Cedar Fair building on record revenue

Cedar Point's parent company expects attendance boost from Kings Island's new Banshee coaster
Associated Press
Apr 21, 2014

 

A new roller coaster at southwestern Ohio's Kings Island theme park is expected to contribute to another year of record revenue and attendance for its parent company.

Sandusky-based Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. owns the park in Mason, near Cincinnati, as well as Cedar Point in northern Ohio.

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.

The company is expected to get an attendance boost out of the new Kings Island coaster called Banshee, which debuted with the park's opening for the season on Friday, according to the Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/1i8j7gH ). The $24 million ride is being touted as the world's longest inverted roller coaster.

The Great Recession that began at the end of 2007 hurt Cedar Fair's results in 2009. Net revenues dropped to approximately $916 million that year from more than $996 million in 2008. Sales returned in 2010 above the year before, to $977.6 million, and have risen every year since, according to the company.

"During a time of recession, we may lose some people who can no longer afford to come to our properties, but we might also pick up the middle-class to higher-income family that's choosing to forgo that trip to Florida and stay closer to home," said Stacy Frole, the company's vice president of investor relations.

Cedar Fair is investing about $145 million this year in new rides, technology and other park improvements across the company, including the new Banshee steel roller coaster, Frole said. About $120 million was spent in 2013.

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, said Dennis Speigel of the consultant group International Theme Park Services.

 

Comments

sugar

Time to increase the admissions tax. The working people that live in the city are not building on record revenue.

KnuckleDragger

You mean non-working, or barely working.

JT Adams St

We're working on it. Supporters of an admissions tax increase will be meeting at 9 am on Saturday at the central fire station on Market Street. Everyone who supports an admissions tax increase is welcome to attend.

IT'S ME

What % is the admission tax in Mason, Ohio at Kings Island? We should be charging at least the same as they are being our city's are similar in having an Amusement Park and Indoor/Outdoor Waterparks.

lifetimeresident

Couldnt agree more. If their doing good they should pay more for the city and the residents who are not working or wont work. Share the wealth. Any other local companies and hotels should give more too! If they plan on making money they should plan on giving it up to us. Thats just the way it works.

KnuckleDragger

You left out all the rich attorney's that live on Cedar Point Road. lol

Nemesis

Lifetimeresident: "If they plan on making money they should plan on giving it up to us. Thats just the way it works."

Sounds like a mobster talking about a protection racket. How apropos.

holysee

CP needs to increase prices, especially for fast lane pass to keep out the undesirables.

Nemesis

I've often said I'd pay a premium to go on a no-hillbilly day when they set a minimum tooth-to-tattoo ratio for admission.

Babo

LOL, so you admit that many of the people Cedar Point attracts as customers aren't the same quality as people who live in Mason Ohio and not good enough to associate with you. Yet you want the people of Sandusky to subsidize their recreation?

Nemesis

"LOL, so you admit that many of the people Cedar Point attracts as customers aren't the same quality as people who live in Mason Ohio"
Nor are a lot of Kings' Island visitors, but their money spends the same.

"Yet you want the people of Sandusky to subsidize their recreation?"

In what way do the people of Sandusky subsidize their recreation? This should be fun.

richrs

Cedar Point doesn't pay the admission tax.

Nemesis

Yes, they do, and if you pressed them, they could show you the cancelled check made out to the city. There is no city tax collector at the front gate. In fact, CP ALSO pays the sales tax on everything sold in the park - it's rolled into the posted price. Neither the state nor the city cares whether they absorb the cost or pass it on, as long as they get their cut of the total paid for all transactions.

shsalum

From everything I could see, Kings Island pays zero admission tax as there was a hearing years ago and their council voted against it. When you read the stories, some council members recognized all the revenue that the park creates for the city and did not want to jeopardize it. Interesting on their behalf.

Babo

Cedar Fair launched a scorched earth campaign against the tax even though it doesn't really impact their bottom line at all as it is paid by customers just like you or I pay a sales tax. Like here, CF controlled several politicians in a small community and was able to mislead the community.

Better comparisons would be larger communities such as Orlando or closer to home Cleveland where the politicians are not controlled by one big player. Cleveland charges 8% admissions tax on Browns and Indians tickets. Orlando charges 8% and has no income tax.

IMO, Sandusky should emulate Orlando and not a backwater one horse town like Mason, Ohio and charge 8% and eliminate the income tax to attract new residents and businesses.

KnuckleDragger

That backwater, one horse town sports a population of 32,000,about 6,500more than Sandtucky. It had grown by 40% from 2000 to 2012 unlike Sandtucky which has steadily lost population. The median household income is over $80K vs. Sandtucky $34K. 75% of Mason's population possess an education of a Bachelor's degree of higher. Backwater, one horse town? LMAO!!! You don't know what you're talking abut.

Babo

It's the county seat of Warren County, Ohio.

KnuckleDragger

Uh, Lebanon is the county seat of Warren county. Mason is more of an affluent suburb of Cincinnati.

Babo

Yes, I know. I tried to change it but the filters were not working last night and would not allow correction.

Mason is a bedroom community for Cincinnati which explains its explosive growth from a small town to a suburb. Those commuters drive up the value of real estate and provide a tax base but are too busy to run the town which at its core is still pretty backward. I'd compare it to Avon Ohio. .

I will concede that Mason is not burdened with the rust belt problems of Sandusky and the problem of a few families and special interest groups thinking they own the town. However, Sandusky has a lot more potential than Mason IMO.

Nemesis

Babo - those facts, they sting a little, don't they? None of your backpedaling changes the fact that it's growing and more prosperous than Sandusky. That's not because they residents are too busy to run their town - it's because they run it like Americans, not like two bit Fidel Castro wannabes looking to stick it to anyone who dares to be more successful. What you call backward we call capitalist. Lots of people are moving to Avon to escape inner ring suburbs run by leftists like you who think profit is a dirty word.

Notice that the topic of this article - this year's big expenditure in the thrill ride arms race went SOMEWHERE ELSE! With the demolition of Wildcat, CP dropped from having the most coasters, and the investment that could have restored that status went SOMEWHERE ELSE WITH A LESS HOSTILE COMMUNITY. If this campaign succeeds, within 5 years, CF's flagship park will be Kings Island

Yes, yes, by all means, let's look at a town where everything has gone well, and do exactly the opposite. Let's let the class-warfare, business-and-success-hating marxists do to Sandusky what they did to Detroit.

Babo

Wow, you're a bit histrionic.

Please explain why CP is exempt from paying sales tax like my business must do. Yes that's right I'm a capitalist who owns my own business, pays my employee payroll taxes, collects and pays sales tax, and marvels at people like you who continue to want to provide corporate welfare to billion dollar companies.

KnuckleDragger

CP does pay sales tax, it is included in the price of the product. Do a little research would ya?

Babo

You are mistaken. CP does not collect and then pay any sales tax on the sale of admissions tickets. It does collect from the customer and then pay sales tax on drinks, food etc which as you point out is built into the price. However admissions comprises the bulk of their sales and there is no sales tax on admissions in the State of Ohio.

Nemesis

Yes, they collect and pay sales tax on all taxable transactions, just like every other business in the state. The question of which transactions are taxable and whether the criteria are fair is a non-sequitur here, otherwise it would be germane for me to complain that Sandusky residents buying Diet Mountain Dew with foodstamps do not pay sales tax, but those paying out of pocket do. The point is, CP does not seek, nor receive any excemption from normal sales taxes, any more than you do by not having to pay sales tax on your wages.

Actually, admissions is NOT the bulk. Their primary performance measure is in-park sales. I've managed an entertainment business - the primary profit drivers are in-venue sales to a captive audience. Why do you think they don't allow outside food?

Nemesis

"Please explain why CP is exempt from paying sales tax like my business must do."

I have no need to explain your counterfactual fantasy musings. CP pays sales tax on every souvenir and every morsel of food sold.

"Yes that's right I'm a capitalist who owns my own business,"

You're a business owner, but no capitalist. You're a tax and spend leftist - you want the city to increase the amount it sucks out of the private sector by 25% or more.

"and marvels at people like you who continue to want to provide corporate welfare to billion dollar companies."

In what wild hallucination of yours is the very existence of an admissions tax, a tax directly targeted at a company's core business, and endorsing a modest increase in that tax, a call for corporate welfare?

Babo

My point was there is no sales tax paid on the price of Admissions to the park. Therefore the bulk of revenues are exempt from sales tax unlike most other businesses.

Recreation is a luxury, not a necessity. If people must pay sales tax on clothing or toiletries then they ought to pay some tax on recreation either through admissions tax (which remains local) or through a sales tax (which will be spread out through the State and county)to support the infrastructure needed to support it.

[C]ounterfactual fantasy musings" and "wild hallucinations" are ad hominem attacks that reflect poorly upon you by demonstrating you cannot argue the merits of your position.

Nemesis

"My point was there is no sales tax paid on the price of Admissions to the park. Therefore the bulk of revenues are exempt from sales tax unlike most other businesses."

Nor are sales taxes paid on my salary, on food for home consumption, and for a variety of services, entertainment being a service rendered. Also, admissions aren't the bulk of revenues and certainly are not the major profit center.

"Recreation is a luxury, not a necessity."

Then why does the city government need to spend money on it? Close and sell the parks, shut down the recreation department. There, you've shown us the way to solve the budget crisis with no new taxes - maybe some glimmer of capitalism survives in your hear after all.

"If people must pay sales tax on clothing or toiletries "

In some states, they don't. Some of those states might have amusement parks, where one can buy a souvenir t-shirt tax free. What should fall under the sales tax is a separate issue, though (one on which I could go on at some length.)

"then they ought to pay some tax on recreation either through admissions tax (which remains local) or through a sales tax (which will be spread out through the State and county)to support the infrastructure needed to support it."

AND IT ALREADY IS, at a rate that currently exceeds the total local portion of sales taxes, but that's apparently not enough taxation to sate your marxist appetites.

""[C]ounterfactual fantasy musings" and "wild hallucinations" are ad hominem attacks that reflect poorly upon you by demonstrating you cannot argue the merits of your position."

No, they're not. They are characterizations of the degree to which your assertions are fallacies. What reflects an inability to argue the merits is your attempt to cry ad hominem rather than defend those assertions as reasonable. Oh, and I seem to remember SOMEONE calling me histrionic.....

The claim that CP is excempt from sales tax is counterfactual - they enjoy no excemption from the EXACT same sales tax laws as every single other business in the state. Certain types of transactions are UNIVERSALLY excempt from sales tax no matter who engages in them, and CP happens to engage in those transactions. Your assertion is akin to claiming Meijer "is exempt from paying sales tax like my business must do" because a large part of Meijer's business is untaxable grocery sales. Calling your false assertion musings was actually a favor, as most other terms I might have used would assign far greater responsibility for the counterfactual nature of the words.

The characterization of my position as advocating corporate welfare is similarly so far outside the realm of reality as to warrant suspicions it's the result of hallucination. I've supported the current admissions tax, which targets one local business in an almost punitive fashion, and advocated a modest increase.

KnuckleDragger

LOL. Sandusky has potential? What would that be? I wouldn't exactly compare it to Avon. Try spending a little time there, its nothing like Avon, and Sandusky is dying and will likely never reach that potential you speak of.

Nemesis

"Cedar Fair launched a scorched earth campaign against the tax even though it doesn't really impact their bottom line at all as it is paid by customers just like you or I pay a sales tax."

Look, do one of the following:

-show us a receipt from the city of Sandusky to an individual CP customer for DIRECT payment of the admissions tax.
-stop lying about who pays the tax.

CP pays the tax. They report their gate receipts, and cut a check for 3% of that amount. They can pass it along, suppressing consumer demand subject to the elasticity of that demand, or they can simply absorb it. NOTHING in the law restricts their options in that respect. Either way, it impacts the profitability of their investment here, and makes investment elsewhere more attractive. Given what's been posted about Mason's demographics, their residents are likely to grasp these basic economic concepts well enough not to fall for your demagoguery. They understand things like the Laffer Curve.

"Cleveland charges 8% admissions tax on Browns and Indians tickets."

Clevelanders taxed themselves to provide those teams with world class facilities, for rent that wouldn't cover half the interest on the construction loans. Are you prepared to do the same? If the city/county gave them even one tenth what the Browns stadium cost, it would pay for 3 or more record setting coasters.

WhatTheHeck

Please join us Saturday at Fire station house 1 on market Street at 9am. We need to get the word out there, that this admission tax is NOT on Sandusky voters! It is on the tourists, not us. Help everyone involved make CP pay they have been on gravy train for a long time. 2.5 per cent is just plan wrong, when King's Island pays 8 per cent.

Babo

Here's a link to an article in the Plain Dealer concerning admissions taxes in Cleveland and Cleveland Heights Ohio.

http://www.cleveland.com/clevela...

Cleveland has an 8% admissions tax on its big attractions such as Browns Indians Cavaliers etc but reduces it to 4% for small music clubs. Cleveland Heights just raised their admissions tax on music clubs and theatres from 3 to 5% but is considering going to a sliding scale for small music only clubs. Night Town a nice jazz club an restaurant pays no admission tax because it pays sales tax on its food and drinks which is the bulk of its business.

Note that the big corporate players such as the Browns pay 8%. Cedar Point draws a lot more people into Sandusky than the Browns do into Cleveland and the demand on the infrastructure of Sandusky is far greater than that of the Browns on Cleveland's infrastructure.

Nemesis

"Cleveland has an 8% admissions tax on its big attractions such as Browns Indians Cavaliers etc"

You CONVENIENTLY ignore the $519 million taxpayers spent building facilities for them. I'm sure that, if the city spent half a billion dollars on new construction for CP, they'd be more than happy to pay an 8% admissions tax. Oh, and as for your assertion that exhorbitant admissions taxes, absent such lavish giveaways, don't motivate moving a business out of town, tell that to Art Modell.

"Cleveland Heights just raised their admissions tax on music clubs and theatres from 3 to 5% "

OK, so you claim to be a capitalist, but you hold up the Soviet Republic of Cleveland Heights as an example? The most leftist, socialist city in the state? A city that productive residents are fleeing in droves, with the highest local tax burden in the state? Put down the crack pipe, please.

"Note that the big corporate players such as the Browns pay 8%."

Which wouldn't pay the interest on a loan to build the stadium the taxpayers bought them. That's not apples to oranges, it's apples to soybeans.

"Cedar Point draws a lot more people into Sandusky than the Browns do into Cleveland and the demand on the infrastructure of Sandusky is....."

Negligible. Most of them drive less than 4 miles on city roads and the city can't even manage to keep that short stretch any safer than Fallujah on weekend nights.

Nor'easter

Sandusky has built and rebuilt SR 250 and RT 6 repeatedly to facilitate faster access to Cedar Point. Sandusky has expanded Sewer and Water treatment capacity to over 10 times the population of Sandusky while ignoring the need to repave streets, separate storm and sanitary sewers that have been under federal court order per US EPA FOR OVER 20 YEARS, replace failing water lines that are over 20 years old. The city continues to be under sanction from EPA for discharging untreated sewage into the bay. Sandusky infrastructure has bee neglected for over 50 years when you look at Venice Heights, Alpine Drive, Buchanan Street Pierce St, Camp St Underpass, Tiffin Ave underpass. If you drive Hancock Street, you can see the bricks below the potholes. IT IS TIME to PASS 8% and start REBUILDING STREETS.

Nemesis

250 and 6 get state money, and most of the length of 250 that gets CP traffic is in Perkins Twp., which doesn't get a dime of admission tax.
The payroll taxes from CP more than cover the cost of the improvements you cite. If the city doesn't have the funds to cover services to residents, it's because too high a percentage of the city's population consists of the dependent class who don't pay taxes. The city needs to productive residents who produce revenue, but the people the city needs don't wsnt to live among pink-hammer-wielding-thug-baby-mommas.

Nor'easter

Please explain why Cedar Point Causeway is repaved repeatedly with local funds while local streets have not been repaired in 50 years?

Nor'easter

Please explain why Cedar Point Causeway is repaved repeatedly with local funds while local streets have not been repaired in 50 years?

Nemesis

Please supply citations to show that it's done with local funds.

Perhaps, by "causeway" you actually meant the road leading from 6 to the actual causeway. If so, if 10% of the cars in that seasonal traffic on that road stop and spend $25 inside the city limits, the taxation resulting from those transactions would cover the repaving. People keep missing the fact that without CP, the local economy would be nonexistent.

Of course, a lot MORE of the cars traveling to Cedar Point might stop and spend a lot MORE money in Sandusky, rather than Perkins, if they could do so with confidence that they wouldn't be shot (or hit with a pink and black hammer.)

I bet CP would be OK with being straight assessed the cost of repaving the entire route from their causeway to the Perkins/250 intersection, rather than being pinched to contribute to a city hall slush fund that would just be used to move city hall.

KnuckleDragger

Kings Island doesn't have an admissions tax.

Nemesis

@WhatTheHeck "Help everyone involved make CP pay they have been on gravy train for a long time. 2.5 per cent is just plan wrong, when King's Island pays 8 per cent."

Except that they DON'T - that has been a major topic in this discussion thread - do try to keep up.

Truth or Dare

With 3.2 Million folks visiting C.P. in 2013, attendance up 2.5%, if I've done my math correctly, take that figure and the additional $1.76 it would cost per ticket if there were a 6% Admission Tax, again if I did my math correctly, the $5.6 Million generated could help in repairing our infrastructure, such as street/pothole repairs, Tiffin and Camp St. Railroad overpasses and the flooding that comes with heavy rain, the removal of dead trees, etc., freeing up tax $'s to adequately fund the staffing, necessary training, all 3 Fire Houses remaining open and the Police Department? Or, is the jist of all this boil down to that should such an initiative even get on the ballot and passed, and the city gets ahold of such $$$'s it would be misused? If that's the case, shame on the City!

Nemesis

My calculations indicate that, based on the current percentage and current revenue, it works out to about a million dollars in revenue for each percentage point of admissions tax. Remember, not that many people actually pay full price for admission (I'm glad to say I don't know anyone dumb enough to pay full price with all the discounts available.)

You're onto something - now take it a little further. At 4%, the additional revenue would cover the current budget shortfall and give them room to get their act together. Unfortunately, any gains beyond that will be used to move city hall or some other harebrained scheme that doesn't benefit residents. Don't EVER give politicians extra money - it leads to mischief.

Nemesis

Hey Mutley, I just noticed that these two conflicting statements came from the same person:

DGMutley Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:25am: Mason is home to 50(?), I'm not sure of the number, company home offices.

DGMutley Sun, 04/27/2014 - 7:36pm: Use Google Earth and take a tour of Mason. There isn't anything there except King's Island

So which one is it?