Southern parks perform strongest
Combined attendance at Cedar Fair’s 18 park properties in the United States was up by 3% in 2008, it has been revealed. The company’s fourth quarter figures show that total attendance during the year was 22.7 million, up from of 22.1 million in 2007.
“We experienced increases in attendance at many of our parks during the fourth quarter as strong fall promotions and a favourable calendar increased attendance 8% from the same quarter a year ago,” reports Dick Kinzel (pictured), Cedar Fair chairman, president and CEO. “For the full year, on a regional basis, our northern region and southern region parks experienced a 3% and 8% increase in attendance respectively.”
The best performing park for 2008, however, was in the north, Canada’s Wonderland near Toronto. Meanwhile there was a 2% decrease decrease at the group’s eastern region parks. Preliminary results also suggest in-park per capita guest spending down by approximately 1%.
“Record gasoline prices throughout most of our operating season, a troubled housing market, rising unemployment rates and the ongoing credit crisis were all challenges our parks had to overcome in 2008,” adds Kinzel. We believe we were successful in positioning our parks as an affordable alternative to the week-long, out-of-town, family vacation. It is likely that many of the difficult market conditions we faced in 2008 will be present throughout 2009, and we believe we are well positioned to meet these challenges.”