Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:SIX) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Apr 24, 2019 • 09:00 am ET
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Six Flags Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Zatanya, and I will be your operator for today's call. During the presentation, all lines will be in a listen-only mode. After the speakers' remarks, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Thank you.
I will now turn the call over to Steve Purtell, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations.
Stephen R. Purtell
Good morning, and welcome to our first quarter call. With me are Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO of Six Flags; and Marshall Barber, our Chief Financial Officer. We will begin the call with prepared comments and then open the call to your questions. Our comments will include forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Federal Securities laws. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements. In addition, on the call, we will discuss non-GAAP financial measures. Investors can find both a detailed discussion of business risks and reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP financial measures in the Company's annual reports, quarterly reports or other forms filed or furnished with the SEC.
At this time, I will turn the call over to Jim.
Thank you very much, Steve. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining our call today. The 2019 season is off to a great start with all-time high guest spending per cap and a record-high Active Pass Base. First quarter revenue nearly reached our prior year record level, even with the later opening of several of our parks, due to the late April Easter holiday, placing us solidly on track to achieve our 10th consecutive record year.
I'm especially pleased with the tremendous ongoing success we've achieved in selling our multi-tiered membership program and associated membership dining plan. We grew active memberships by more than 30% in 2018, and are continuing that strong momentum in 2019. At the beginning of this year, we implemented dramatic changes in the operations at our front gate to build out membership sales centers and to expedite guest flow to these locations. As a result, we experienced significant in-park membership growth for those parks that opened in March. This program continues to be a key driver of our growth strategy providing a platform of recurring revenue at higher prices and the ability to further grow attendance as we expand our network of parks. The power of our membership program was highlighted in the first quarter. With our solid revenue performance, despite this being our seasonally smallest quarter when most parks are closed.
You are likely aware that in early March, we announced my decision to retire from Six Flags in the first quarter of 2020. I am extremely proud that our team has achieved nine consecutive years of record financial performance. Six Flags continues to build upon its global leadership position and is strongly situated to continue its