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Cedar Fair reports big loss for 2020 but is optimistic about 2021

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company has reported total operating loss of $572 million for 2020, but CEO Richard Zimmerman is optimistic about 2021.

cedar point

Cedar Fair announced its fourth quarter and full year results, ended December 31, 2020. The company revealed an operating loss of more than half a billion dollars for 2020.

“We are optimistic that levels of attendance at our parks and resort properties will significantly improve in 2021, particularly as COVID-19 vaccines become broadly available over the next few months,” said Zimmerman.

“In anticipation of improving demand, we are poised to resume normal operations, particularly during our seasonally stronger back half of the year.

“We have strategically designed our operating plan for the 2021 season specifically to minimize cash burn in the pre-opening period and correlate park operating calendars with forecasted demand while growing our season pass base for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.”

Total operating loss of $572m for 2020

Cedar Point, a Cedar Fair amusement park.

The theme park company also experienced a 25.3 million-visit decrease in attendance due to closures in response to COVID-19.

Cedar Fair reopened 10 of its 13 attractions in June and July 2020. Cedar Point and Kings Island remained open after Labor Day and operated on weekends through October. Kings Dominion and Carowinds reopened on weekends in November and December.

“The safety and welfare of our associates and guests remain our highest priorities, and all of our properties that reopened in 2020 exemplified high-quality immersive entertainment in a safe, sanitized and stress-free environment,” added Zimmerman.

“We are pleased to have earned the trust and confidence of state and local officials, as well as our loyal guests and park communities, and our teams are committed to providing the same world-class experience our guests have come to expect at our parks and resorts.”

Net revenues were $182 million in 2020, compared to $1.47 billion in 2019. Operating costs were $484 million in 2020, as opposed to $991 million in 2019.

Net revenues of $182m in 2020

cedar point

The Walt Disney Co also reported earnings for its first quarter ended January 2, 2021, revealing a $2.6bn hit for its theme parks segment.

“Over the last several quarters, the team implemented significant business process improvements and identified meaningful cost savings opportunities,” said Zimmerman.

“These efforts have reduced our use of cash and positioned us well to emerge from the pandemic as a leaner and more cost-efficient organization.

“We believe the steps we’ve taken, along with other proactive measures already in process, will drive further margin improvement as we return to a normal operating environment and historical levels of attendance and revenues.

“Cedar Fair is poised to deliver strong performance as operating conditions improve in 2021 and beyond.”

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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