Highlights: Matt Ouimet on CNBC

Cedar Fair CEO appeared on CNBC this afternoon. He really does come across as a great spokesman for the company in addition to the great work he does in his primary responsibilities. Nothing major or earth shattering came from the appearance, but here are some highlights:

- Memorial Day weekend was the best 3-day weekend in Carowinds' history.

- They have begun marketing "experiences".

- They do not see any correlation between lower gas prices and attendance; however, they do see an increase in in-park spending with lower prices.

- They do not see any significant change in operating costs with the fluctuation in energy prices.

- They have had a little more trouble than normal this year finding the employees they need.

- They do not see any pressure on their business coming from increases in minimum wage.

- When asked what they have to do to keep people coming back he mentioned the "amusement dark" idea and "taller and faster".

Jeff's avatar

I've never understood the argument that gas prices really affect travel. I mean, even if you're burning 50 gallons of gas for a trip, is that $50 extra on dollar-higher gas prices going to keep you home relative to the overall cost of lodging, attractions, etc.?

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

Rick_UK's avatar

I guess the only other issue with fuel is that so many other goods that you're buying in your life go up in price when fuel prices are high.

You guys pay pennies for fuel anyway in comparison to us, don't you?

Nothing to see here. Move along.

bjames's avatar

On the minimum wage point, what do parks usually pay their seasonal employees? I feel like the job requires a little more intelligence and training than a McDonalds burger-flipper, so I would hope most ride operators and such are making more than minimum...

Last edited by bjames,

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

What do park's pay their seasonal employees? As little as they can legally get away with. All you have to do to prove that is look at Ohio's seasonal employee labor codes, which exempts seasonal employees from overtime laws (this also applies to agricultural workers). They can work you twelve hours a day seven days a week and it's all straight time. This isn't the norm in most of the rest of the country, as most operations only pay the states minimum wage rate and if at all possible keep the hours below thirty per work week.

As I recall, Cedar Point pays the seasonal forepersons a few more cents an hour, and the CP& LE engine crews make more as well.

Jeff's avatar

And I say, so what? No one has to take those jobs (and seasonals are not working 84 hours per week). I want to say their rate is around $8.25, but don't quote me on that.

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

I'm not dissing the practice, just stating the facts. Like you said no one is pointing a gun to their heads to take them. Twelve hour days six days a week at CP are not unusual early and late in the season. For the most part the rest of the business tries really hard to keep the hours below the magic 32 hour/week mark. AFAIK the seasonal labor law that Ohio has is unique to that state.

LostKause's avatar

I had my fair share of open to close shifts, six days a week, when I worked at Cedar Point about a decade ago. There was always the "threat" of having to work seven days a week, but I never had the privilege.

I sure would have loved to get overtime with that job. lol

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