Cedar Fair revenue up 5% through July 4

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 that preliminary revenues through the Fourth of July holiday weekend were approximately $456 million, an increase of more than $20 million, or 5%, when compared with the same period a year ago. This period traditionally represents approximately one-third of the Company's full-year revenues.

The higher revenues are a result of a 2% increase in attendance and a 4% increase in average in-park guest per capita spending. Out-of-park revenues, including resort hotels, were also up approximately 2%.

"We are pleased to see these positive trends early in our operating season," said Matt Ouimet, president and chief executive officer. "It is clear we have gained traction on the strategic growth drivers we announced in January. Enhanced guest experiences, improved consumer messaging, dynamic pricing, advance purchase commitments and premium product offerings have all contributed to our strong early-season results. Supported by all of these initiatives, we continue to see our season pass programs grow across all of our properties as the consumers recognize the strong entertainment value these passes represent."

Guests at the Company's parks have responded favorably to the new rides and attractions that have been introduced this year as well. "The 306-foot-tall, 92 mph roller coaster, Leviathan, at Canada's Wonderland and the rebranding and major expansion of the Soak City water park at Kings Island have contributed nicely to our early-season growth in attendance," said Ouimet. "At the same time, premium benefit offerings and improved consumer messaging have resulted in increased guest spending, particularly at Cedar Point and Knott's Berry Farm."

Ouimet 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.

"We will continue to execute and refine our defined initiatives, but are pleased with the positive momentum that has been created thus far. Our new e-commerce platform, with an emphasis on season pass sales and advanced purchase commitments, has created a solid base for our parks to build on as we enter the peak vacation months of July and August," added Ouimet. "With approximately two-thirds of our annual attendance at our parks still to come, we remain confident in our 2012 attendance and revenue targets."

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

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