ORLANDO, Fla. — SeaWorld has named a new CEO, the company announced Thursday.

  • Sergio D. Rivera is SeaWorld's new CEO
  • Rivera replaces Gus Antorcha, who resigned in September
  • SeaWorld also reported attendance, revenue dip

Sergio "Serge" Rivera will take over the company starting Monday.

"I am thrilled to join the SeaWorld team," Rivera said in a news release.

Rivera, 57, previously served as the CEO of ILG Inc.'s Vacation Ownership Segment.

"Serge brings to SeaWorld exceptional leadership and management skills across sales, marketing, operations, development, finance and commercial management," SeaWorld's chairman of the Board of Directors Scott Ross said in a news release.

As part of his contract, Rivera will receive an annual base salary of $600,000 and stock options, a new SEC filing reveals.

Rivera replaces former CEO Gus Antorcha, who left SeaWorld in September after seven months on the job. Previously Antorcha was an executive at Carnival Cruise Line.

SeaWorld's CEO announcement comes amid an attendance decline in the third quarter.

Attendance dipped nearly 3 percent, with 200,000 fewer guest visiting during the three-month period that ended September 30. SeaWorld blamed to attendance decline on bad weather, especially in Florida where Hurricane Dorian affected visitors' travel plans and the parks' operating hours.

Total revenue was also down in the quarter, dropping $9.5 million to $473.7 million.

The company's third quarter earnings are in contrast to recent reports that showed attendance and revenue growth. In recent years, SeaWorld has been focusing on wildlife conservation efforts as well as new rides and attractions at its parks.

Almost every park will get a new ride or attraction in the coming years, interim CEO Marc Swanson said.

SeaWorld Orlando will debut its Ice Breaker coaster in the spring. Also in the spring, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will open Iron Gwazi, the fastest and steepest hybrid coaster in the world. SeaWorld San Antonio is also getting a coaster. The new wooden coaster, Texas Stingray, will debut in the spring.

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