Cedar Fair revenue up 4%, attendance up 5%

Posted Wednesday, September 8, 2010 8:10 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an unedited but partial press release. -J]

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today reported that it has continued its strong year-to-date operating performance through the Labor Day weekend.

Through September 5, 2010, revenues increased approximately $32 million, or 4%, to $824 million compared with $792 million a year ago. This continued strong performance is due primarily to attendance increasing 5% to 18.7 million visitors and out-of-park revenues increasing 6% to $87 million when compared with last year. Average in-park guest per capita spending was down 48 cents to $39.28 during this same period. The decrease in the average in-park guest per capita spending is a result of increased season pass sales and a shift in the attendance mix toward season pass visits, typically a lower per capita guest, in the southern and western regions.

“We are pleased with our overall performance this summer,” said Dick Kinzel, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We have experienced solid performances across all of our regions and we are hopeful this will continue as we enter our award winning Halloween season. There continues to be a positive guest response to the new rides and attractions we introduced this year, especially in our southern region where we built two world-class coasters. Strong marketing and pricing initiatives have driven growth, including in our western region where adjustments to our season pass program at Knott’s Berry Farm have been very popular. The northern region has also received favorable responses to promotions offered through our online and social media outlets as well as targeted promotions through our retail partners.”

According to the Company, the parks in the southern region reported a 9%, or $12 million, increase in in-park revenues. This increase was primarily attributable to a 13% increase in attendance, or 444,000 visits, offset somewhat by a 4% decrease in average in-park guest per capita spending. The parks in the northern region increased in-park revenues by 2%, or $10 million, while in-park revenues in the western region increased 3%, or $4 million. The increase in the northern region is a result of a 2% increase in average in-park guest per capita spending and a 1% increase in attendance, or 83,000 visits. In contrast, the western region experienced a more than 10% increase in attendance, or 378,000 visits, offset by a 7% decrease in average in-park guest per capita spending.

“We view our performance to date as further evidence of the underlying strength of our business model and the entertainment value we provide families,” said Kinzel. “Based on this recent performance, coupled with the recent completion of the refinancing of our debt, we remain enthusiastic about the potential value creation, through distributions and debt reduction, for this company over the long term." Kinzel concluded by stating that based on the preliminary August results, the Company reaffirms its current guidance of full-year revenues between $940 million and $965 million and full-year adjusted EBITDA, excluding one-time costs, between $320 million and $340 million.

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

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