Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

P. 143: CF releases 2018 mid-year figures
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Re: Cedar Fair revenues down through July 4th

Postby A.J. » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:29 am

coasterbill wrote:(ie: "It's because they took the chicken tender and gravy wrap off the dining plan" or "It's because Valravn is developing a rattle", but it's actually really hard to come up with anything reasonable to explain this).

The Valravn rattle is EXACTLY the problem. No theorizing needed. :lmao:

It IS fascinating that even though less people are going to the parks, those same people are actually spending more money throughout their day.

I'm going through the TEA Theme Index right now. Interesting (estimated / approximated) attendance trends from 2014 to 2017...

Knott's Berry Farm had a 5% increase, then a 3.8% increase, then only a 0.5% increase.
Canada's Wonderland had a 2% increase, then a 2.9% increase, then only a 1% increase.
Cedar Point had an 8% increase, then a 2.8% increase, then stayed even.
Kings Island had a 3% increase, then a 1.5% increase, then a 2.5% increase.

Across the top performers of chain you can see that the increases in attendance year over year are kind of shrinking. But that's happening with other coaster parks too. The top-performing Six Flags parks are going through those same sort of "increase decreases". Hersheypark is experiencing the same sort of stuff too, but they're just one park.

EDIT: Based on those trends I don't think that a "travel anywhere but the United States" mentality is what's going on here...yet.
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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread

Postby CoasterAuditor » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:33 am

Yikes that is not great. Glad I don't have any FUN in my 401k right now. Item of note the CEO mentioned they were "pleased" with guest response to "particularly Steel Vengeance and HangTime" but not Twisted Timbers. Probably means nothing in the long run honestly but interesting to me in the least. Guess Twisted Timbers may not be having the impact on KDs attendance they were hoping for.
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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:43 am

CoasterAuditor wrote:Yikes that is not great. Glad I don't have any FUN in my 401k right now. Item of note the CEO mentioned they were "pleased" with guest response to "particularly Steel Vengeance and HangTime" but not Twisted Timbers. Probably means nothing in the long run honestly but interesting to me in the least. Guess Twisted Timbers may not be having the impact on KDs attendance they were hoping for.


I wouldn't read that far into that. Honestly, if anything I feel like those two parks aren't performing as well as they would like them to so they're justifying their investments by talking about guest satisfaction which investors frankly don't care about. The implication is that attendance will increase over time due to those investments thanks to word of mouth because of the positive guest feedback, but that's not an easy thing to measure.

Kings Dominion will likely have the biggest attendance jump in the chain this year anyway since they're going to add about 25 operating days to the calendar.

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Re: Cedar Fair revenues down through July 4th

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:49 am

A.J. wrote:
coasterbill wrote:(ie: "It's because they took the chicken tender and gravy wrap off the dining plan" or "It's because Valravn is developing a rattle", but it's actually really hard to come up with anything reasonable to explain this).

The Valravn rattle is EXACTLY the problem. No theorizing needed. :lmao:

It IS fascinating that even though less people are going to the parks, those same people are actually spending more money throughout their day.

I'm going through the TEA Theme Index right now. Interesting (estimated / approximated) attendance trends from 2014 to 2017...

Knott's Berry Farm had a 5% increase, then a 3.8% increase, then only a 0.5% increase.
Canada's Wonderland had a 2% increase, then a 2.9% increase, then only a 1% increase.
Cedar Point had an 8% increase, then a 2.8% increase, then stayed even.
Kings Island had a 3% increase, then a 1.5% increase, then a 2.5% increase.

Across the top performers of chain you can see that the increases in attendance year over year are kind of shrinking. But that's happening with other coaster parks too. The top-performing Six Flags parks are going through those same sort of "increase decreases". Hersheypark is experiencing the same sort of stuff too, but they're just one park.

EDIT: Based on those trends I don't think that a "travel anywhere but the United States" mentality is what's going on here...yet.

This is a good point, and iirc, didn't SIX say last year that they expected attendance to level off, and that was the primary driver for the higher tier memberships? Even if I do remember that correctly, it could be unique to SIX and not impact FUN, or it could be affecting both of them, or all seasonal parks, or all parks. We don't have a whole lot of data yet.

This really could be just due to the Great Recession. A lot of people, ourselves included, reduced spending from 2009-13 when it impacted us most, then when the economy recovered and good jobs were available again, the first thing we wanted to do was go on a vacation and feel like life was back to normal. That would explain the rapid increase in attendance that is now leveling off because the people who want to go to a CF park are now already doing so.
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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread

Postby RCjunkie » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:02 am

CP's attendance drop is all due to vengeful Mean Streak fanboys boycotting the park because of SV replacing it. You read it here first. ;)

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Re: Cedar Fair revenues down through July 4th

Postby A.J. » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:10 am

ytterbiumanalyst wrote:This really could be just due to the Great Recession. A lot of people, ourselves included, reduced spending from 2009-13 when it impacted us most, then when the economy recovered and good jobs were available again, the first thing we wanted to do was go on a vacation and feel like life was back to normal. That would explain the rapid increase in attendance that is now leveling off because the people who want to go to a CF park are now already doing so.

When you go back to including the 2013 season, you would appear to be on the right track. According to the Theme Index, both Cedar Point and Canada's Wonderland were actually down in attendance in 2014 compared to 2013, -4% and -1% respectively. Kings Island was up 1% and Knott's Berry Farm broke even.
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Re: Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:14 am

To be fair, Cedar Point added Gatekeeper in 2013 and 2 family rides in 2014 and Kings Island added Banshee in 2014 which could explain the numbers for those 2 parks. The other parks are probably better gauges.

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Re: Cedar Fair revenues down through July 4th

Postby Doppel Looping » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:00 pm

A.J. wrote:



EDIT: Based on those trends I don't think that a "travel anywhere but the United States" mentality is what's going on here...yet.


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We get to go to france for vacation this year. As a bonus we are going to amigoland to ride one of the few Jumbo jets still in operation. ( and the food and drink are better there too. )

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Re: Cedar Fair revenues down through July 4th

Postby AndrewRnR » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:32 pm

coasterbill wrote:I've got to admit, I have very few theories on what's going on here and it doesn't seem like the chain does either. The economy is good... gas prices are up a tiny bit but it's not all that significant. I don't know, but thee numbers are very unexpected (as evidenced by the reaction on Wall Street).


I'm actually surprised at the reaction to Wall Street as I don't see as much concern as Wall Street and some fans think. Here's why:

- They are wrapping on a very strong Q1/Q2 in 2017. They stated Kings Island had record April and May last year in prior earnings call. Without a new ride it will be tough to wrap on that. Sure you had new ride at KD for the whole quarter but it had problems and bad press. And KD doesn't do the numbers KI does.
- RailBlazer just opened.
- Weather. Yeah, its the "easy" excuse. But let's not forget the horrible cold & wet start to season Kings Dominion had. I believe there was some earlier closings in there due to that. Same with Carowinds and Kings Island in April. Also, Memorial Day was quite rainy for a better part of the east coast.
- Not wrapping on same for same hotels. Sandcastle Suites is gone. Sure last year Breakers was missing the smaller Bon Air wing, but not have 170+ rooms at CP suites prices does hurt the bottom line. I believe average daily rate was around 200-400 a room vs. Bon Air which was usually under 200/250.
- Steel Vengeance. The crash, the closures, the issues, etc were all over the news in the core markets. Detroit TV stations were even running stories the one day it closed for testing in late May. But mainly I think it pushed people to later in season. Also look at the Frontier Hoedown they did. That likely didn't count as gate clicks - if you didn't have the event that's probably 10-15k more in attendance you would've saw in the first few weeks. I know several people with passes that went to that, then didn't go again for another month or so. Also, you lost all that easy FastLane+ revenue for a few weeks.

Someday I'd love to try to do a deep dive into the impact of sports team on attendance. No surprise one of the best years for regional parks was '94 when MLB was on strike. May seem like a stretch to say KD and CP lost entertainment dollars (or even days from people wanting to stay home and watch games) due to playoff runs.

A.J. wrote:I'm going through the TEA Theme Index right now. Interesting (estimated / approximated) attendance trends from 2014 to 2017...

Knott's Berry Farm had a 5% increase, then a 3.8% increase, then only a 0.5% increase.
Canada's Wonderland had a 2% increase, then a 2.9% increase, then only a 1% increase.
Cedar Point had an 8% increase, then a 2.8% increase, then stayed even.
Kings Island had a 3% increase, then a 1.5% increase, then a 2.5% increase.


Kings Island's GM confirmed last year's number was much higher than what was reported by TEA. I believe by about 300k - 2017 was their best year since the record year like 20 years back (again according to the GM).

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Re: Cedar Fair revenues down through July 4th

Postby A.J. » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:31 am

AndrewRnR wrote:Kings Island's GM confirmed last year's number was much higher than what was reported by TEA. I believe by about 300k - 2017 was their best year since the record year like 20 years back (again according to the GM).

That would mean an 11.4% increase in attendance if the 300,000 number is accurate. Fascinating. They should submit that info, the TEA makes a few revisions to the Theme Index over the course of the year.
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