Cedar Fair net revenue up 1% through Labor Day, lowers guidance

Posted Thursday, September 4, 2014 10:19 AM | Contributed by Jeff

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

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced that preliminary year-to-date net revenues through Monday, September 1, 2014, were a record $939 million, on attendance of 19.0 million, average in-park guest per capita spending of $45.53 and out-of-park revenues of $96 million.

On a comparable-park basis, excluding a stand-alone water park sold in August 2013, year-to-date net revenues increased 1%, or $12 million. The 1% increase in net revenues is the result of a 3%, or $1.44, increase in average in-park guest per capita spending, offset somewhat by a 1%, or 266,000-visit, decrease in attendance and a $3 million decrease in out-of-park revenues, including resort accommodations.

"We remain pleased with the growth in average in-park guest per capita spending that we have generated through Labor Day across all of our properties," said Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair's president and chief executive officer. "The increase in guest spending has been somewhat offset by lower than expected year-to-date attendance, however, we are encouraged by improved attendance trends in recent weeks. The Great Lakes region, in particular, has been a challenging market for us this year. Unusual summer weather patterns, combined with elongated winter and school calendars earlier in the year, have made it difficult to get a solid read on underlying trends at several of our parks within this region."

Ouimet noted that based on trends through Labor Day, the Company is lowering its earnings guidance. It now expects to generate full-year net revenues between $1.15 billion and $1.17 billion and full-year Adjusted EBITDA between $425 million and $435 million. The Company's previously stated guidance for 2014 was net revenues between $1.16 billion and $1.18 billion and Adjusted EBITDA between $435 million and $445 million.

Ouimet added that several of its parks have made announcements regarding their capital expenditure plans for 2015, including the introduction of Fury325, a world-record breaking roller coaster, at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina. Fury325 will be the centerpiece of a new, eight-acre main entrance plaza, including a state-of-the-art ticketing and season pass processing area and expanded guest services facilities.

Next summer will also mark the debut of the newly-renovated Hotel Breakers. Located along Cedar Point's mile-long beach in Sandusky, Ohio, the historic Hotel Breakers will complete its two-year transformation into the ultimate resort destination. Along with a new exterior, completed last winter, the renovated hotel will have a grand new entrance, newly-furnished and remodeled rooms and many other modern amenities and offerings.

"While 2014 has been a challenging year to this point, we're excited about the opportunities ahead of us, including our increasingly popular Halloween events," continued Ouimet. "We have great confidence in the resilience of our business model, the value of our strategic plan and our ability to successfully implement it. Based on year-to-date results and future expectations, we believe we are well positioned to provide a growing distribution to investors while continuing to invest in the overall guest experience for the foreseeable future."

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

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