San Diego Says SeaWorld Owes $10 Million in Back Rent; They Disagree

by on March 29, 2022 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Lori Weisberg / San Diego Union-Tribune / March 25, 2022

Last year, as more and more businesses fully reopened amid relaxed pandemic restrictions, long-deferred rental payments came due for hundreds of tenants occupying San Diego-owned properties — including SeaWorld. Even as it is now enjoying a resurgence of visitors, the theme park remains the only city lessee in default for unpaid rent — for a total of $10 million.

The city of San Diego, after months of negotiations, told SeaWorld this week that it needs to start paying its outstanding rent in installments or face late fees and penalties, said San Diego Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone.

“SeaWorld will not be let off the hook,” Goldstone said in an interview this week. “We’ve told SeaWorld we are not going to provide any further special discount of what you owe as back rent.”

The park was informed by the city in September that it was in default of the conditions of its lease related to the payment of rent. Like other city lessees, SeaWorld was advised last year that it had the option to pay back the rent it owed over time — an offer that several other San Diego tenants took advantage of, including two others on Mission Bay.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam March 30, 2022 at 1:17 pm

Perhaps a barter is in order. Sea World can construct a solar farm over that roughly 40 acres of parking lot rather than pay the city. Sea World can finance that and most certainly get all matter of tax breaks and the city can use the power generation to help reach it’s climate goals. It’s a win win!


Melody April 21, 2022 at 10:12 pm

Seaworld is a major corporation. There is no reason that this exploitative and awful corporation should be given any slack. The only reason is that they want to show higher shareholder profits and paying back what they owe won’t show that. Bring the hammer down on them, otherwise they will continue to push their limits. This isn’t a small mom and pop shop.


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