Cedar Fair reports net revenue is up 6% through Labor Day

Posted Tuesday, September 3, 2013 8:42 PM | 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 reported that it has continued its strong performance through the Labor Day weekend. In conjunction, the Company has raised its 2013 full-year net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA guidance and remains on track for a fourth-consecutive year of record results.

As of September 1, 2013, year-to-date net revenues increased approximately $51 million, or 6%, to approximately $927 million compared with $876 million a year ago. Driving this year-over-year growth is a 5% increase in average in-park guest per capita spending to $44.10 and a 7% increase in out-of-park revenues to approximately $100 million. Attendance of 19.3 million visits was comparable with the same period a year ago. Excluding Knott's Soak City – San Diego, which was sold in November 2012, attendance increased 1%, or 181,000 visits.

"We are pleased with our strong performance across all aspects of our business," said Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair's president and chief executive officer. "Our continued focus on providing our guests with the 'Best Day of Summer' experience each and every time they visit our parks has led to increases in attendance and average in-park guest per capita spending, as well as higher revenues at our resort properties.

"We are proud of the role we play in providing families and friends with the fun experiences that are so precious these days," added Ouimet. "Further enhancing these memory-making experiences is crucial and we are looking forward to our fall season with expanded thrills at our award-winning Halloween events. This year we will have more monsters than ever on our midways, along with more mazes and more scare zones. We will also be introducing 'Skeleton Key,' a new premium feature at Knott's Berry Farm and Worlds of Fun, which will allow those brave enough to dive deeper into the madness of our mazes to open up secret rooms giving them more gore, fright and backstories.

Ouimet concluded by stating, "We remain confident the positive momentum we have created thus far will continue into our increasingly important fall season as our special events provide an exceptional value proposition for our guests. Based on the strength of our performance to-date and our expectations through the end of the year, we now expect to achieve full-year net revenues between $1.100 billion and $1.125 billion and Adjusted EBITDA between $415 million and $425 million, remaining on track for a fourth consecutive year of record results."

The updated guidance now represents net revenue growth between 3% and 5% and Adjusted EBITDA growth between 6% and 9%. The Company's previously stated guidance for 2013 was net revenues of $1.090 billion and $1.115 billion, up between 2% and 4%, and Adjusted EBITDA between $400 million and $410 million, up between 2% and 5%.

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 9:32 PM

And to think, not so long ago the whole chain was a few obstructionist shareholders away from being sold for a song.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013 10:11 PM

Skeleton Key. That sounds scary!

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Thursday, September 5, 2013 12:03 AM

Skeleton Key. Scary word for upcharge that only certain people will be able to use, most likely similar to the very scary fast lane key.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013 12:35 AM

It's crazy to see how much the Halloween events have exploded in terms of popularity. It seems like it wasn't that long ago when these events weren't packing in the sell-out crowds like they do these days.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013 10:23 AM

It's a double-edged sword for people like me. I love Halloween, it's absolutely my favorite time of year. It's extremely awesome that there's enough of a demand for it that places are expanding their Halloween stuff like crazy, but it also sucks because it's always super packed and I don't get to see it all.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013 11:26 AM

My big problem is time. Halloween is my favorite time to visit the parks (and if you don't go on a Saturday, then crowds are never an issue) but I am also a huge football fan, and go to a fair amount of games. Its always a problem to try and do all the things I want to do in those 6 short weekends. I am hitting more parks for Halloween then Ive ever done before this year though, Cedar Point (for two days,) Disneyland and Knotts (5 and 1 day respectively,) and KI (1 night.)

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Thursday, September 5, 2013 11:47 AM

Fridays, and Sundays during Halloweekends at CP have been gaining in popularity, though. Friday nights are obviously always the best time to go for limited crowds sake, but with half the rides open, the lines can still get long as the season winds down.

Saturday is just a nightmare, most of the time, no matter what time of year you go. You can tell Sunday has been increasing in popularity, because they've started staying open a little later and opening the outdoor haunts.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013 12:24 PM

That is why Im spending 2 days at CP (a Fri Night and then Sunday.) During early entry and up until the point the mazes open I plan on doing coaster marathons, then once the haunts open up I want to hit everyone, then with the time remaining do some night coaster riding. Sunday is clean up day for any ride I missed, redoing my favorite indoor mazes and the day I plan on seeing all the shows.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013 12:27 PM

To me, that sounds like work. :)

I'm not much for marathon riding, unless it's something like BeastBuzz, where I found a really smooth seat so I just sat there, but there are definitely rides I will re-ride if the line is short. I'll only go for 2-3 times, though.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013 12:42 PM

^Thats what I mean, but early on a Sept Friday I fully expect to do 2-3 rides on Gatekeeper, Raptor, MF, and Maverick before the mazes start to open up. As for Halloweekend night ride musts for me, those include Blue Streak, MF, and Magnum.

The only time I can score more then 5+ rides is during coaster events for the most part.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013 1:02 AM

Timber-Rider said:

Skeleton Key. Scary word for upcharge that only certain people will be able to use, most likely similar to the very scary fast lane key.

Sorry to resurrect this one, but the whole Skeleton Key thing seemed to slip right through the discussion.

Was looking at Knott's Haunt tickets and it appears that the Skeleton Key is tied to FrightLane (FastLane) access. Is it available as a separate upcharge at the park or is it really just an additional benefit to the FOL access?

Either way, it's upcharge to the next level. You don't even get to experience 100% of certain attractions unless you have preferred access. Hardcore...and very interesting.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013 6:25 AM

Touchdown said:
...then once the haunts open up I want to hit everyone, then...

Please don't hit everyone. Just go and have a good time.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013 7:11 AM

Amazing how the failure to strike the space bar can completely change the meaning of a sentence.

Fridays at CP used to be perfect, even with limited ride availability because they had most of the marquee attractions opened. I thought Saturdays in the early years of Halloweekends were manageable, but the last few times we went, which was several years ago, the Saturday crowds were outrageous. I'll never forget seeing cars parked in the grass by the toll booth. Makes you want to turn around and go home.

I'm planning a KI visit this coming Saturday, but it'll be for our four-year-old to do the Dino. Alive trick-or-treating and the Howl-O-Palooza at Soak City. I'm betting the crowds for those will probably be pretty bad.

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