Adjusted EBITDA Per Diluted Share Increases 34 Percent
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:WOLF) , North America’s leading family of indoor waterpark resorts, reported results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2008.
— Achieved 2008 third quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $23.0 million, which was near the top end of the company’s previously issued third quarter guidance range of $19.5 – $23.5 million.
— Reported that Adjusted EBITDA per diluted share rose 34 percent in the third quarter of 2008 over the same period a year earlier, primarily as a result of a 5.4 percent increase in same store RevPAR for the company’s consolidated properties in the quarter.
— Named Kim Schaefer as the company’s chief executive officer effective January 1, 2009.
— Produced the 10th consecutive quarter of same store RevPAR increases, despite a softening economy and disruptions in the credit markets. Great Wolf Lodge(R) brand third quarter and year-to-date same store RevPAR improved 0.6 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively, over the same periods in 2007.
— Closed on a $65.0 million mortgage loan on the company’s Williamsburg, Va., property in August 2008.
— Reduced the midpoint of full-year 2008 Adjusted EBITDA guidance by $1.5 million to $65.0 million.
The company reported 2008 third quarter net income of $2.2 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, compared to net income of $1.8 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, in the prior year’s third quarter.
"Our third quarter results were strong, especially in light of the persistent negative macro-economic news and declining consumer confidence, " said Randy Churchey, interim chief executive officer. "We saw consistently strong demand throughout the busy summer vacation season, a period when family vacations generally account for a large amount of our business. Our third quarter Adjusted EBITDA per diluted share rose 34 percent over the same period a year earlier and same store revenue per available room (RevPAR) performance for our consolidated properties has outpaced the overall lodging industry by 3 to 4 percentage points this year. We believe that our properties’ locations, generally within 180 miles of major population centers, helped attract ‘stay- cation’ families who wanted to get away to a convenient, drive-to location with great value."
Third Quarter Operating Results
"We had a strong 2008 third quarter, which is traditionally our largest EBITDA-producing quarter for the year, " said Kimberly Schaefer, president and chief operating officer. "Our resorts performed very well during the quarter, led by results at our Generation II properties, which had a same store RevPAR increase of 3.5 percent. We achieved this same store RevPAR growth through 410 basis points of growth in occupancy, offset somewhat by a 2.2 percent reduction in average daily rate for this set of properties. Further, our Grapevine resort (which opened in December 2007 and is not included in the company’s same store operating results) continued to perform well in its first year of operation, achieving the second-highest third quarter RevPAR of any resort in our system.
"Over the past few years, we have worked to extend and expand the range of amenities we offer at our larger resorts, " Schaefer continued. "Our Generation II properties, which contribute about 80 percent of our company’s Adjusted EBITDA, generally include a fuller range of amenities and conference space, and reflect our development model for the company going forward. We are pleased to see that the breadth of amenities we now offer at our larger resorts resulted in significant occupancy gains this year. We also are encouraged by our strong results in the face of reports of decreased RevPAR or similar statistics for other hospitality and entertainment companies in 2008."
Schaefer noted that the company’s increased emphasis on group business, primarily with small- to medium-sized groups designed to fill in mid-week occupancy, has been successful. "With a total of more than 165, 000 square feet of meeting space now in our resort portfolio, we can offer an attractive, fun meeting experience for meeting planners and participants. Our group rooms sold increased 69.1 percent in the 2008 third quarter compared to the prior year period. Group rooms accounted for 12.1 percent of our total rooms sold in the third quarter in 2008, as compared to 9.8 percent in 2007."
For full details of the Third quarter 2008 operating statistics for the company’s portfolio of Great Wolf Lodge resorts please click here.
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. will hold a conference call to discuss its 2008 third quarter results today, November 5, at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. Stockholders and other interested parties may listen to a simultaneous webcast of the conference call on the Internet by logging onto the company’s Web site, greatwolf.com, or streetevents.com, or may call (800) 257-1927, reference number 11121213. A recording of the call will be available by telephone until midnight on Wednesday, November 12, 2008, by dialing (800) 405-2236, reference number 11121213. A replay of the call will be posted on the company’s Web site through December 5, 2008.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, including, among others, statements regarding Great Wolf Resorts’ future financial position, business strategy, projected levels of growth, projected costs and projected performance and financing needs, are forward-looking statements. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. and members of its management team, as well as the assumptions on which such statements are based, and generally are identified by the use of words such as "may, " "will, " "seeks, " "anticipates, " "believes, " "estimates, " "expects, " "plans, " "intends, " "should" or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by such forward- looking statements. Many of these factors are beyond the company’s ability to control or predict. Such factors include, but are not limited to, competition in the company’s markets, changes in family vacation patterns and consumer spending habits, regional or national economic downturns, the company’s ability to attract a significant number of guests from its target markets, economic conditions in its target markets, the impact of fuel costs and other operating costs, the company’s ability to develop new resorts in desirable markets or further develop existing resorts on a timely and cost efficient basis, the company’s ability to manage growth, including the expansion of the company’s infrastructure and systems necessary to support growth, the company’s ability to manage cash and obtain additional cash required for growth, the general tightening in the U.S. lending markets as a result of the subprime loan crisis, potential accidents or injuries at its resorts, its ability to achieve or sustain profitability, downturns in its industry segment and extreme weather conditions, increases in operating costs and other expense items and costs, uninsured losses or losses in excess of the company’s insurance coverage, the company’s ability to protect its intellectual property, trade secrets and the value of its brands, current and possible future legal restrictions and requirements. A further description of these risks, uncertainties and other matters can be found in the company’s annual report and other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Great Wolf Resorts cautions that the foregoing list of important factors is not complete and assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement that it may make.
Management believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, undue reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations. All written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Great Wolf Resorts or persons acting on its behalf are qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. Further, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results over time unless otherwise required by law.
About Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.(R) (NASDAQ:WOLF) , Madison, Wis., is North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, and, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, owns and operates its family resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge(R) and Blue Harbor Resort(TM) brands. Great Wolf Resorts is a fully integrated resort company and owns and/or manages Great Wolf Lodge locations in: Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; Sandusky, Ohio; Traverse City, Mich.; Kansas City, Kan.; Williamsburg, Va.; the Pocono Mountains, Pa.; Niagara Falls, Ontario; Mason, Ohio; Grapevine, Texas; Grand Mound, Wash., and Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sheboygan, Wis. A Great Wolf Lodge currently is under construction in Concord, N.C. and a 203-suite expansion is under construction at the company’s Grapevine resort.
The company’s resorts are family-oriented destination facilities that generally feature 300 to 400 rooms and a large indoor entertainment area measuring 40, 000 to 100, 000 square feet. The all-suite properties offer a variety of room styles, arcade/game rooms, fitness centers, themed restaurants, spas, supervised children’s activities and other amenities. Additional information may be found on the company’s Web site at greatwolf.com.
Source: Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.
CONTACT: Investors, Alex Lombardo, +1-703-573-9317; Media, Steve
Web site: greatwolf.com
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