The US amusement parks and arcades industry includes about 3,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $15 billion. Major theme park companies include Walt Disney, Six Flags, Cedar Fair, SeaWorld, and Universal Parks & Resorts; major arcade operators include Namco Cybertainment, Dave & Buster’s, and CEC Entertainment (Chuck E Cheese’s). The industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 85 percent of revenue.
Demand is closely linked to the health of the economy, especially consumer income. The profitability of individual companies depends on good marketing. Large companies can build expensive rides and have economies of scale in operations and advertising. Smaller companies can compete by serving smaller markets or offering special rides. The industry is labor-intensive: average annual revenue per employee is about $100,000 for large parks, $50,000 for arcades.
Products, Operations & Technology:
Amusement parks get about 55 percent of their revenue from admissions and about 30 percent from food and merchandise sales. The remainder is made from a mix of parking fees, commission income from third-party exhibitors, advertising, and fees for hosting parties and other events. Many parks operate only for a portion of the year because of weather. Half of amusement parks, including 70 percent of water parks, are closed during the cold months. Parks open year-round may also operate hotels, stores, condos, golf courses, or other facilities in the vicinity.
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