Six Flags this morning reported a 19% decline in attendance for the second quarter of 2021 compared with the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.
Attendance for the three month period ending July 4, 2021 was 8.5 million guests, a decrease of 2.0 million compared to second quarter of 2019, which ended on June 30 that year, so it did not include the July 4 holiday.
On the revenue side, Six Flags reported $460 million in total revenue for the quarter, down 4% from the comparable period in 2019. The decline was softened by a 23% increase in guest spending per capita, with Six Flags reporting $51.94 guest spend in 2021 compared with $42.27 in 2019.
In its press release, the company explained the per capita growth: "Most 2021 season passes have been sold later in the season than in 2019, resulting in season pass revenue being recognized over a shorter time frame and higher Admissions spending per capita. The increase in In-park spending per capita was due to early progress on several of the company’s transformation initiatives and strong consumer spending trends."
"Our results this quarter are due to the dedication of our team members, who really pulled together to safely reopen our parks," Six Flags President and CEO Mike Spanos said. "While the operating environment continues to be challenging, we are encouraged by the initial progress on our transformation plan, which contributed to our improving revenue and guest spending per capita trends. Our goal is to delight both our guests and our shareholders by providing classic Six Flags thrills, enhanced with modern technology, while keeping a careful eye on costs."
The result was a net income of $71 million for the quarter, down over 10% from the second quarter of 2019, but a substantial improvement over the $137 million loss the company posted during the same period in 2020.
Six Flags reported an "Active Pass Base" of 6.3 million at the end of second quarter 2021, including included 2.1 million members and 4.2 million traditional season pass holders. As of June 30, 2021, Six Flags' Active Pass Base was essentially flat compared to June 30, 2019, the company said. When the pandemic hit and parks closed, Six Flags extended the use of all 2020 season passes through the end of 2021.
About 64% of visits in the second quarter came from the active pass base, compared with 61% of visits in the same quarter in 2019, which reflected a sharp decline in prebooked single-day ticket sales that typically include many school groups, who have not been visiting in 2021, company officials said.
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