Cedar Fair reposts record revenue through July 4 compared to 2019

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

From the press release:

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and immersive entertainment, today reported preliminary net revenues year-to-date through Monday, July 4, 2022, totaled a record $704 million, up 20%, or $117 million, versus the comparable fiscal period ended Monday, July 8, 2019.

“Through the July 4th holiday weekend, we have continued to generate new highs for in-park per capita spending, as well as drive growth in our out-of-park revenue channels, most notably through our resort properties,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Richard A. Zimmerman. “We are seeing attendance in line with expectations, driven largely by our season passes, which represent more than 60% of our year-to-date attendance, and average attendance per operating day at our legacy parks is pacing ahead of comparable 2019 levels. Our commitment to enhancing and evolving the guest experience continues to produce strong guest spending levels and solid underlying consumer demand, positive indicators as we approach the busiest and most profitable weeks of the season. We are well positioned to continue to drive record performance through the balance of the 2022 season as we expect to pick up a meaningful number of operating days during the second half of the year.”

Given the material impact the coronavirus pandemic had on park operations in 2020 and 2021, year-to-date results through July 4, 2022 are not directly comparable to results for the same periods of the last two years. Total operating days through the July 4th weekend represented approximately 40% of the Company’s projected 2022 full-year operating days of approximately 2,315, which compare to 2,224 operating days in 2019, including approximately 80 additional operating days over the balance of 2022, versus the comparable period in 2019. The Company may adjust future park operating calendars in response to changes in weather, guest demand, labor availability, or other macro factors outside of the Company’s control.

The year-over-year increase in net revenues was driven by a 26%, or $12.13, increase in in-park per capita spending to a record $59.52, and a 20%, or $15 million, increase in out-of-park revenues to $88 million. These gains were offset in part by an attendance variance resulting from a slower recovery within the group sales channel, as well as the impact of 94 fewer operating days at the Company’s legacy parks due to a natural calendar shift and changes in early-season park operating schedules. The calendar shift and impact of group business contributed to a 507,000-visit, or 5%, attendance variance versus the comparable fiscal period in 2019. Overall, year-to-date attendance through the July 4th weekend totaled 10.7 million guests. Despite the recovery shortfall in group business, attendance per operating day at the Company’s legacy parks is up 2% year to date, reflecting the impact of strong demand trends within the season pass channel.

Sales of all-season products, as well as bookings at resort properties, remain strong. Through July 4th, sales of 2022 season passes surpassed three million units for the first time in the Company’s history, representing an increase of $80 million, or 31%, compared to the same period in 2019. Sales of all-season “add-on” products, such as all-season dining and all-season beverage, increased by $26 million, or 55%. Reservations at resort properties continue to pace well ahead of 2019 levels, reflecting the success of strategic investments made over the past several years.

Zimmerman added, “Our strong early-season trends indicate that consumer demand remains healthy and that guests are responding well to the quality and breadth of the entertainment experience we offer. This gives us confidence to push forward with our strategic priorities of investing in our properties to generate continued long-term growth, paying down debt, and reinstating a sustainable and growing distribution for unitholders. We are confident that a strong second half will position us well to make significant progress on these priorities and allow us to continue to enhance our guest experience while strengthening our financial structure and returning capital to unitholders.”

The Company will provide investors with a performance update through the end of July when it announces 2022 second quarter financial results in early August.

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

What is "legacy" parks referring to these days? Seems like an odd term to be throwing around when they haven't really acquired anything recently. Castaway and Sawmill are the only new properties that come to mind. EDIT: I see now "legacy" refers to the non-Schlitterbahn properties which were acquired July 1, 2019.

60% season pass mix is a pretty big increase from even a couple years ago and a huge increase from the Kinzel years, but maybe that's not bad strategy if group sales business is coming back slowly or not at all.

I still worry about downward service and guest satisfaction trends at Cedar Point specifically. Between staffing issues, bad policies/procedures, dodgy weather, etc, I am seeing a lot more negative reports than I used to from there and at some point it will hurt the bottom line even if it takes a while. I have gone on only one trip this year - June 26 evening through 28th morning and it was reasonably good. The perfect weather, moderate crowds, and the new eatery were the highlights. Outside of some hustle I saw in the evening from the Magnum crew, the ride operations were nothing to rave about, but I've seen worse. Most rides seemed to be operating most of the hours of the time I was there. Things definitely do not move like they used to though. Sprite was out in the evening and still the next day at Farmhouse, but on the positive side, I saw an empty ketchup dispenser being attended to and they seemed to be doing a good job of wiping down the tables. Kid had someone tell him he didn't have meal left only to have me go back in with him 2 minutes later with the same pass and not even have any issue whatsoever. So hit or miss across the board I guess.

Last edited by MDOmnis,

-Matt

Jeff's avatar

From what I understand, the pass mix is much lower at CP. Regardless, the improvements to the food world don't cancel out the poor operations. I worry about happy equity, too. I'm in no hurry to come back, especially with my kid's challenges in adapting to suboptimal situations.

They've gotta know, though, right?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

People gotta recreate

janfrederick's avatar

Dumb question: Did they raise prices?


"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Brent Sullivan's avatar

I'm pretty certain they did.

We stayed at Breakers a couple of years ago and I didn't bat an eye at 3 nights. When we went back in June, I honestly couldn't believe at how much it would have cost me for just 2 nights. So, we did the Express Hotel up the road instead.

I don't have my receipt handy for that stay, but I know it's more now for sure.

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