Attendance dropped 79 percent at Six Flags' theme parks in 2020, due to the pandemic closing or limiting operations at parks from coast to coast, the company reported today.
For the full year of 2020, Six Flags reported $357 million in revenue on a total attendance of 6.8 million guests, with a net loss of $423 million and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $231 million. That compares to attendance of 32.8 million visitors, $1.488 billion in revenue and a profit of $179 million in 2019.
On the flip side, Six Flags reported an increase in per capita guest spending in 2020, rising 14 percent from $42.37 to $48.45. That reflected an increase in both admission and in-park spending per capita.
And thanks to drive-through and other special events, all Six Flags parks that were open in December 2019 were able to operate in some capacity in December 2020, which helped the park boost its attendance levels from 35 percent of 2019 levels in the third quarter of 2020 to 51 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.
"I am extremely proud of the way our team members responded in a challenging year. They found innovative ways to safely operate our parks and entertain millions of guests in the face of the pandemic," Six Flags President and CEO Mike Spanos said. "Our focus is to open all of our parks for the 2021 season and be prepared to satisfy the pent-up demand we anticipate for outdoor entertainment close to home.
"We continue to make progress on our transformation plan to modernize the guest experience and operate as a more efficient company, enabled by technology," Spanos said. "We expect the transformation to result in meaningful profit growth once our plan is fully executed and we are back in a more normal operating environment."
Looking ahead to the 2021 season, Six Flags last week announced opening dates for most of its theme parks. The company also generated some buzz when Six Flags Magic Mountain tweeted an image that promised a "spring" opening date "with rides," even though its home Los Angeles County is nowhere near reducing its Covid infection rate to the point where the park would be allowed to reopen its roller coasters and other rides.
But hey, theme parks are in the wishful thinking business, aren't they?
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