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Knott's Owner Reports Lower Attendance, Loss for Quarter

May 06, 2000|E. SCOTT RECKARD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Cedar Fair LP, the Ohio partnership that owns Knott's Berry Farm, reported larger first-quarter losses Friday, saying Knott's attracted fewer patrons than a year earlier, when its GhostRider wooden roller coaster was brand new.

Cedar Fair lost $26.6 million, or 51 cents per limited partner unit, during the latest quarter, compared with a loss of $21.8 million, or 41 cents per unit, a year earlier. Revenue fell 11.6% to $20.5 million.

Cedar Fair runs a deficit during the January-March quarter because its four other amusement parks in the East and Midwest are closed for winter.

At Knott's, which operates year-round in Buena Park, attendance improved significantly in April and is now nearly even with last year's record pace, said Cedar Fair chief executive Richard L. Kinzel.

Cedar Fair, which acquired Knott's for $245 million in 1997, is spending $110 million on its parks and hotels for this summer, including a towering new water ride inside Knott's and a separate $25-million water park nearby. Both are expected to open in June.

The company's stock closed Friday at $19.13, off 6 cents a share, on the New York Stock Exchange.

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