Seasonal parks vs. Year-round.... Profit-wise

Saturday, October 15, 2005 8:46 AM
Hey guys, I'm sure it depends on the specific parks, but I guess my basic wonderment is this:

Can a seasonal park generate as much profit (obviously not as much revenue) as a year-round park? When I see parks like Cedar Point investing 25 milion in a coaster (which, of course they know what they're doing and all that), I can't help but think about how it just sits there for the 7ish month offseason. I guess the 'kicker' here is the fact that they don't have to pay an operating staff during that time.

Do any of you have any thoughts or info on the topic?

Who, generally (seasonal or year-round), is turning a better profit?

Saturday, October 15, 2005 8:51 AM
This seems like apples and oranges to me.

Cedar Point is the most profitable park in the chain, but Knott's isn't doing bad, either. Also, there's more to parks than just the park. CP just added Castaway Bay to help generate more year-round revenue/profit.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 10:50 AM
The first thing that pops to mind is the fact that year round parks do not have to rehire a good portion of their workforce every year.They may and probably do cut hours over the slow period but most of the workers stay at year round parks.

I have also been to Wild Adventures (the first weekend this year) when the employee's outnumbered the guests.I kept joking with the ride ops that they should just walk with us and that way they could operate the rides we were at.

I suspect it has more to do with the weather in the North that keeps some of them from being year round.Of course SFOG and SFNO could also stay open year round (or weekend operation) and they do not.

Most if not all year round parks make most of their profit at Christmas break when the number of parks open is less (Disney has to turn people away because they reach capacity at WDW)


P.S.About Cedar Point running coasters when it is that cold out would cause frostbite to riders and severe maintence problems (roadwheels would come apart)

*** Edited 10/15/2005 2:53:28 PM UTC by kevin38*** *** Edited 10/15/2005 2:54:11 PM UTC by kevin38***

Saturday, October 15, 2005 7:40 PM
Let's add it up.
A large park like CP would draw about a average of 15,000 per day in the main season.

25.00 average of what each guest will spend incluid season passholders which takes away a bit from the General addmission and coupons which do the same.
375,000 per day

Cedar point could pay for MF or TDD in only 56 days of operation. Spread that over a couple years and its not that big of a investment as you need probably 60 operating days to cover expenses.

Chuck, who practices Fuzzy math but it's a start.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 11:35 PM
Well, the seasonal parks don't have much of a choice about it. Although most parks have been trying to extend their seasons as much as possible. Used to be most parks opened between Memorial and Labor Day weekends. That's only 14 weeks and a couple of days.

It's only been relatively recently-- I mean 20 years or so-- that seasonal parks have been extending hours into the beginning of May and the end of September. Halloween events are even more recent than that.

On the other hand, even most year round parks have dry periods where they cut back operations greatly, with kids being in school and most adults not taking vacation during fall and winter. I'd say only the Disney parks can maintain a large steady flow of customers year round.

That being said, if profit "rates" remained the same, or even dropped a bit, the amount of pure profit obviously increases with an increase in revenue. Would you rather have 10 percent of 1 million, or 8 percent of 1.5 million? 10 percent of 1.5 million is a no-brainer.

Sunday, October 16, 2005 7:38 PM
Wouldn't a seasonal park that gets 3 million visitors save a lot more in operating costs than a year round park that gets the same 3 million over a longer period of time?
Monday, October 17, 2005 8:21 AM
Not necessarily. It depends what those operating costs entail. Even assuming same pay rates, if the seasonal park has 1200 employees and the year-round has 1000 (because the 3 million guests are spread out, not as many come on one day) then that kinda offsets it a bit. Also, I'm no insurance expert, but I would think that the insurance premiums against things like vandalism would be higher for the seasonal park because there are more people per day in the park.

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