific from a marketing point of view. No, the movie came out in the middle of summer. It was a documentary. No one would've noticed it at the SeaWorld sent out press packets to the movie reviewers pain point for point what was wrong with the film. That spurred the New York Times to make a front-page article about the treatment of orchids -- orcas. SeaWorld , they went quite. They would not do interviews or talk to the community. It was a major issue because then it seemed like SeaWorld had something to hide. The company ultimately decided to an the performances and stop the breeding program. What are they attempting to become? I think there is a fine line. They are staying close to the original essence of educating visitors about marine life but also, they know they are in themes Park space were they creating an experience and they have to appeal to those young adults and millennial's who have very specific thinking those thoughts about the treatment of animals and want rights and experiences that they would have a Disneyland or studios or other places. SeaWorld has been lacking those for a long time. They has introduced visitors to different experiences. Tell us about that. I think as part of the new brand, the Shamu went. This is the down period between after the holidays through the Easter timeframe. It is relatively low attendance. Stopping the show now is a smart move as the create new shows. They want to make thethree available to everybody . It puts them in the natural habitat. They will go through the ocean exhibit which is around eels and how mysterious they are and what they do. That is an evening show. They will have a submarine ride that helps you be in the water with the different marine life. Those are interesting. They are educational and they are majestic. They are bigger than life. That is what we're trying to do. Were trying to create the balance between informing and showing the autumn the programs. Next year, it is the big year for the roller coaster. This roller coaster for San Diego is one-of-a-kind. It is 150 feet tall. It mimics the movement of the eel. It is pretty compelling. It is a place that will be a must stop for people. It will be that unique. As SeaWorld creates this apartment, is it going to be enough to make sure that the visitors that were lost over the last two years they return and visit us. Many attractions are not as easy to sell as the picture of a killer whale jumping out of a pool and people applauding and getting splashed. How is the public teen introduced to the new attractions? Think they are going to show the immensity. It is going to have to be aggressive. This is the new SeaWorld. This is a new experience. This will put SeaWorld in an interesting place in San Diego. It will give people a reason to go to SeaWorld as opposed to the zoo. If I have a negative feeling about the treatment of orcas, I will go to the zoo. Now they are giving visitors a reason to come back to the park. Whether they will or not, that is a different story here they are doing it in an appropriate way. Thing they're doing, they are reinforcing the anniversary. It is their role in rescuing sea mammals. This has been something that SeaWorld has done. They rescued sea mammals from San Diego all the way up to Santa Barbara. Nobody knows that except for elementary school kids. They are elevating that profile along with the attractions. SeaWorld is not the only kind of entertainment that is redefining itself when it comes to animal ask. I'm thinking of circuses picking up elephants. Do you see this as part of a trend and maybe because of that, SeaWorld will be surviving? I think that they have positioned themselves. They did the same thing with the circus. One of the going to do? Were moving toward the acrobatics and excitement. The same thing was SeaWorld. They have to make a shift. It is unfortunate in some ways for people who have had positive images, public opinion does influence a business. The new management team and CEO is doing a really good job at being transparent and being open to the press and being specific with the public about why what they are doing is great for the animals. Will give positive feelings toward SeaWorld and it will give them a good chance to be successful. Ivan speaking with the marking -- marketing professor -- professor.

What once brought tourists to SeaWorld San Diego in droves will soon be phased out — orca shows.

The park's last show is planned for Sunday.

As the park is phasing out the orca shows, it is also introducing three new attractions in 2017 and a roller coaster the next year.


San Diego State University marketing professor Miro Copic said the introduction of the attractions is taking attention off of the end of the orca shows. He said the attractions are being introduced one at a time to keep the excitement on SeaWorld.

The park announced Tuesday it would debut its fastest and tallest roller coaster, which it's calling Electric Eel, in summer 2018.

"This new, first-of-its-kind coaster at SeaWorld will give riders the rare opportunity to feel what it's like to move like an eel as they twist and flip along nearly 900 feet of undulating track,'' said SeaWorld San Diego President Marilyn Hannes.

This year, the park is also introducing an orca encounter, a nighttime entertainment experience called Electric Ocean and a submarine ride.

On Wednesday's Midday Edition, Copic discusses the changes the park is making and their potential impacts on tourism in San Diego.

Corrected: March 1, 2024 at 4:21 PM PST
City News Service contributed to this report.