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Cedar Fair announces strategic plan for 5 year growth

Yukon Striker Canadas Wonderland

Cedar Fair has set out a strategic plan for growth over the next five years, including increasing interactive and immersive family attractions, special events, concerts and outdoor gathering spaces and developing adjacent land.

Cedar Fair have announced their full-year financial results and an ambitious five-year growth target of $575 million in Adjusted EBITDA by 2023 (+4% Adjusted EBITDA CAGR).

The company reported record full-year net revenues of $1.35 billion in 2018, an increase of 2% from 2017.

In 2018, a record 25.9 million guests attended the parks, an increase of 1% from 2017. Average in-park guest per capita spending in 2018 also increased 1%, to a record $47.69.

Strategy for growth

As part of the company’s long-term strategy, Cedar Fair aims to:

  • broaden the guest experience
  • expand the season pass programme
  • increase market penetration through targeted marketing
  • and pursue adjacent development

The theme park operator plans to offer a more encompassing entertainment experience, focusing on interactive and immersive family attractions, special events, concerts and outdoor gathering spaces.

As part of the “Seasons of FUN” strategy, the parks hope to entice guests to visit multiple times throughout the year for events – including springtime festivals, immersive summer entertainment, Halloween frights and WinterFest holiday celebrations.

Elsewhere, the season pass programme will increase installment payments to 12 months, introduce loyalty and rewards, and offer “passholder only” experiences, in the hope of increasing the average visitation of the season passholders.

New data analytics tools will be used to optimise marketing. Targeted areas will include the South California market. Immersive limited-time events will be created to appeal to Gen X and young adults

Cedar Fair is also looking at opportunities to develop the more than 1,300 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the parks. This includes building more hotels and amateur sports facilities to drive incremental attendance and out-of-park revenue.

An initiative in line with the strategy to develop adjacent land and broaden the guests experience is Sports Force Parks at Cedar Point Sports Center. The new 150,000 square-foot indoor amateur sports facility overlooking Cedar Point will open this year.

2019 Capex

There are three new attractions to look forward to in 2019.

Yukon Striker – the longest, fastest and tallest dive coaster in the world – is in Canada’s Wonderland’s newly-themed Frontier Canada area.

Coming to Carowinds’ Blue Ridge Junction area is Copperhead Strike – a double launch coaster with five inversions that whips riders through a trail of twisted intensity.

And, located on an actual island, Forbidden Frontier is a mysterious, immersive experience at Cedar Point, where guests can become a part of the story, interact with characters, unlock puzzles and take on challenges.

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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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