Cedar Fair reports 3% increase in net revenues through the July 4th holiday weekend

Investments in broadening the guest experience support strong underlying consumer demand


Wednesday, July 10, 2019 8:44 AM


Cedar Fair Press Release

SANDUSKY, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and immersive entertainment, today reported preliminary net revenues through July 7, 2019, of approximately $579 million, an increase of $16 million, or 3%, when compared with the same fiscal period a year ago. This period traditionally represents approximately 40% of the Company’s full-year net revenues.

The increase in net revenues was driven by a 3% increase in in-park guest per capita spending, a 3% or $2 million increase in out-of-park revenues, including resort hotels, and flat attendance, compared to the same prior-year period. These favorable results benefitted from only one week of operations from the newly acquired Schlitterbahn water parks in New Braunfels and Galveston, Texas.

“Our commitment to enhancing and broadening the guest experience has led to strong underlying consumer demand when weather conditions are favorable, a positive and welcome indicator as we approach the busiest and most profitable stretch of the season,” said Richard A. Zimmerman, president and chief executive officer. “Our strategy heading into this year was to provide highly immersive experiences which would encourage our guests to visit early and visit often. This included the addition of traditional attractions such as two record-setting roller coasters at Canada’s Wonderland and Carowinds, and the introduction of new immersive attractions such as Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island at Cedar Point, Monster Jam® Thunder Alley™ and Grand Carnivale.”

Zimmerman reported that Cedar Fair has generated record season pass sales across its parks, as well as record sales of its all-season dining and all-season beverage programs. He also noted that booking trends on group events and at the Company’s resort properties remain strong, reflecting the success of investments made in both areas over the past several years.

“In addition to the strength around advance purchase commitments, we’re pleased with the growth of in-park guest per capita where we are seeing year-over-year increases in spending on admissions, food and beverage, merchandise and extra-charge attractions,” added Zimmerman. “The growth in both advance purchase commitments and guest spending gives us confidence our consumer is healthy, and that our new initiatives and guest services levels are resonating well with guests.”

Commenting on the impact of weather on operations over the first half of the year, Zimmerman added, “Much like the first half of 2018, extreme weather conditions through early June, including record rainfall in many of our key markets, adversely impacted attendance in many of our parks’ first full month of operations. As conditions improved, however, we have seen a significant improvement in attendance trends, which is more illustrative of the record results we generated over the last five months of 2018. For the three-week period ended July 7, 2019, same-park attendance was up 6%, or more than 200,000 visits, versus the comparable three-week period a year ago. While encouraged by the strength in recent attendance trends, we remain focused on executing against the strategic initiatives we have in place, as these short-period results by themselves may not be indicative of performance over the balance of the year.”

Looking ahead, Zimmerman added, “We believe the positive guest response to our broad array of attractions and immersive events, as emphasized by this year’s high guest satisfaction ratings, combined with the strong growth in our advance purchase commitment channels, has us well positioned as we head into the second half of the year. In addition, we are very excited about the attractive upside potential presented by our recent acquisitions of the two iconic Schlitterbahn water parks in Texas and the Sawmill Creek Resort near Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. While their contributions to our 2019 operating results will be modest given the timing of the acquisitions, both transactions underscore our commitment to driving long-term growth in the business.”

The Company will provide additional information regarding net revenues, operating costs and cash flows when it announces its second-quarter results on Wednesday, August 7, 2019.