New roller coaster leads Kings Island to record profitability

Cedar Fair on Thursday released results for its July-September quarter. The Sandusky company, which operates 15 amusement parks and water parks, does not report financial results for individual attractions. But, the company says it had overall record third quarter net revenues of $595 million that will boost full-year results.

“Two of our largest parks — Kings Island and Knott’s Berry Farm — will deliver record profitability and in spite of a challenging year weather-wise, our flagship park, Cedar Point, will have its second best year ever,” said Cedar Fair President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Ouimet in a statement.

Overall, Cedar Fair parks including Kings Island, Cedar Point and others saw per-guest spending rise 3 percent year-over-year last quarter, offset by a 1 percent decline in attendance.

“The foundation for our continuing ability to drive a fifth year of record results is our commitment to providing a compelling park experience for audiences of all ages,” Ouimet said.

“Guests have responded extremely well to our new rides, attractions and live entertainment this year bringing our in-park guest spending to record levels,” he said.

Cedar Fair Entertainment turned in 2013 its fourth consecutive year of record results for revenues and attendance.

Net revenues last year reached $1.14 billion. A record-breaking 23.5 million visitors in 2013 attended Cedar Fair’s 15 amusement and water parks in Ohio, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan and Canada, according to Cedar Fair.

Forecasts are for net revenues this year to end in the range of $1.15 billion to $1.17 billion.

Mason’s Kings Island debuted in April the new $24 million roller coaster Banshee, which it touts as the world’s longest inverted roller coaster.

Two new rides and a major makeover of International Street that will house one of the largest Starbucks in the Midwest have been announced for next year. Family rides Woodstock Gliders and Snoopy’s Space Buggies from Zamperla will be added in the Planet Snoopy section of the theme park.

The 364-acre Warren County park features roller coasters the Beast, Diamondback and Vortex. About 4,000 people a year are hired in seasonal positions. Kings Island has more than 150 full-time employees year-round.

Kings Island and Cedar Point each draw more than 3 million visits per year and are always ranked among the top 20 theme parks in North America, Dennis Speigel, of International Theme Park Services, previously told this newspaper.

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