Friday, September 14, 2007

Cedar Fair Financial Update

Last night the company put out a press release about their operating results up to the end of Labor Day.

Basically, there's no big news to share. Revenues are up slightly, and attendance is down on increased per-caps overall.

What does this mean: Simply put, less people are visiting but we're milking more money out of those that do, so we've made more money overall. It sorta keeps the investing community happy.

While that's fine, it can't last. You can't keep moving up soft drink prices much further to make up continued losses at the gate attendance-wise. I know they said that a lot of the attendance loss is from not giving out comp tickets like Paramount used to, and charging more for season passes thus selling less, but this is a multi-year issue.

I'd diversify and put even more energy into the resort/hotel side of things, and make it clear that they understand that the parks are mature and most won't see attendance growth of any real substance. It'll fluctuate each year but now it's time to use all those bodies that come out to visit in additional ways ... like hotel visits, entertainment, what about even outside dining?

Mr. Kinzel also spoke of Behemoth at Canada's Wonderland, saying that it'll cost $21 million (different than the ride's press info) and that this type of ride ("thrill ride") is "something we hope to introduce at the newly acquired parks over the next several years."

Start those Hyper rumors for the other former Paramount Parks now!