Theme park attendance fell 33% in the three months ending October 2 at Six Flags versus the same period one year earlier, the company reported today. The attendance drop contributed to a 21% decline in revenue for the quarter, from $638 million in 2021 to $505 million in 2022.
Guest spending did rise 17% to an average of $60.96 per visitor, driven by a 22% increase in spending on admission, as Six Flags raised gate prices and saw a higher percentage of visitors using single-day tickets. (Looking at it another way, visits by passholders basically tanked.)
"This was a year of transition for Six Flags, as we made bold changes to our business model in order to elevate the guest experience and to position the company for sustainable, long-term earnings growth," Six Flags President and CEO Selim Bassoul said. "While it will take time to achieve our ambitious goals, we are encouraged by our recent progress, with guest spending per capita up nearly 50 percent year-to-date relative to 2019, and with attendance trends and season pass sales significantly accelerating in October and early November. We have an exciting lineup of new rides and immersive festivals planned for 2023, and we are optimistic that our momentum will continue through the upcoming season and beyond."
None of Six Flags' top parks have yet announced major new coasters for 2023, with the company's announced plans for next year relying heavily on themed seasonal festivals.
Six Flags' net income for the quarter dropped 26% year-over-year, to $116 million, with Adjusted EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization] dropping 19%, to $226 million.
Looking at the year to date, Six Flags' attendance for the first nine months of 2022 was down 25% from the first nine months of 2021, which is an incredible number considering the Covid restrictions that kept several top parks closed or operating at reduced capacity in early 2021.
In other news reported by the company today, Six Flags has amended its agreement with H Partners to allow the New York-based investment firm to increase its ownership of Six Flags common stock to 19.9%.
"We are excited about the company’s strategy to deliver an exceptional guest experience and to drive sustainable, long-term earnings growth," Arik Ruchim, a Partner at H Partners and director on the Six Flags Board, said. "We believe that meaningful change takes time to implement, and we are encouraged by the early signs of progress on this ambitious journey."
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