Operating results for the first quarter include normal off-season operating, maintenance and administrative expenses at the Partnership’s seasonal amusement and water parks, and daily operations at Knott’s Berry Farm, Castaway Bay and Star Trek: The Experience. On a combined basis, the operating loss for the first quarter increased to $50.9 million from $27.7 million in 2006, reflecting the first quarter pre-season operating costs of the newly acquired parks. Cash operating costs were $76.5 million versus $48.2 million in the prior year, while interest expense totaled $33.4 million, up from $7.2 million a year ago. The increased interest expense primarily reflects higher borrowings required to fund the Paramount Parks acquisition.
Excluding effects of the acquisition, Cedar Fair’s first-quarter results on a same-park basis improved from the same period a year ago. For the first quarter, same-park net revenues increased 7%, to $25.5 million, due to improved per capita spending and attendance at our Western Region parks in the quarter.
On a same-park basis, the first quarter operating loss was $25.1 million, or 9% lower than the same period last year. Cash operating costs were 2% lower at $47.1 million, reflecting our continued focus on controlling expenses during the off-season. This decrease was somewhat offset by increased operating costs at our Western Region parks due in part to the increase in attendance at those parks.
Read the press release from Cedar Fair.