Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced that preliminary net revenues through Monday, September 5, 2016, increased 2% to a record $1.04 billion compared with $1.02 billion through Labor Day weekend a year ago. As such, the Company expects 2016 to be its seventh consecutive year of record results.
This year-over-year growth was driven by a 1%, or 227,000-visit, increase in attendance to 20.5 million visits; a 1%, or $0.50, increase in average in-park guest per capita spending to $46.71; and a 5%, or approximately $5 million, increase in out-of-park revenues, including resort accommodations, to $114 million.
"We are pleased with our year-to-date results and anticipate our record performance will continue with our extremely popular Halloween events," said Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair's president and chief executive officer. "Our world-class rides and attractions, day-time family focused Halloween activities and the night-time ghoulish transformation of our parks combine to create a compelling, immersive entertainment experience for every member of the family."
More than 40 years ago, Knott's Berry Farm created the concept of frightful fun and it has grown that concept into one of the largest, most immersive events in the amusement park industry – Halloween Haunt. Cedar Fair has spread this frightful fun to all of its parks, and this year, beginning in September, there will be more than 5,000 screamsters, more than 150 mazes and uniquely-themed live entertainment from morning to night across the parks.
"Consumer demand for our entertainment offerings remains strong and we are excited about the growth opportunities ahead of us for the remainder of 2016, as well as over the long term," added Ouimet. "As consumers continue to prioritize experiences over possessions, we believe we are well positioned with our upcoming Halloween events and the expansion of Great America's operating season with the introduction of WinterFest, a new multi-week holiday experience. This immersive new event will feature more than 7 million LED lights, creating such a vibrant experience it will be able to be seen from theInternational Space Station, more than 270 miles away."
Looking ahead, the Company's 2017 capital investment lineup, which includes roller coasters, water park expansions and increased resort offerings, is already receiving national attention; the new Cedar Point Sports Center is almost complete and is actively booking tournaments beginning next March; and Cedar Fair will be expanding the operating season at three more of its parks with the introduction of WinterFest.
Ouimet said the Company remains on track to achieve its FUNforward 2.0 long-term Adjusted EBITDA goal of $500 millionearlier than its original target date of 2018.