Attendance and earnings up for Universal Parks and Resorts

Posted Monday, May 1, 2017 9:11 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Attendance increased year-over-year at Universal Parks & Resorts in the first quarter despite unfavorable spring-break holiday timing, owner Comcast Corp. reported Thursday. First-quarter EBITDA rose 6.1 percent to $397 million.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 11:05 AM

The EBITDA number is confusing to most people (Intentionally so in a lot of industries), but this number should be very clear to anyone:

“A great example is the success of Harry Potter in Hollywood, where we saw a 60 percent increase in attendance this quarter.”

Most parks speak of a 2-5% increase in attendance as a big win. 60%!!! for a year over year comparison without Easter, and for a "land" that has already been open 9 months?? That is HUGE.

60% increases in the Jan-Mar Quarter, which, if there is a slow period in SoCal, that's it now. Also of note, it was the wettest winter in the last 10 years, with three weeks in January with many days basically rained out (which rarely happens in SoCal anymore), AND with the busy Easter week falling into April instead of March. Most "Spring Break" periods don't move sufficiently to chase Easter, but enough do that it makes a difference. Add whatever that impact would have been to an already busy Q1 and you've got monster numbers.

Quick look at weather shows that there were 27 rain days in Jan-Mar in 2017 (Any measurable precip) vs 16 in 2016. No way to quickly compare if these were complete day long washouts or 1/10th of an inch, but ANY precip in SoCal causes the locals to stay home. 11 additional "rain" days in a 92 day period would normally result in a huge decrease in attendance (see Kinzel, Dick).

Add all that up and that is a phenomenal Quarter for HP Hollywood. HP continues to be a license to print money.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Tuesday, May 2, 2017 11:16 AM
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