Don’t let an oversimplified revenue tracking process put your park at a disadvantage.

The key to effective amusement operations is having a moment-by-moment analysis of your facility’s sales, throughput and labor.  An oversimplified revenue-tracking process can cloud your data resulting in inaccurate business assumptions that could lead to ineffective staffing and improper pricing.

Utilizing principles of deferred revenue can help you keep a clean, accurate view of your business and keep you laser-focused on the right things so you can manage costs and increase your bottom line.  Here are three areas where deferred revenue can be leveraged to help you manage your business more effectively.

No. 1: Advanced Pass Sales

Selling passes in advance allows you to build marketing momentum and increase excitement surrounding your park’s opening day. Use email and social offers, or direct patrons to your website to learn more. Tactics like this build brand awareness and provide insight into what works and what doesn’t before your peak season. 

Consider setting pre-sold passes to count as revenue on the day they are redeemed at your park rather than the day they were sold. Doing so will paint a picture of how successful the day has been and give you an opportunity to analyze important metrics—like headcount and guest spending—in real time. It will also help you identify trends so you can analyze and compare to prior data, and forecast future sales targets and potential staff needs during your current season and the years to come.

No. 2: Season and other Multi-Use Passes

Season passes offer your park many of the same benefits as advance-sale tickets and allow your park to build customer loyalty and repeat traffic. 

You have the option to set your season passes to post a portion of revenue as they are used rather than on purchase date. For example, if you have a 10-session pass, split the purchase price evenly among sessions to track that amount each time the pass is used. Begin by estimating an expected number of uses for the season and set revenue allocations in your revenue management software accordingly. 

At the end of the season, you’ll be able to analyze the average number of visits per guest, with average revenue realized per visit, to determine the profitability of your season pass program and make changes for the following seasons.

No. 3: Special Events and Birthday Parties

While it is a great idea to take advanced deposits for group events and birthday parties, that revenue doesn’t have to be counted the day it is received. For a more accurate daily sales analysis, consider realizing total event revenue on the day of the event, even when finalizing accounts to Accounts Receivable. This prevents you from seeing inflated revenue in advance of or immediately following an event and makes it easier for you to analyze your event revenue, profitability and payroll against sales for the day.

Not sure if your facility is making the most of your deferred revenue capabilities? We can help! Contact the CenterEdge team at

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