SAN ANTONIO – That sound in New Braunfels is a collective, somewhat cautious cheer as the parent of one of the city’s more important economic assets, Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort, is showing signs of recovery from the financial wounds caused by Covid-19.
The rebound is key as Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. approaches a third summer season in a pandemic.
The Ohio-based company, which acquired Schlitterbahn parks in New Braunfels and Galveston three years ago, tracks year-to-date performance over the first five months of the year as a gauge heading into its peak season. Over that period culminating with Memorial Day, Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN) generated a record $343 million in revenue based on preliminary results. That’s a 21% increase and a $60 million improvement over the same period in 2019 — prior to the pandemic.
The data encompasses all 13 properties, including 11 amusement parks, but is not broken down on a park-by-park basis.
The year-over-year revenue growth was driven in part by a 28% increase in per capita spending in Cedar Fair parks. Out-of-park revenue grew by $5 million to $45 million over the five months.
“Despite the current macro-environment pressures being placed on consumers, overall demand and guest spending levels remain strong across our parks,” Cedar Fair CEO Richard Zimmerman said.
Cedar Fair hit those figures despite a decline of some 210,000 guests compared to the same period in 2019 as 5.2 million visitors passed through its turnstiles. But officials attribute the drop primarily to fewer operating days so far this year and a continued disruption in group business affecting the overall travel industry.
Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and the San Antonio Business Journal.