SANDUSKY, Ohio — Cedar Truthful officers acknowledged yesterday that attendance at Cedar Level and its different amusement parks this summer season hasn’t met expectations, revealing the unhealthy information in a second-quarter earnings report that confirmed a 98% drop in income.
The amusement park firm reported an working lack of $142 million for the three-month interval that ended June 28. Cedar Truthful collected simply $7 million in income throughout that point, in comparison with $436 million throughout the identical interval in 2019, a results of an Eight-million go to lower in attendance, in line with the corporate.
Throughout that interval, solely three parks have been open – Worlds of Enjoyable in Kansas Metropolis and the corporate’s newly acquired Schlitterbahn waterparks in Texas – because of ongoing stay-at-home orders associated to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
The corporate’s two Ohio amusement parks, Cedar Level and Kings Island, opened in early July, two to 3 months after their deliberate opening dates.
Cedar Truthful Govt Vice President Brian Witherow talked in regards to the earnings report and the corporate’s 2020 outlook in a convention name with business analysts Wednesday.
He mentioned attendance at Cedar Level and Kings Island was sturdy initially when parks reopened, a results of what he termed pent-up demand. However visits have leveled off in latest weeks, to a quantity that’s considerably beneath what officers had each hoped for and anticipated.
Consequently, the parks have discontinued a reservation system for guests, and lowered hours and working days.
Cedar Point, for instance, is at the moment open 11 a.m.-Eight p.m. each day. However it recently announced that it’s going to function weekends-only (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) beginning Monday, Aug. 17, by Labor Day, Sept. 7.
Cedar Truthful doesn’t launch attendance figures for particular person parks. However Witherow mentioned attendance was averaging roughly 15% of complete capability. The parks in Ohio have been permitted to confess as many as 50% of capability, in line with reopening plans accepted by state and native officers.
Witherow mentioned that even with these low numbers, the parks are nonetheless in a position to function profitably, buoyed by comparatively sturdy in-park spending on meals, beverage and merchandise.
“Whereas dissatisfied that tendencies are softer than we’d like, we’re inspired that persons are nonetheless coming to the parks,” mentioned Witherow, in a convention name with business analysts Wednesday.
Cedar Truthful CEO Richard Zimmerman mentioned that merely opening and working the parks efficiently within the midst of such troublesome circumstances might be seen as a hit and can supply classes going ahead into 2021, which additionally might current loads of challenges.
“I’m proud and impressed by the best way our group has risen to the problem of this season and assured we’ll emerge on the opposite facet higher positioned for future success,” Zimmerman mentioned in a press release launched with the earnings report. He added, “Well being issues within the market across the pandemic may current a headwind for attendance till shopper confidence improves. The learnings and expertise from present park operations are invaluable to our group as we reassess working plans and techniques for the 2021 season and past.”
He additionally famous that guests who’re coming to the parks are having a optimistic expertise. “Those that are coming are giving us excessive marks for the procedures we now have put into place,” he mentioned. “Our friends actually just like the expertise and are giving us credit score for these issues.”
At the moment, seven of Cedar Truthful’s 13 parks are open. Zimmerman mentioned the corporate remains to be hoping to open Canada’s Wonderland close to Toronto and Knott’s Berry Farm exterior Los Angeles this yr.
These two parks – mixed with Cedar Level and Kings Island – deliver in additional than 80% of the corporate’s annual income, in line with Witherow.
In an announcement earlier this week, Cedar Truthful mentioned that 4 parks — Carowinds, Kings Dominion, Valleyfair and California’s Nice America – would stay closed for the yr.
In the meantime, 5 of the seven parks at the moment open will shut after Labor Day. Solely Cedar Level and Kings Island will remain open, providing the brand new Methods and Treats Fall Pageant as a substitute for HalloWeekends. Cedar Level will likely be open noon-Eight p.m. Saturdays and Sundays solely, Sept. 12 by Nov. 1. Friday night hours have been eradicated.
Cedar Truthful is at the moment spending roughly $30 million to $40 million per 30 days and has $661 million in money and credit score out there – sufficient to fulfill money obligations by 2021, “even when parks at the moment open are pressured to shut.”