Cedar Fair attendance up overall, down by individual parks

Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2002 6:39 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Cedar Fair released its 2001 attendance figures, citing an overall increase of 2% when including the new parks, but a decrease of 3% when Michigan's Adventure and Oasis Water Park are not included. Partnership CEO Richard Kinzel says the numbers are reasonable given "modest" capital improvement and a weak economy.

Read the press release from Cedar Fair.

Wednesday, January 9, 2002 6:40 AM
Look carefully at that Michigan figure... you don't build gigantic rides when you only pull in 400,000 guests per year.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Wednesday, January 9, 2002 6:51 AM
At least they realize that the reason Valleyfair's dropped 8% is because they didn't build anything new for this year.  I wouldn't be suprised to see Valleyfair drop in attendance by 2-4% next year either.  It'll be interesting to see where the park levels out.
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Just wait till next year!
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Wednesday, January 9, 2002 7:35 AM
Actually, VF's second-highest attendance year was a season without a new ride (1998-Galaxy Theater) per the annual reports--so they may have felt they could get away with it.  Interesting factoid.

Still, a drop from 1.2 million visitors to 1.1 million isn't going to send anyone into a panic. Besides, both VF and WOF had profitable seasons, per the 11/01 conference call.

But I was VERY surprised to see CP forego new rides in '01.  I hope they learned their lesson: Don't ever ever ever go without new rides each year again!  Even if it's a spin-and-spue or two...

-'Playa *** This post was edited by CoastaPlaya on 1/9/2002. ***

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Wednesday, January 9, 2002 7:43 AM
Yeah, but the thing is, Cedar Point needs something marketable, and flat rides aren't going to pack them in or be the focus of marketing. Since they built a $25 million ride the year before, I'm not surprised they focused improvements on the campground and Lighthouse Point (which by all accounts was a success).

I think Cedar Point has peaked. I think attendance will range from 3 to 3.5 million every year and not likely go higher or lower.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Wednesday, January 9, 2002 7:46 AM
Attendance isn't the only thing that drives Cedar Fairs profitability. It's actually 60% of  net sales. The rest ( 40% ) comes from food and merchandise sales.  Their capital improvements have little to do with attendance. It's all done by debt financing and leverage.  This article is nothing more than 'another example of statistics being missleading to the public.'

Remember don't believe everything you read.  

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Wednesday, January 9, 2002 8:11 AM
One question....

My memory's a little hazy, so exactly when was the aquisition?

Kinzel said, "We were also pleased with the solid season at our newest park, Michigan's Adventure, which finished the year with post-acquisition attendance of just over 400,000, right in line with our expectations".

To me this reads that they got 400,000 AFTER Cedar Fair acquired them. If the acquisition was mid-year, that means yearly attendance was higher.

Am I barking up a wrong tree here???

Later,
EV
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"Just remember, wherever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Banzai

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Wednesday, January 9, 2002 10:00 AM

Yeah, but the thing is, Cedar Point needs something marketable, and flat rides aren't going to pack them in or be the focus of marketing.


Sure, it might not draw in folks from Japan...but the local yokels (read: Detroiters and Cleveland folk) need a little something, ya know?  Especially if the cap expenditure budget is $13 million, as it was in '01.

To quote Doctor Evil, 'Throw me a (flamin') bone here!'

-'Playa

PS - To answer the question above this post....CF issued a press release that they finalized the purchase and assumed operations of MA June 1st. The actual date may have been a bit earlier. So 400K is a pretty accurate number.


*** This post was edited by CoastaPlaya on 1/9/2002. ***

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Wednesday, January 9, 2002 11:48 AM
Man, 3.5 million is a lot of people for a seasonal park. Anyone stockholders?
Good question, EchoVictor

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Go Full Force

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Wednesday, January 9, 2002 1:51 PM
Hmmm...let's see here.  400,000+ and 1 week prior to the merger(let's safely assume that would be about 5,000 people additional) would make an approximation of 410,000 in attendance for the year.  Compare that with 346,000 from the year prior and we're looking at almost a 16% increase.  Those numbers should undoubltedly rise this year with the additions.  Dorney had a 16% increase with the addition of Talon.  So let's just cut that in half so to speak and add 8% to last season.  If MA doesn't draw roughly 442,800 people this year, could we see this as being a dissappointing year?  With nearly 1 million people living within the Muskegon-Grand Rapids-Holland triangle, this should not be a problem.  With 103 open days this season, the park would have to average 4300 guests per day.  With a little over 400K in attendance last year, that averages out to roughly 3980 guests.  I personally don't see 320 additional guests per day as a problem with the number of additions for the upcoming season.
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Giddy-up
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Wednesday, January 9, 2002 9:19 PM
Memorial Day Weekend was before June 1 and that was decently busy. I could see over 5k in that day.
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Thursday, January 10, 2002 12:29 PM
When I went, probably over 60% of the people inside MA were in the water park.  Even the line for Shivering Timbers was a zero minute wait.  I'd say there were probably 3000 people in the entire park.  There needs to be a good reason for the people to go for something other than Shivering Timbers and the water park.

I think they need to add at least a magnum, a looping steel coaster, and a power tower before any large attendance gains from the Detroit and Chicago areas can be seen.  I'd say if they play their cards right and add a new "ultra" ride every year or two for the next several years more people will be willing to make the 5+ hour drive from Chicago or Detroit and attendence could be around 1 million in 8 to 10 years.

One thing that I think they need to do is start an advertising campaign in the Detroit and Chicago areas.  I had never heard of Michigan's Adventure until about three years ago.  I'm sure 90% of the people in both Detroit and Chicago don't even know it exists.  Any improvements Cedar Fair performs on the park will amount to nothing unless Detroit and Chicago are bombarded by ads for the park.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2002 3:30 AM
This is just my guess, but I think Valleyfair's attandance will be down or steady for this season because we arent getting any new type of ride for 2002. Just wait till 2003 I know it will be are turn!

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8Years working with Cedar Fair and Valleyfair!

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