Thursday, August 8, 2013

Cedar Fair Posts Solid Earnings + 2014 Ride Hints?

Cedar Fair has released their earnings figures for the second quarter of 2013, and also provided news on how the parks have been doing since the end of June.  To put it shortly, they're on pace to have yet another record year.

In the first six months of 2013 Cedar Fair had record revenues of $403.4 million, up 5%,  a 5% increase in per-cap spending, and a 6% increase in out of park revenues.  Despite selling a water park and combining the Kansas City parks into one, attendance is just slightly down from last year.

Adding July results into the mix still show an increase of 5% as far as revenues are concerned, and if you exclude the sale of Knott's Soak City attendance year to date is actually up 1% to 15 million - a new record.

The company also had a conference call today regarding the results, which included several gems.  One had to do with California's Great America, where CEO Matt Ouimet said that they're looking into plans for the future of the park that they never would have considered before the new 49ers stadium was built.  It sounds like they plan on feeding off of special events at the stadium, perhaps extending that park's season along the way.

He also provided an update on FastPay, the new wristband payment system that has been tested at Dorney Park this year.  He reported that they are very pleased with the results, and that we can expect to see it rolled out at other parks on a "modified basis" in 2014.

Last but totally not least - he made mention of some new attractions that will open at the Cedar Fair parks next year including:

• Family rides at several of the parks
• And "innovating interactive dark ride" that they expect to set new standards in the industry
• Water Park expansions
• Renovations of legacy attractions a la Timber Mountain at Knott's
• An "expansive" set of new live entertainment shows at the parks

So what addition goes where!  There have been some clues along the way, and the rumor mill seems to be on track for at least one of these attractions... that of the dark variety.  Sounds like there probably will not be another coaster aside from Kings Island, however.  Still, the fact that Cedar Fair is actually adding a large scale dark ride is beyond exciting to me and something I've waited for for years.  I can't wait to find out more!