New rides and attractions, special promotions and events drive visitors to parks early in summer season
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, reported revenues through the Fourth of July holiday weekend were approximately $372 million, an increase of 2% when compared with the same period a year ago. This period traditionally represents approximately 35% of the Company’s full-year revenues. During this same period, both attendance and average in-park guest per capita spending increased slightly, while out-of-park revenues, including its resort hotels, were up approximately 3%.
“While it’s still early in our important summer season, we are quite pleased with these positive trends, ” said Dick Kinzel, chief executive officer. “So far this summer, our western region parks have seen an approximately 8% increase in revenues on a year-over-year basis, while revenues at our northern and southern region parks remain comparable to this time last year.”
Kinzel mentioned that guests at the parks have responded favorably to the new rides, attractions and marketing initiatives that have been introduced this year. “Our new 301-foot-tall swing ride, WindSeeker, recently debuted to rave reviews at Cedar Point, Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island, while the introduction of Planet Snoopy at Dorney Park, Worlds of Fun and Valleyfair has proven to be popular with families, ” said Kinzel. “Similarly, our continued marketing efforts at Knott’s Berry Farm and new programs at California’s Great America and Valleyfair have clearly been effective at attracting guests early in the season.
“Likewise, we achieved strong and favorable customer response from the various special events at our parks this past weekend, including military promotions and fireworks, ” said Kinzel. “With additional special events scheduled for this summer, plus our strong market position as the affordable alternative to a week-long family vacation, we are optimistic that families who are choosing to stay closer to home this summer will take further advantage of our unique and attractively priced offerings.”
Kinzel noted that virtually all of Cedar Fair’s revenues from its seasonal amusement parks and water parks are realized during a 130 to 140-day operating period beginning in early May, with the majority concentrated in the peak vacation months of July and August. The third quarter of the year also historically has been the busiest for the Company’s two parks that are open year-round, Knott’s Berry Farm and Castaway Bay.
“As we head into our peak season, we feel very good about the momentum we continue to build for the business and believe our 2011 growth goals of revenues between $975 million to $1.0 billion and full-year adjusted EBITDA in the range of $350 million to $370 million are attainable, ” said Kinzel. “We will provide additional information regarding revenues, operating costs and cashflows as we finalize our second-quarter financial results, which are expected to be completed by the first week in August.”
About Cedar Fair
Cedar Fair is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio, and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, six outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. Amusement parks in the Company’s northern region include two in Ohio: Cedar Point, consistently voted “Best Amusement Park in the World” in Amusement Today polls, and Kings Island; as well as Canada’s Wonderland, near Toronto; Dorney Park, PA; Valleyfair, MN; and Michigan’s Adventure, MI. In the southern region are Kings Dominion, VA; Carowinds, NC; and Worlds of Fun, MO. Western parks in California include: Knott’s Berry Farm; California’s Great America; and Gilroy Gardens, which is managed under contract.
Some of the statements contained in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements as to the Company’s expectations, beliefs and strategies regarding the future. These statements may involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Important factors, including general economic conditions, adverse weather conditions, competition for consumer leisure time and spending, unanticipated construction delays and other factors discussed from time to time by the Company in reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) could affect attendance at our parks and cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations. Additional information on risk factors that may affect the business and financial results of the Company can be found in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the filings of the Company made from time to time with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.