News for the Hospitality Executive
Great Wolf Resorts Reports 2nd Qtr 2009 Net loss of $5.7 million Compared to a Net Loss of $4.1 million for the Same Period a Year Earlier
Hotel Operating Statistics
-Adjusted EBITDA of $17.3 million Exceeds Top End of Guidance-
MADISON, Wis.- August 4, 2009 --Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:WOLF), North America’s leading family of indoor waterpark resorts, reported results today for the second quarter ended June 30, 2009.
Second Quarter Highlights
For the second quarter ended June 30, 2009, the Company reported a net loss of $(5.7) million, or $(0.18) per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $(4.1) million, or $(0.13) per diluted share for the same period a year earlier.
“We delivered Adjusted EBITDA improvement as our new and expanded resorts performed well, despite the ongoing challenging economy,” said Kim Schaefer, chief executive officer. “Additionally, our repeat and referral guest business increased, along with the average length of stay. This performance underscores the appeal of our resorts in challenging economic cycles as more guests stay at our resorts for their primary vacations.”
Schaefer concluded, “Looking ahead, we expect the operating environment to remain difficult. However, we believe our resorts will continue to outperform the broader hotel industry for the remainder of 2009, based primarily on our ability to provide a convenient, regional vacation alternative for families. We remain focused on increasing cash flow by driving growth through operational improvements and increased guest visits to our resorts. In the near term, our priority is to manage our existing capital structure while identifying opportunities for longer term growth through joint venture and licensing arrangements.”
In the second quarter of 2009, adjusted EBITDA increased 23.3 percent to $17.3 million from $14.0 million in the second quarter of 2008. Total revenues increased 8.9 percent to $68.6 million from $63.0 million in the second quarter of 2008.
In light of the challenging economic environment, the Company remained focused on reducing controllable costs. The three categories that make up the majority of controllable costs are resort departmental expenses, selling, general and administrative (SG&A) costs and property operating costs. As a percentage of revenues, these costs declined by 360 basis points to 68.3 percent, in the aggregate, in the 2009 second quarter. As a percentage of revenues, SG&A costs declined by 360 basis points to 22.9 percent in the 2009 second quarter. The cost savings were generated primarily by increasing the efficiency of labor and operating costs, along with operational leverage from higher total revenues.
Same store revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the second quarter of 2009 was down 8.0 percent (6.2 percent using constant dollars, which normalizes the foreign currency translation effect on operating statistics of the Company’s Canadian resort), compared to the 19.5 percent decline in the overall U.S. hotel industry according to Smith Travel Research data. Same-store occupancy was down 3.9 percentage points, with leisure occupancy declines accounting for approximately 70 percent of the decrease. In the second quarter of 2009, approximately 90 percent of the Company’s system-wide revenue was from leisure guests. Same store average daily rate (ADR) declined 2.2 percent (0.3 percent using constant dollars). Total same store revenue per occupied room (Total RevPOR), which includes revenue from rooms, food and beverage, and other amenities, decreased 2.1 percent (0.6 percent using constant dollars).
Same store RevPAR for Great Wolf’s Generation II resorts, which are generally larger resorts that better represent the Company's current resort development model and contribute more than 80 percent of the Company’s Adjusted EBITDA, was down 7.6 percent (5.2 percent using constant dollars) versus 2008. Same store occupancy was down 3.6 percentage points, with group occupancy up slightly, offset by a larger decline in leisure occupancy. Same store ADR declined 2.7 percent (0.2 percent using constant dollars), while total RevPOR for Generation II resorts decreased 2.8 percent (0.3 percent using constant dollars).
The Company’s second quarter 2009 same store operating statistics do not reflect the results of two Generation II resorts:
Balance Sheet and Liquidity
As of the end of the second quarter, the Company has no remaining construction-related payments for its Grapevine and Concord resorts, and no significant long-term capital commitments for construction or development of new properties. With the recently announced extension of the maturity dates of its Mason and Grapevine mortgage loans, the Company has no debt maturities until July 2011. Over the near term, the Company intends to utilize its free cash flow to manage its balance sheet leverage.
As of June 30, 2009, the Company had:
Outlook and Guidance
The Company provides the following outlook and earnings guidance for the third quarter and updates its full year 2009 guidance. The outlook and earnings guidance information is based on the Company’s current assessment of business conditions, including consumer demand and discretionary spending trends. The Company may update any portion of its business outlook at any time as conditions dictate:
(a) For reconciliations of Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted net income (loss), see tables accompanying this press release.
The forecast above assumes third quarter 2009 same store RevPAR declines approximately 8 percent in constant dollars versus third quarter 2008.
Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted net income (loss) are non-GAAP financial measures within the meaning of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations. See the discussion below in the “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section of this press release. Reconciliations of Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted net income (loss) are provided in the tables of this press release.
Great Wolf Resorts will hold a 2009 second quarter results conference call today at 5 p.m. ET, hosted by Chief Executive Officer Kim Schaefer and Chief Financial Officer Jim Calder. Stockholders and other interested parties may listen to a simultaneous webcast of the conference call on the Internet by logging onto the Company’s Web site, www.greatwolf.com, and clicking on “Corporate Site” at the bottom of the page. Interested parties may also call 1-888-271-8601, or for international callers 1-913-312-0971. A recording of the call will be available by telephone until midnight on August 11, by dialing 1-888-203-1112, or for international callers 1-719-457-8020, using reference number 4258389.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Included in this press release are certain “non-GAAP financial measures,” which are measures of the Company’s historical or future performance that are different from measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP, within the meaning of applicable SEC rules, that Great Wolf Resorts believes are useful to investors. They are as follows: (i) Adjusted EBITDA and (ii) Adjusted net income (loss). The following discussion defines these terms and presents the reasons the Company believes they are useful measures of its performance. Great Wolf Resorts defines Adjusted EBITDA as net income (loss) plus (a) interest expense, net, (b) income taxes, (c) depreciation and amortization, (d) non-cash employee compensation and professional fees, (e) costs associated with early extinguishment of debt or postponement of debt offerings, (f) opening costs of resorts under development, (g) equity in earnings (loss) of unconsolidated related parties, (h) loss on disposition of property, (i) other unusual or non-recurring items, and (j) minority interests. The Company defines Adjusted net income (loss) as net income (loss) without the effects of (a) non-cash employee compensation and professional fees, (b) costs associated with early extinguishment of debt or postponement of debt offerings, (c) opening costs of resorts under development (including costs incurred by unconsolidated joint ventures), (d) loss on disposition of property, (e) other unusual or non-recurring items, and (f) non-normalized income tax expense.
Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted net income (loss) as calculated by the Company are not necessarily comparable to similarly titled measures by other companies. In addition, Adjusted EBITDA (a) does not represent net income or cash flows from operations as defined by GAAP, (b) is not necessarily indicative of cash available to fund the Company’s cash flow needs, and (c) should not be considered as an alternative to net income, operating income, cash flows from operating activities or the Company’s other financial information as determined under GAAP. Also, Adjusted net income (loss) does not represent net income (loss) as defined by GAAP.
Management believes Adjusted EBITDA is useful to an investor in evaluating the Company’s operating performance because a significant portion of its assets consists of property and equipment that are depreciated over their remaining useful lives in accordance with GAAP. Because depreciation and amortization are non-cash items, management believes that presentation of Adjusted EBITDA is a useful measure of the Company’s operating performance. Also, management believes measures such as Adjusted EBITDA are widely used in the hospitality and entertainment industries to measure operating performance.
Similarly, management believes Adjusted net income (loss) is a useful performance measure because certain items included in the calculation of net income may either mask or exaggerate trends in the Company’s ongoing operating performance. Furthermore, performance measures that include these types of items may not be indicative of the continuing performance of the Company’s underlying business. Therefore, the Company presents Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted net income (loss) because they may help investors to compare Great Wolf Resorts’ ongoing performance before the effect of various items that do not directly affect the Company’s ongoing operating performance.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, including, among others, statements regarding Great Wolf Resorts' future financial position, business strategy, projected levels of growth, projected costs and projected performance and financing needs, are forward-looking statements. Those statements include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. and members of its management team, as well as the assumptions on which such statements are based, and generally are identified by the use of words such as “may,” “will,” “seeks,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “should” or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements. Many of these factors are beyond the Company's ability to control or predict. Such factors include, but are not limited to, competition in the Company’s markets, changes in family vacation patterns and consumer spending habits, regional or national economic downturns, the Company’s ability to attract a significant number of guests from its target markets, economic conditions in its target markets, the impact of fuel costs and other operating costs, the Company’s ability to develop new resorts in desirable markets or further develop existing resorts on a timely and cost efficient basis, the Company's ability to manage growth, including the expansion of the Company’s infrastructure and systems necessary to support growth, the Company’s ability to manage cash and obtain additional cash required for growth, the general tightening in the U.S. lending markets, potential accidents or injuries at its resorts, decreases in travel due to pandemic or other widespread illness, its ability to achieve or sustain profitability, downturns in its industry segment and extreme weather conditions, increases in operating costs and other expense items and costs, uninsured losses or losses in excess of the Company's insurance coverage, the Company's ability to protect its intellectual property, trade secrets and the value of its brands, current and possible future legal restrictions and requirements. A further description of these risks, uncertainties and other matters can be found in the Company’s annual report and other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, both filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Great Wolf Resorts cautions that the foregoing list of important factors is not complete and assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement that it may make.
Management believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, undue reliance should not be placed on any forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations. All written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Great Wolf Resorts or persons acting on its behalf are qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. Further, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or changes to future operating results over time unless otherwise required by law.
About Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.® (NASDAQ: WOLF), Madison, Wis., is North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, and, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, owns and operates its family resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge® and Blue Harbor Resort™ brands. Great Wolf Resorts is a fully integrated resort company with Great Wolf Lodge locations in: Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; Sandusky, Ohio; Traverse City, Mich.; Kansas City, Kan.; Williamsburg, Va.; the Pocono Mountains, Pa.; Niagara Falls, Ontario; Mason, Ohio; Grapevine, Texas; Grand Mound, Wash.; and Concord, N.C.; and Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sheboygan, Wis. Through Great Wolf Resorts’ environmental sustainability program, Project Green Wolf™, the Company is the first and only national hotel chain to have all US properties Green Seal™ Certified – Silver.
The Company’s resorts are family-oriented destination facilities that generally feature 300 – 600 rooms and a large indoor entertainment area measuring 40,000 – 100,000 square feet. The all-suite properties offer a variety of room styles, arcade/game rooms, fitness rooms, themed restaurants, spas, supervised children’s activities and other amenities. Additional information may be found on the Company’s Web site atwww.greatwolf.com.
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.
Alex Lombardo or Nikki Sacks, 608-661-4791
|Also See:||Great Wolf Resorts Reports 2009 First Quarter Net Loss of $5.6 million, More than Double Compared to the Same Period a Year Earlier; Occupancy Drops from 65.2% to 61.5% / Hotel Operating Statistics / May 2009|