Cedar Fair attendance up 7.8% to 22.8 million in 2010

Posted | Contributed by Rick_UK

[Ed. note: The following is an excerpt of a press release. -J]

Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, announced today that attendance at its 17 locations totaled 22.8 million guests in 2010, up 7.8%, or 1.7 million visits from the Company’s total attendance of 21.1 million in 2009.

“We saw strong gains in attendance in all regions throughout the year, including significant improvements in season pass visits and group sales, as our aggressive marketing efforts and investments in new attractions drew increasing numbers of guests to our parks,” said Dick Kinzel, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Through these efforts, we have been able to leverage the growing popularity of our parks and successfully navigate through a very challenging economic period by continuing to offer guests a best-in-class experience.”

Attendance at Cedar Fair’s northern region parks, which include Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio and Canada’s Wonderland near Toronto, increased 3.7% to 12.7 million guests in 2010 compared with 12.2 million in 2009. The Company’s southern region parks entertained 4.8 million guests in 2010, up 17.9% from 4.1 million a year ago. Its western region parks hosted 5.3 million guests in 2010 versus 4.8 million guests in 2009, for an increase of 9.7%. Average in-park guest per capita spending in 2010 decreased approximately 1% from the prior year.

“The record attendance is the latest highlight of what has been an outstanding year for Cedar Fair,” Kinzel continued. “In July 2010, we completed the refinancing of our debt to create a capital structure with a stronger balance sheet and provide the flexibility to take advantage of further value-creating growth opportunities. In addition, under the new financing agreement, we were able to reinstate the cash distribution to unitholders in December 2010, after the distribution had been suspended for a year due to covenants within the prior credit agreement. As we look ahead to the 2011 season, we will continue to focus on adding value to the guest experience while maintaining our commitment to delivering excellent value to our unitholders, including growing the distribution.”

The Company plans to issue a news release and host a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, to discuss 2010 fourth-quarter and full-year earnings results. The Company’s 2010 year-end tax information will be processed and mailed to unitholders at the beginning of March 2011. The same tax information will be available to unitholders through the Investor Relations section of the Company’s corporate website (www.cedarfair.com) beginning February 28, 2011.

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

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