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Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

P. 70: Cedar Fair unveils 2022 operating season plans

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And you know what? That's EXACTLY what Cedar Fair wants, and why they bought the park, and why there WON'T be any major capital investments there...

 

I don't buy this argument when Kings Island is closer to Cedar Point than Michigan's Adventure is and they regularly invest in that park.

 

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We hit Michigan's adventure a few weeks back, and the ride side was PACKED! This was the first time I have seen this in a while. The lines for all the major coasters were full.

 

What day of the week did you go? Was it a holiday weekend?

 

 

But I'm still in the camp that says MiA has some great expansion potential. And that they'll get Carowinds' Vortex, a few cans of paint, and floorless trains.

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^ Stranger things have happened. 2019 May be their year. Think about it

What's left?

Valley Fair

Dorney

Worlds of Fun

Michigan's Adventure

Canada's wonderland (they will probably get something)

 

If CW doesn't receive a B&M then maybe yeah MA could in theory could get something!

 

Who knows?

 

What's more likely MA getting a new coaster or Rachel Madow coming out as a Republican?

 

You'd think at some point that the smaller parks will get new coasters. I don't think that CF can just neglect them year over year and expect the masses to keep coming. CW is a different animal because it's in a huge market and they've made major additions there in the past. I would bet that CW gets a major addition in 2019, either a new coaster (it will have been 5 years since Guardian) or the long rumored hotel/resort. I do think 2019 will be a smaller year for CF just because they went so big in 2018. So maybe they just do the hotel/resort at CW and one new coaster at VF or MiA. If Railblazer is a big success at CGA, I could see CF putting it in the other small parks over the next few years.

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And you know what? That's EXACTLY what Cedar Fair wants, and why they bought the park, and why there WON'T be any major capital investments there...

 

I don't buy this argument when Kings Island is closer to Cedar Point than Michigan's Adventure is and they regularly invest in that park.

 

a) Kings Island has nothing to do with Michigan's population, which is the second largest draw for attendance at Cedar Point.

 

and

 

b) Comparing Kings Island to Michigan's Adventure is like comparing Apples to Oranges anyway...

 

Believe me guys... I could write a Doctoral Dissertation on this subject, that is fact based, and VERY persuasive... You can choose not to buy it if you want, but that doesn't make it any less real of a situation...

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  • 3 weeks later...

http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/Peanuts-Worldwide-and-Cedar-Fair-Extend-Peanuts-Licensing-Agreement-to-2025-1002361284

 

Peanuts Worldwide and Cedar Fair Extend Peanuts Licensing Agreement to 2025

Sep. 12, 2017, 06:50 AM

 

HALIFAX, NS--(Marketwired - September 12, 2017) - Peanuts Worldwide, a subsidiary controlled by DHX Media Ltd. (TSX: DHX.A)(TSX: DHX.B)(NASDAQ: DHXM); the family of Charles M. Schulz; and Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, are pleased to announce they have renewed the license agreement to showcase the timeless Peanuts characters, created by Schulz, throughout Cedar Fair's 11 amusement park locations. The new agreement extends Cedar Fair's North American exclusive use of Peanuts in its attractions, entertainment and sports, food and beverage, lodging and retail operations to 2025. An added five-year option, exercisable at Cedar Fair's discretion, brings the potential contract extension to 2030.

 

"On the heels of our recent acquisition of the Peanuts brand, further cementing our relationship with Cedar Fair assures an extensive and continued North American presence in the amusement park arena and guarantees a long-term revenue stream in this category," stated Dana Landry, Chief Executive Officer of DHX Media. "This agreement extension speaks to the enduring appeal of the Peanuts brand, and as a leader in children's content and brands, we value the opportunity to work with Cedar Fair to reach an all-family audience for Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang."

 

Matt Ouimet, Chief Executive Officer, Cedar Fair, said, "The renewed relationship between Cedar Fair and Peanuts Worldwide allows both companies to develop and extend their brands, creating a more immersive experience for guests through meet-and-greets, live entertainment, merchandise and themed areas throughout the parks. With more than half of our parks now offering a free pre-K season pass for children, our continued showcasing of the beloved Peanuts characters underscores our commitment to entertaining young families."

 

"Cedar Fair has been a long-standing and cherished partner to Peanuts, dating back many years to when Camp Snoopy first opened at Knott's Berry Farm in 1983," said Craig Schulz, son of Charles M. Schulz and President and Chief Executive Officer of Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, LLC. "On behalf of my entire family, I look forward to many more years of bringing the joy of my father's characters to the fans in Cedar Fair's parks."

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  • 1 month later...

A nice recap of Matt Ouimet's accomplishemts as he hands the reigns to Richard Zimmerman, since we heard about the Cedar Point boardwalk a few days ago, the only new info in the article is the expectation that Winterfest will be at Canada's Wonderland in 2019.

 

http://www.cleveland.com/travel/index.ssf/2017/10/outgoing_incoming_cedar_fair_c.html

 

Outgoing, incoming Cedar Fair CEOs talk coasters, hotels and hiring

Updated on October 22, 2017 at 8:23 AM Posted on October 22, 2017 at 8:07 AM

By Susan Glaser, The Plain Dealer

sglaser@plaind.com

 

SANDUSKY, Ohio - In his six years at the helm of Cedar Fair, outgoing CEO Matt Ouimet has overseen the development of record-breaking roller coasters and record-breaking revenue.

 

But ask him about his tenure and he doesn't mention rides or money.

 

Instead, he talks about the revitalized Cedar Point beach, renovated Hotel Breakers, the Sports Force Parks at Cedar Point Sports Center and expansion of the Cedar Point Shores waterpark.

 

When he was hired in 2011, the country -- and the company -- were still recovering from a devastating recession. "It was a tough time in the economy, and particularly for Cedar Fair," he said. "We were having some trouble trying to figure out what we wanted to do when we grew up."

 

Safe to say they figured it out: Six years later, the company's flagship park in Sandusky is the centerpiece of a burgeoning resort destination, with a newly expanded waterpark, ferry service to nearby islands, nightly beach activities and more.

 

Coming in 2018: An expanded beach boardwalk that will link the park's main parking lot to the beach, Hotel Breakers and Cedar Point Shores.

 

For the first time, according to Ouimet, the park will market itself beyond its core base of Ohio and Michigan, trying to pull guests from Chicago and beyond.

 

"The changes we've made at Cedar Point will last for decades," said Ouimet, 59, who announced earlier this month that he was stepping down as CEO in January and will return to southern California, where he previously worked as president of Disneyland.

 

He said he is not seeking another full-time job.

 

Ouimet will be succeeded by Richard Zimmerman, current Cedar Fair president and chief operating officer.

 

The two recently answered a few questions at the company's executive offices on the Cedar Point peninsula. Among the topics of conversation: labor force challenges, the success of Fast Lane, WinterFest, shuttered Geauga Lake and the company's relationship with Sandusky.

 

Zimmerman was the head of Kings Dominion in Virginia when Cedar Fair bought Paramount Parks in 2006. "I've been in the live entertainment biz for forever and a day," he said. "That's what gets me up in the morning."

 

He will continue to be based out of Cedar Fair's corporate offices in Charlotte, home of Carowinds amusement park.

 

Ouimet, meanwhile, will continue to play an active role in Cedar Fair's future, filling the new position of executive chairman of the board. "A critical part of my legacy is creating an organization that would thrive after I left," he said. "I think the organization is ready and I'm ready."

 

During Ouimet's tenure, the company - owner of 11 parks, three waterparks and five hotels - saw the value of investor shares nearly triple. The company also posted consecutive years of record revenue and attendance.

 

Chief among Ouimet's achievements, according to industry analyst Jeffrey Thomison, with Hilliard Lyons in Kentucky: Improvements made to the Cedar Point property - including a $50 million renovation to Hotel Breakers - that encourage families to stay on-property longer.

 

"Not only does the park have some major new thrill attractions, but the resort itself has undergone some major improvements," he said.

 

Thomison said he doesn't expect dramatic change under Zimmerman. "Primarily because the new chairman and the new CEO aren't new to the company - they already make a good team," he said.

 

Commitment to the region

 

Sandusky City Manager Eric Wobser praised Ouimet's commitment to the region - citing his advocacy for a healthier Lake Erie; support of a local tax increase in 2014; and ongoing work to develop a hospitality program with Bowling Green State University.

 

Wobser said he had no doubt Zimmerman would maintain that same commitment: "We see them continuing to make significant investments in and outside the park that show how committed they are."

 

Cedar Fair and several regional partners, including the city and Erie County, recently finalized a deal to develop an indoor sports complex just east of Cedar Point. Expected to open in 2019, it will be adjacent to the outdoor facility, Sports Force Parks, which opened earlier this year on the site of an abandoned airport.

 

Zimmerman credited Ouimet's history with Disney company - and that company's successful Wide World of Sports - for the idea. "We will continue to look at other parks for opportunities," said Zimmerman. "This kind of tourism is happening. We can make sure it happens near us."

 

Promoting Ohio

 

Ouimet has also been a strong advocate for tourism more broadly, urging state leaders to increase the marketing of Ohio, bringing it closer to what neighboring states, including Michigan, spend. Lawmakers, several years ago, did increase funding for tourism promotion in Ohio, but Ouimet says more could be done.

 

"We'll continue to make that argument," he said. "I think there remains great opportunity. I have learned over time that you have to be more patient when it comes to the government driving certain initiatives."

 

Hiring challenges

 

Ouimet also has been involved in lobbying for a change in state law that would encourage school districts to start classes after Labor Day -- a change that would make it easier to staff Cedar Point and Kings Island late in the summer. He pointed out that Kings Island is forced to close during the week in late August, in part because so many employees leave to return to school.

 

Ouimet also commented on possible changes in the U.S. State Department's J-1 Visa program, which allows college students from overseas to come to the U.S. to work for the summer. Cedar Point employs thousands of workers every year through the program.

 

Ouimet said lawmakers may need to be educated about the benefits of the program. "I get concerned that it's one of those things that politically could be discussed as a negative," he said. "But I think when people sort through it - they'll see it drives the economy, it doesn't hurt the economy."

 

Zimmerman added that the parks have gotten creative about labor challenges, particularly during the shoulder season, when many parks, including Cedar Point, see their biggest crowds of the year.

 

The company is experimenting with technology to reduce the number of workers required during non-summer months. A new haunted maze at Knott's Berry Farm in southern California, for example, uses interactive technology - and requires only two workers.

 

Extending the park season

 

Another Ouimet initiative: WinterFest, the holiday-themed festival, with rides and entertainment, which debuted last year at California's Great America. This year, WinterFest will expand to three more parks, including Kings Island near Cincinnati.

 

And next year, look for it at Canada's Wonderland in Ontario.

 

What about Cedar Point? "That's the big debate," said Zimmerman. "We're trying to figure out exactly how that would work."

 

Finally, on Geauga Lake:

 

* It was Ouimet's predecessor, Dick Kinzel, who made the decision to shutter Geauga Lake in 2007, three years after Cedar Fair purchased the historic Aurora amusement park. Ouimet, however, closed Wildwater Kingdom, the adjacent outdoor water park on the site of Sea World, in 2016. "If you don't make difficult decisions, you put a company in jeopardy," he said. He did say he regrets that the land hasn't been developed more quickly. "It's proven harder than it should have," he said.

 

And Fast Lane:

 

* It was Ouimet's team that developed Fast Lane, the controversial pass that allows park goers to skip long lines at top attractions for an extra fee. Said Ouimet: "It took me a while to warm up to it. " But he said it's the revenue from the pass that allows Cedar Point and other parks to continue to build bigger and better rides.

 

"You have to realize that those people are paying for Steel Vengeance," he said, referencing the massive new roller coaster that is under construction at Cedar Point.

 

The coaster - a major, much-anticipated remake of the ride formerly known as Mean Streak - will debut in May. It will be one of four new coasters at Cedar Fair parks in 2018 - a final parting gift from Ouimet, and the beginning of the Zimmerman era.

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And you know what? That's EXACTLY what Cedar Fair wants, and why they bought the park, and why there WON'T be any major capital investments there...

 

I don't buy this argument when Kings Island is closer to Cedar Point than Michigan's Adventure is and they regularly invest in that park.

 

a) Kings Island has nothing to do with Michigan's population, which is the second largest draw for attendance at Cedar Point.

 

and

 

b) Comparing Kings Island to Michigan's Adventure is like comparing Apples to Oranges anyway...

 

Believe me guys... I could write a Doctoral Dissertation on this subject, that is fact based, and VERY persuasive... You can choose not to buy it if you want, but that doesn't make it any less real of a situation...

If MiA was such a threat then why didn't they buy it and then close it? Big companies do things like that all the time. Why keep it open? It makes no sense.

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And you know what? That's EXACTLY what Cedar Fair wants, and why they bought the park, and why there WON'T be any major capital investments there...

 

I don't buy this argument when Kings Island is closer to Cedar Point than Michigan's Adventure is and they regularly invest in that park.

 

a) Kings Island has nothing to do with Michigan's population, which is the second largest draw for attendance at Cedar Point.

 

and

 

b) Comparing Kings Island to Michigan's Adventure is like comparing Apples to Oranges anyway...

 

Believe me guys... I could write a Doctoral Dissertation on this subject, that is fact based, and VERY persuasive... You can choose not to buy it if you want, but that doesn't make it any less real of a situation...

If MiA was such a threat then why didn't they buy it and then close it? Big companies do things like that all the time. Why keep it open? It makes no sense.

Because with minimal investment into the park it makes money hand over fist

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^ I think that's the point and disproves that MiA is a threat.

 

Cedar fair bought the park the year MIA was supposed to build a Morgan Hyper. The fear was that if they were going to continue with massive growth that people from Michigan would start going to MIA instead of Cedar Point. Cedar Point pulls massive amounts of people from Lansing, Gr, and even west Michigan. If Michigan had a closer less expensive park why would people drive 6 hours to Cedar Point or Six Flags great America

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^ I think that's the point and disproves that MiA is a threat.

 

Cedar fair bought the park the year MIA was supposed to build a Morgan Hyper. The fear was that if they were going to continue with massive growth that people from Michigan would start going to MIA instead of Cedar Point. Cedar Point pulls massive amounts of people from Lansing, Gr, and even west Michigan. If Michigan had a closer less expensive park why would people drive 6 hours to Cedar Point or Six Flags great America

Why do I drive Silverwood instead Wild Waves? Aftershock?

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^ I think that's the point and disproves that MiA is a threat.

 

It proves that MiA has a strong core base of visitation. What might disprove MiA as being a potential threat is that it could see increases in attendance without drawing away visitation (especially resort visitation) from CP. The last coaster that went in was 9 years ago, and that year CP drew 3.2 million guests, up from 3.12 the year prior. But if resort visits from the area that serves MiA was down (Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Chicago) they may have taken the tact that it continued growth would be indicative of them competing against themselves for the guests who provide the most income. Of course, we have no idea if that is true or not because those numbers have not and will never been made public.

 

Even then, we'd be talking about a single data point from a decade ago. Breakers in 2018 is going to be radically different than Breakers in 2008, and the quality of the resort now likely reflects in higher revenue per night. They're improving that whole resort and making it more of an integrated multi-day destination. Maybe MiA is still competition in that context; I suppose I don't really know. But I tend to think it's moving away from that and being something more akin to the relationship of Six Flags over Georgia and Disney World.

 

It's all a bit irrelevant though because MiA needs a lot more stuff (lights, plumbing, midways, employees) to take that next step than they do right now. Forget building huge new roller coasters: do they have the staff now to run them? It sure looks like they close down the log flume every day so the crew can get a lunch break. That suggests they don't have enough employees to do a standard position rotation.

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  • 2 months later...
Cedar Fair if your out there buy these Titan Max trains fron the now closed Space World for Magnum

Please

 

I honestly prefer the current Arrow trains to those S&S ones, if they’re anything like the ones on El Loco at Adventuredome. I didn’t find them very comfortable at all, especially if they’re on a ride as jerky as Magnum. Just my two cents.

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So you're planning to spam every single thread in any way related to Cedar Point or Space World to tell Cedar Point (via a theme park forum) that this park just closed (as if they weren't aware) and that they should buy some used trains for Magnum that will absolutely cripple it's capacity?

 

... okay then.

Edited by coasterbill
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Cedar Fair if your out there buy these Titan Max trains fron the now closed Space World for Magnum

Please

 

An English teacher would have a field day with this... sentence?

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Seriously though, Magnum XL-200 is a capacity monster. You'd be asking them to cut the total capacity from 108 people down to 48, as Magnum runs 3 trains, 6 cars, 6 people per car vs Titan Max's 2 trains, 6 cars, and 4 people per car. You literally don't have enough cars to fully replace all of the trains on any of the other Arrow hyper coasters, and that includes Phantom's Revenge.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Seriously though, Magnum XL-200 is a capacity monster. You'd be asking them to cut the total capacity from 108 people down to 48, as Magnum runs 3 trains, 6 cars, 6 people per car vs Titan Max's 2 trains, 6 cars, and 4 people per car. You literally don't have enough cars to fully replace all of the trains on any of the other Arrow hyper coasters, and that includes Phantom's Revenge.

 

Bummer, I love Phantom's Revenge trains/restraints.

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  • 5 months later...

As an aside... I used the advanced search feature looking for a Cedar Fair Corporate Discussion thread and somehow found nothing. I feel like it has to exist like it does for SIX and SEAS, so if it does, sorry about that. Edit: Hey look at that... sorry.

 

Anyway...

 

Cedar Fair Reports Revenues Through July 4th Holiday Weekend

 

SANDUSKY, Ohio, July 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and immersive entertainment, today reported preliminary net revenues through July 8, 2018, of approximately $563 million, on 11.1 million guest visits, average in-park per capita spending of $45.87 and out-of-park revenues of $70 million. This period represents approximately 40% of the Company's total operating days for 2018.

 

When compared with the same period a year ago, net revenues were down 2%, or $10 million, the result of a 3%, or 314,000-visit, decrease in attendance. This was partially offset by a 3%, or $2 million, increase in out-of-park revenues, including resort accommodations, and a slight increase in average in-park per capita spending when compared with the same period last year.

 

Cedar Fair's President and CEO Richard Zimmerman said, "We came into this year with a clear focus on enhancing the guest experience and a business plan designed to drive additional attendance, especially in the second half of the year which includes the peak vacation months of July and August and the expansion of our WinterFest events in November and December. Although early-season attendance at our seasonal parks through this past weekend has not met our expectations, we are encouraged by the positive guest response to our new rides and attractions, in particular our new coasters Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point and Hang Time at Knott's Berry Farm. We are also pleased with the growth of in-park guest spending where we are seeing year-over-year increases in food, merchandise and extra charge attractions."

 

Zimmerman noted that the strong attendance and revenue trends that Knott's Berry Farm produced in the first quarter have continued through the July 4th holiday weekend. He also added that Cedar Fair's out-of-park revenues have continued to perform well. "Demand within our resort properties has been very strong, particularly at Cedar Point, where we recently opened a new 158-room tower at the historic Hotel Breakers located on the park's mile-long beach," he said. "We believe this demand will continue as advanced reservations at our resort accommodations for the second half of the year are up when compared with the same period in 2017. The expansion of our resort facilities will be a key driver of increased revenues over the long-term as we open additional hotels adjacent to Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina, in late 2019, and Canada's Wonderland, near Toronto, in 2020."

 

Virtually all of Cedar Fair's revenues from its seasonal amusement parks and water parks are realized during a 130- to 140-day operating period beginning in early May, with the major portion concentrated in the peak vacation months of July and August. In addition, fourth-quarter revenues have grown in recent years with the introduction and expansion of popular events and activities such as Halloween-related attractions and WinterFest celebrations. Only Knott's Berry Farm is open year-round and it operates at its highest level of attendance in the fiscal third quarter.

 

"We believe the positive guest response to our new attractions and offerings, as emphasized by this year's high guest satisfaction ratings, combined with the continued growth in advance purchases and lengthened seasons at many of our parks, will provide the momentum needed to increase attendance and drive additional guest spending in the second half of the year," added Zimmerman. He also noted that the Company anticipates 2018 full-year net revenues to be in the range of $1.34 billion and $1.38 billion, and full-year Adjusted EBITDA1 to be in the range of $475 million to $495 million.

 

"Although we've seen some early-season margin compression as a result of the attendance shortfalls and previously discussed labor cost pressure, our long-term strategy continues to produce a significant amount of free cash flow. As such, we remain committed to a steady 4% increase in our annual distribution rate going forward," concluded Zimmerman.

 

The Company will provide additional information regarding net revenues, operating costs and cash flows when it announces second-quarter results on Wednesday, August 1, 2018...

- PR Newswire

 

====================

 

So yeah, this is bad. These are YTD numbers, not Q2 numbers so you can't blame an Easter shift or anything like that (though it's not as big of a factor for Cedar Fair as it is for Disney, Universal and Busch/SeaWorld anyway given the seasonal nature of most of their parks). Obviously Q3 is the one to watch, but this period represents approximately 40% of the Company's total operating days for 2018. They spent a ton of money on new attractions this year, so these numbers are pretty surprising.

 

As a result, their stock prices are tanking hard, hitting a one year low this morning...

notfun.png.0277467839c24e27a7ee50053ec5c83f.png

Down 8% as of 10AM... which is ridiculous

 

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 sure people will happily inject politics and/or everything they don't like about the parks into the discussion (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).

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