Cedar Fair attendance and revenue up through Labor Day

Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2008 10:49 AM | Contributed by Jason Hammond

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company today reported that its 2008 revenues through Labor Day increased approximately $21 million, or 3%, to $852 million when compared with the same period a year ago. During this time, attendance rose 3%, or 547,000 visits, while average in-park guest spending, at $40.24, and out-of-park revenues, at $87 million, were comparable to last year.

On a same-park basis, excluding Geauga Lake amusement park which closed at the end of 2007, revenues through Labor Day increased 5%, or $39 million. This increase is attributable to a 6% increase in attendance, or 980,000 visits, and average in-park guest per capita spending and out-of-park revenues that were comparable to the same period a year ago.

Read the press release from Cedar Fair.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008 1:02 PM

Wow, this is surprisingly positive news. I would not have bet money that Cedar Point attendance was going to be up with what I was hearing back in early July. They must have had a stellar August.

Per cap up AND attendance up? That is news.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 1:20 PM
Olsor's avatar

I visited for three days in mid-August. It was packed. Early Entry was almost pointless... the lines at 9:15am were almost as bad as they were at midday.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 2:20 PM
Jeff's avatar

I'm reasonably shocked as well. Doesn't mean I'm going to start spending my own money there gratuitously though. :)


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 2:30 PM

Attendance up and per-cap basically flat. I consider that a dramatic improvement over "attendance down and per cap up" or "attendance flat and per cap up". But that's just me... :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 2:38 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

The higher attendance is nice, but is it sustainable? That's always been my concern with the old way of creating growth through attendance. There HAS to be a ceiling.

Flat per caps just say to me that people continue to pay the high in-park prices for things even with the current economy where conventional wisdom keeps telling us people have less to spend.


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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 2:51 PM
Jeff's avatar

After years of decline on an individual park basis, some up attendance is about due provided they're not pissing people off with pricing. I think a part of this is just the result of trying to undo their catastrophic decisions about pass pricing at the Paramount properties.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 2:55 PM

Hmmm. I wonder what extraneous factors could have caused CP's attendance to rise this year. Hmmmmm.

Thinking. Thinking.

Nope, can't think of a thing.

:rolls eyes:


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 2:58 PM
Jeff's avatar

We could go there if you wanted, but it'd be a short conversation when you consider CP's attendance didn't go up by 700,000 visits. In fact, spreading the 547,000 visits across the entire chain, I think we can safely say that CP's numbers barely wiggled.

Nice try though. :)


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 3:01 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

I could have swore I heard Jeff or Lord Pimp Gonchar say this before. If prices are up and per-cap is flat, people might be spending the same amount, but they're buying less.


843 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 3:15 PM

I wasn't expecting CP's numbers to go up..or even stay relatively flat. Early indications were that they would be down...and down substantially. That is good news considering the economy...particulalry in northern Ohio and Michigan.

I worked for the company for a while and my wife even longer. In all those years combined neither one of us can remember any executive say they had any concern at all about Geauga Lake's impact on CP attendance...or Sea World for that matter.

In fact I would be willing to bet they would be as concerned with Geauga Lake as they would with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or the Cleveland Indians.

But, some people still think the world is flat and who am I to argue with that kind of logic?

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 3:22 PM

Jeff said:
I think a part of this is just the result of trying to undo their catastrophic decisions about pass pricing at the Paramount properties.

That was a giant blunder. They swooped in with the CP-style pass structure, completely eliminating the pricing tiers, perks and the Gold Pass system Paramount had.

Yeah, that didn't go well.


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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 3:36 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Except people already forgot, they were mad for a year and then they went back.


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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 4:05 PM

Through the end of July their attendance was flat--clearly August was above normal (which we could have guessed when they extended hours). I'd guess it was the weather--no 100+ degree days.

The cool spring gave way to a cool summer--and summer, when kids are out of school, is the peak drawing time.


This Isn't A Hospital--It's An Insane Asylum!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 4:52 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
The higher attendance is nice, but is it sustainable? That's always been my concern with the old way of creating growth through attendance. There HAS to be a ceiling.

Flat per caps just say to me that people continue to pay the high in-park prices for things even with the current economy where conventional wisdom keeps telling us people have less to spend.

Going back to the Kinzel "eating" quote thread, they could probably increase revenues substantially if they provided decent food that more people would be willing to pay for.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 5:22 PM

wahoo skipper said:

Iworkedfor the company for a while and my wife even longer. In allthose yearscombined neither one of us can remember any executive saythey had anyconcern at all about Geauga Lake's impact on CPattendance...or SeaWorld for that matter.

In fact I would bewilling to bet theywould be as concerned with Geauga Lake as theywould with the Rock andRoll Hall of Fame or the Cleveland Indians.

I got a D in economics so I could be dead wrong here, but aren'tamuesment parks considered a zero-sum game? Therefore, wouldn't CedarFair be concerned with both Geauga Lake and Sea World, plus the RockHall, movie theatres, haunted houses, skydiving, mini-golf courses,other water parks, etc????

Last edited by d_port_12E, Tuesday, September 9, 2008 5:28 PM
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008 7:45 PM

d port...that is my point. Cedar Fair didn't consider GL any more (or less) competition than the Indians or other discretionary income players. They certainly didn't buy the park simply because they wanted to "off" the competition.

I suspect the people who were not going to GL were still not going to Cedar Point. And, I futher suspect that those who were going to GL came to Cedar Point in far fewer numbers than the naysayers would have you believe.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008 10:29 AM

they could probably increase revenues substantially if they provided decent food that more people would be willing to pay for.

They tried lowering food prices a couple of years ago. As prices went back up (sharply), apparently it didn't work.


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Thursday, September 11, 2008 10:55 AM
Jeff's avatar

I disagree. The price cuts were half-assed and sporadic at best, and didn't include soda. Furthermore, flat per-cap this year, not running with inflation, is a pretty clear sign that they're pricing themselves out of sales.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:18 AM

They're certainly pricing themselves out of my sales. I've probably bought three full meals at the park all year.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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