Cedar Fair revenue up 2% through the holiday weekend

Posted | 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 reported revenues through the Fourth of July holiday weekend were approximately $372 million, an increase of 2% when compared with the same period a year ago. This period traditionally represents approximately 35% of the Company’s full-year revenues. During this same period, both attendance and average in-park guest per capita spending increased slightly, while out-of-park revenues, including its resort hotels, were up approximately 3%.

“While it’s still early in our important summer season, we are quite pleased with these positive trends,” said Dick Kinzel, chief executive officer. “So far this summer, our western region parks have seen an approximately 8% increase in revenues on a year-over-year basis, while revenues at our northern and southern region parks remain comparable to this time last year.”

Kinzel mentioned that guests at the parks have responded favorably to the new rides, attractions and marketing initiatives that have been introduced this year. “Our new 301-foot-tall swing ride, WindSeeker, recently debuted to rave reviews at Cedar Point, Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island, while the introduction of Planet Snoopy at Dorney Park, Worlds of Fun and Valleyfair has proven to be popular with families,” said Kinzel. “Similarly, our continued marketing efforts at Knott’s Berry Farm and new programs at California’s Great America and Valleyfair have clearly been effective at attracting guests early in the season.

“Likewise, we achieved strong and favorable customer response from the various special events at our parks this past weekend, including military promotions and fireworks,” said Kinzel. “With additional special events scheduled for this summer, plus our strong market position as the affordable alternative to a week-long family vacation, we are optimistic that families who are choosing to stay closer to home this summer will take further advantage of our unique and attractively priced offerings.”

Kinzel noted that virtually all of Cedar Fair’s revenues from its seasonal amusement parks and water parks are realized during a 130 to 140-day operating period beginning in early May, with the majority concentrated in the peak vacation months of July and August. The third quarter of the year also historically has been the busiest for the Company’s two parks that are open year-round, Knott’s Berry Farm and Castaway Bay.

“As we head into our peak season, we feel very good about the momentum we continue to build for the business and believe our 2011 growth goals of revenues between $975 million to $1.0 billion and full-year adjusted EBITDA in the range of $350 million to $370 million are attainable,” said Kinzel. “We will provide additional information regarding revenues, operating costs and cashflows as we finalize our second-quarter financial results, which are expected to be completed by the first week in August.”

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

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