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Published: Friday, 9/5/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

Cedar Fair’s net revenue rises to record $939M

Rise occurs despite slight drop in attendance at parks, hotels

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Cedar Fair, the parent owner of Cedar Point, posted record revenue. Cedar Fair, the parent owner of Cedar Point, posted record revenue.
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SANDUSKY — Cedar Fair LP, the parent company of Cedar Point and 10 other amusement parks, said Thursday that its net revenues rose $12 million, or 1 percent, to a record $939 million through its primary operating season, which began in May and ended Sept. 1.

However, the amusement park chain, which also operates four water parks and five hotels, said that overall attendance at its properties fell by 1 percent during the season and it also suffered a $3 million decrease in out-of-park revenues, which includes stays at its resorts.

As a result, the company said that it had lowered its full-year earnings forecast to net revenues of between $1.15 billion and $1.17 billion, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, or EBITDA, to between $425 million and $435 million.

Earlier, Cedar Fair said it had expected net revenues to fall between $1.16 billion and $1.18 billion, and EBITDA to be between $435 million and $445 million.

In trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Cedar Fair shares fell $1.07 to close at $47.43.

The company said it did have a 3 percent increase in average in-park guest per capita spending, to $45.53 per person, adding that the increase largely was responsible for the rise in net revenues. It also helped offset the fall in attendance to 19 million, which was down by 266,000 visits, and the drop in out-of-park revenues, which totaled $96 million.

“We remain pleased with the growth in average in-park guest per capita spending that we have generated through Labor Day across all of our properties,” Cedar Fair president and chief executive officer Matt Ouimet said in a statement. “The increase in guest spending has been somewhat offset by lower than expected year-to-date attendance, however, we are encouraged by improved attendance trends in recent weeks. The Great Lakes region, in particular, has been a challenging market for us this year. Unusual summer weather patterns, combined with elongated winter and school calendars earlier in the year, have made it difficult to get a solid read on underlying trends at several of our parks within this region.”

Cedar Fair was hurt this year by unexpected flooding at two of its parks.

At its flagship Cedar Point park, from which the company derives a significant source of income, a water main break closed the Sandusky park for a weekend in early June right when most schools had closed for summer vacation.

The company also experienced partial flooding the last week of June at its Valleyfair Park near Minneapolis.

The out-of-park revenues drop occurred while Cedar Fair was in the midst of its two-year renovation of its historic Hotel Breakers at Cedar Point. The renovation will be completed by next season and will include a new entrance, remodeled rooms, and new amenities and other offerings.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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