Cedar Fair attendance up 7.8% to 22.8 million in 2010

Posted Thursday, January 6, 2011 12:07 PM | Contributed by Rick_UK

[Ed. note: The following is an excerpt of a press release. -J]

Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, announced today that attendance at its 17 locations totaled 22.8 million guests in 2010, up 7.8%, or 1.7 million visits from the Company’s total attendance of 21.1 million in 2009.

“We saw strong gains in attendance in all regions throughout the year, including significant improvements in season pass visits and group sales, as our aggressive marketing efforts and investments in new attractions drew increasing numbers of guests to our parks,” said Dick Kinzel, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Through these efforts, we have been able to leverage the growing popularity of our parks and successfully navigate through a very challenging economic period by continuing to offer guests a best-in-class experience.”

Attendance at Cedar Fair’s northern region parks, which include Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio and Canada’s Wonderland near Toronto, increased 3.7% to 12.7 million guests in 2010 compared with 12.2 million in 2009. The Company’s southern region parks entertained 4.8 million guests in 2010, up 17.9% from 4.1 million a year ago. Its western region parks hosted 5.3 million guests in 2010 versus 4.8 million guests in 2009, for an increase of 9.7%. Average in-park guest per capita spending in 2010 decreased approximately 1% from the prior year.

“The record attendance is the latest highlight of what has been an outstanding year for Cedar Fair,” Kinzel continued. “In July 2010, we completed the refinancing of our debt to create a capital structure with a stronger balance sheet and provide the flexibility to take advantage of further value-creating growth opportunities. In addition, under the new financing agreement, we were able to reinstate the cash distribution to unitholders in December 2010, after the distribution had been suspended for a year due to covenants within the prior credit agreement. As we look ahead to the 2011 season, we will continue to focus on adding value to the guest experience while maintaining our commitment to delivering excellent value to our unitholders, including growing the distribution.”

The Company plans to issue a news release and host a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, to discuss 2010 fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results. The Company’s 2010 year-end tax information will be processed and mailed to unitholders at the beginning of March 2011. The same tax information will be available to unitholders through the Investor Relations section of the Company’s corporate website (www.cedarfair.com) beginning February 28, 2011.

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 2:03 PM

Interesting timing on the release of these figures. Diverting attention perhaps?

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Thursday, January 6, 2011 3:05 PM

What have they done in the past in terms of announcing attendance numbers? Announcing attendance numbers for the year the first week after the year ends doesn't seem unusual to me at least not if they have done that in the past.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011 3:29 PM

Well, I said it tongue in cheek but I admit I'm a bit skeptical about anything they are releasing right now. To be fair, a quick Google search showed that they typically release attendance figures the first week of the year.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011 6:59 PM

The number that I find more interesting on this page is the the jump from 4.1 million to 4.8 million in the Southern Region which saw the addition of approximately $45 million in capital investment. Roughly $65 for each new guest which I think seems like a good return when spread out over the next few years if that increase in patronage stays higher than in the past.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011 8:54 PM

I wonder what they consider the Southern region, KD and Caro, or just Caro? I would imagine both.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011 9:00 PM

^Has to be, since none of the seasonals has pulled in 4M to date....still thinking it's going to be CW that pulls that magic number one of these years...

That being said, the two "Southern" former Paramount Parks were also among the bargains in the PP acquisition since they were/still are potentially growth markets (as borne out by the almost-staggering...15% attendance increase)...

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Thursday, January 6, 2011 9:51 PM

Yeah, NC is the 7 fastest growing state according to the census. Now if Charlotte would just finish building that dang light rail...

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Friday, January 7, 2011 12:23 AM

From CF: "Amusement parks in the Company’s northern region include two in Ohio: Cedar Point, . . . 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."

I assume the breakdown would be something LIKE:
KD: 2.2m
Carowinds: 1.7m
WOF: 900,000

Last edited by Captain Hawkeye, Friday, January 7, 2011 12:24 AM
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Friday, January 7, 2011 12:52 AM

Cedar Fair Management fails again.

Mr. Kinzel and Company reported in the first press release on-park revenues increased 1 percent last year.

In fact on-park revenues DECREASED 1 Percent last year.

Just more difficulty management seems to have with all things financial.

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Saturday, January 8, 2011 11:02 AM

Do they ever issue attendance and profit changes from the individual waterparks that aren't inclusive of any 'sister parks', including...
CP's Soak City (seasonal non-inclusive with CP)
CP's Castaway Bay (year-round/indoor)
GL's Wildwater Kingdom (seasonal/free standing)
????

Do you think they just throw in those stats with their most local amusement park, which in the case of the above 3 would be Cedar Point?

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Saturday, January 8, 2011 12:01 PM

I'm pretty the answer to that is no, they don't break those out. In any case, they're not supplying park-by-park numbers, so those figures would be lumped in with the regional breakdowns of dry parks.

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