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Issue with Kings Island overcharges resolved

Kings Island parent revenues up

Double credits issued to Kings Island customers who were overcharged in June caused some of those customers to suspect they had been overcharged again, park officials said.

Meanwhile, the Sandusky-based company that owns Kings Island said it is on track for another year for record revenue.

Earlier on June 16, Father’s Day, Kings Island spokesman Don Helbig said the Warren County amusement park had a nighttime error processing a batch of card transactions. The error, now fixed, caused some customer cards to be overcharged.

Kings Island reversed the charges, but some banks credited customer accounts as well, in effect giving those customers double credits for the mistaken amount.

When the banks realized Kings Island had already reversed the charges, the banks retracted their credits, causing some Kings Island visitors to suspect they had been overcharged again.

It was an isolated incident, and “there have been no additional issues whatsoever,” Helbig said. “The charges were reversed by both us and the bank.”

“As soon as it had happened, we began to work resolving those charges,” Helbig said.

Kings Island and Cedar Point parent company Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. said Thursday early season sales at the company’s amusement and water parks are tracking ahead of 2012. The growing revenues mean Cedar Fair is poised for another record revenue year in 2013.

As of June 23, Cedar Fair’s revenues are up 5 percent compared with this same time last year. That business accounts for about a third of yearly results. For all of 2012, net revenues were approximately $1.1 billion.

The higher revenues come from an increase in both average in-park guest per capita spending and attendance, up 4 percent and 1 percent, respectively, Cedar Fair said.

“As a result of our marketing efforts and the solid execution of our plan, season pass sales have increased approximately 20 percent when compared with this time last year,” Brian Witherow, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in a statement. “We are also pleased with the growth we are seeing in revenue per capita which is strong evidence of the traction in our pricing strategy as well as an indicator of the great value our guests see in our product.”

Tourism is Warren County’s biggest industry. Kings Island ranks 15th for the most amusement park visitors in the nation, with about 3.2 million visits last year, according to Themed Entertainment Association.

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