Cedar Fair rings closing bell of NYSE, reports 1% increase in early-season revenue

Posted Thursday, July 3, 2014 9:45 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 hosted the New York Stock Exchange Closing Bell ceremony at its flagship park, Cedar Point, in Sandusky, Ohio. Cedar Fair’s president and chief executive officer, Matt Ouimet, kicked off the summer season as he rang The Closing Bell amidst a celebration at the park’s front gate plaza.

“We are very pleased to be able to celebrate the start of summer here at Cedar Point with the NYSE, our employees, our investors and our guests,” said Ouimet. “It is an honor that the NYSE has chosen to bring Wall Street to the shores of Lake Erie to celebrate FUN. While we have completed only one-third of our operating days so far this year, the early-season guest reaction to our new attractions and entertainment offerings has been extremely positive. The combination of innovative new offerings along with long-standing guest favorites ensures we deliver the ‘Best-Day-of-Summer’ experience our guests have come to expect from Cedar Fair.

“As we look forward to the peak vacation months of July and August, we remain confident that we are poised to achieve our fifth consecutive year of record results,” Ouimet continued. “Our season pass sales and group event bookings continue to be favorable when compared with the same period a year ago and our average in-park guest per capita spending continues to grow consistent with our long-term strategy expectations. These positive trends are a direct result of our value-creating strategies which place a particularly strong emphasis on protecting and enhancing the value of the overall guest experience.”

Ouimet stated that early-season revenue trends were positive through this past Sunday, June 29, 2014 – up approximately 1% on a comparable-park basis. The increase in average in-park guest per capita spending was somewhat offset by decreases in attendance and out-of-park revenues. Based on these early-season results and the positive trends in season pass sales and group event bookings, the Company reaffirmed its 2014 full-year guidance. It expects to achieve net revenues in the range of $1.16 billion to $1.19 billion and Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $435 million to $450 million. The Company also remains on track to achieve its FUNforward long-term growth goal of $450 million in Adjusted EBITDA at least one, if not two years, earlier than its original target of 2016.

“We continue to believe in the strength of our business model, our long-term strategy, our high-quality assets and our employees. We are confident we will continue to deliver exceptional value to our guests and, in turn, to our investors,” concluded Ouimet.

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair. Also: See Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet talk to Bloomberg about the company.

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Thursday, July 3, 2014 11:58 PM

1% increase in revenue thus far is pretty impressive, considering CP lost an entire weekend. And VF having flood trouble. And didn't KI have to close due to power outages? This company continues to impress me. I wish my wife would've listened to me and not dumped our FUN stock when they discontinued the dividend a few years back.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014 11:43 AM

1% is far from impressive.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014 12:30 PM

...but hey, at least it wasn't a loss.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014 5:11 PM

It is impressive when you consider all the roadblocks they've faced this year (as I mentioned above).

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Monday, July 7, 2014 9:00 AM

CP has definitely looked/felt less crowded this year than last - at least from the three weekends I've been there and from a few other people I've heard from. I suspect some of the Ohio crowd is hitting Kings Island instead though so the money might all be coming in one way or another.

With the season meal plan and the souvenir cup (which now do have a $5 all day refill option too), they've probably already extracted more money out of me than they have in the past because they are offering me better value than in the past. We will use the crap out of the meal plan so they won't make a ton off of that, but it's money they probably wouldn't have gotten from me otherwise. Same thing with the fry deal they brought back just a few weeks ago. For what costs them probably a buck or two at most in fries/drink, they get 8 bucks out of my wallet that they'd never have gotten in the past because although "people gotta eat," cheapskates like me can go eat at Chet and Matts if the value in the park isn't there.

The statement about "protecting and enhancing the guest experience" is evidenced in some of the the things they've been doing that I think will pay dividends in long term customer loyalty and increased per cap numbers.

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Monday, July 7, 2014 9:03 AM

I don't think chasing attendance is a viable strategy for any large established park, so per capita spending is where the growth is. Even though some of the pricing is still entirely too high (especially for soda), I freely admit that as a passholder, likely to spend the least per visit, I'm a little more liberal with it just because of the 10% across the board discount. That "feels" better.

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Monday, July 7, 2014 10:42 AM

Honestly, for me, the 10% across the board isn't enough to make me pull out my wallet and buy food at CP, but some of the other deals they have like the $5 all day drinks with the cup or the chili cheese fry deal for $7 something that gets me two things of fries and two drinks doesn't feel like a bad deal to me so I do it every now and then when I probably would not otherwise. The simplicity of just a percentage off is nice so you don't have to remember the offerings, but the prices are high enough to begin with that it doesn't really entice me.

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