Cedar Fair posted record revenue of $843 million in the third quarter of 2022, up 12% from the same period one year ago, the company said today. Attendance was up at the amusement park chain in 2022, though the number of visitors still has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels from 2019.
Cedar Fair reported 12.3 million visitors in the three month period ending September 25, 2022 - up from just under 10.8 million in the same period in 2021 but down from 13.2 million visitors in the same period in 2019. For the year to date, Cedar Fair's parks have welcomed a combined 21.6 million visitors. Cedar Fair's parks include Knott's Berry Farm, Cedar Point, Canada's Wonderland, and Kings Island.
Higher guest spending helped drive Cedar Fair's rising attendance to record revenue, with in-park per capita spending rising to $62.62. Higher costs for labor and goods sold were partially offset by a $155 million gain on the sale of the land at California’s Great America. The park announced in June that it had sold the Bay Area property for approximately $310 million and planned to lease it back for up to 11 years before closing the park. [See Cedar Fair Plans California Theme Park Closure.]
"We are poised to deliver the best year in Cedar Fair’s history, driven by solid demand trends and strong levels of guest spending," Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard A. Zimmerman said. "Our year-to-date performance highlights the value our guests place on visiting one of our parks and resort properties and validates the importance of our guest-centered investment strategy and commitment to delivering the most exciting and engaging experiences in the industry."
During the third quarter, the company also repurchased about 5% of its outstanding units, for a cost of about $115 million. The company also authorized a quarterly cash distribution of $0.30 per LP unit to be paid next month.
"Our record performance year to date has generated significant free cash flow that has allowed us to successfully execute against our capital allocation priorities of reducing debt and returning capital to unitholders," Zimmerman said. "This includes paying off the remaining balance of Cedar Fair’s term loan during the third quarter and reducing leverage back in line with pre-pandemic levels, despite being barely a year removed from the disruption of the pandemic."
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