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Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread


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^Yes totally agree! Not many people want to drive after a long day at the beach..

 

Speaking of Virginia Beach, my family has gone to Sandbridge for about 11 years now! I love how quiet the beach is, and they still have the little park downtown on the boardwalk!

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I may or may not agree with everything that was previously discussed, but I am in the general consensus that a traditional amusement park will never do well in Myrtle Beach. That's just not what people from the area are looking for when they go to the beach...and certainly not at that location. Any successful amusement park at MB has to be pay-per-ride.

 

I totally agree with this. HRP's pricing was unbelievably stupid no matter how you slice it. $50 per ticket, ALL tickets, no child or senior citizen discounts. That rules out any family with kids too young or grandparents too old to ride anything. And no cheaper evening tickets. This rules out any family that might want to spend the day on the beach and then go to the park in the evening (perfectly viable considering the park wasn't even that big). Of all the things to screw up, ticket pricing is such a basic thing, I mean just look at ANY other amusement park in existence.

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Pavilion actually did pretty great business. Too bad the space it was on was theoretically worth more as condos at one point than an amusement park. Then the economy crashed, and now there's nothing there.

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Some friends and I went on Labor day weekend the year it closed and each got in for just $26 a person. It was completely dead on a Saturday on Labor Day weekend if that tells you anything. There was all of maybe 150 people in the park. There were no waits for anything except the water coaster and it was about a 10 minute wait. Everything was running and looked nice but I knew it was doomed after seeing that. Glad I got to go and get those 5 credits!

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Guys, I said this a few pages back but it still holds up...

 

They said they expected 30,000 people per day to come to the park. That expectation was based on the prices that they were charging.

 

It does not matter that the area has that much tourism, New York has tons of tourism and based on the attendance that I have seen and using simple math, Great Adventure doesn't pull in 30,000 people a day. According to their attendance projections, they would have basically had to be ahead of every Cedar Fair and Six Flags park in the country to make their goals.

 

Let's just pretend that they dropped admission to $25 / person. They would have needed then 60,000 people per day to show up in the case. Their attendance goal had everything to do with the amount of money each of those people would be spending, you can't say that the park would have done better with $25 admission unless you believe they would have well more than doubled attendance.

 

Again, there was a LOT of other stuff that was done wrong with the park (and their ticket model was definitely one of them), but it can all really be traced back to the projection that they needed to have 30,000 people per day show up to be a success. Even if everything else had been done differently (marketing, ticketing prices, etc), that problem would have still remained.

 

And, to show just how silly this was as a concept, their signature rides had capacities of around 1,000 / hour (or WAY less, like Maximum RPM), which would have meant that lines would have been unbearably long had the crowds showed up. Think the waits for Deja Vu, but with ONLY Deja Vu in the park, and everything else being closed. Had 30,000 people showed up, it would have been a horrible experience anyway.

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And even with small crowds, the wait for Led Zepplin was often ridiculous, thanks to the silly "pre-show."

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I'd read that, and my main question is why were their projections so stupidly high? Was that the only way they could interest the people who funded the park? Obviously it takes a while for a new park to build up the kind of attendance older, more well-known parks have.

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I think they got those projections because that was the projections that they needed for the park to move forward, and no one with any sense in the theme park industry checked them to see what sense they made.

 

And cfc, to follow up your comment there, let's just pretend that with all the silly stuff put together, hourly capacity of the "big" attractions would be (in a perfect world):

 

1000 pph for Led Zepplin

500 pph for Maximum RPM

1600 pph for Eagles

300 pph for Slippery

780 pph for Shake, Rattle, Rollercoaster

1000 pph for Knights

 

* I don't have exact claimed numbers on these, they are generous guesses based on similar rides... Also, "claimed" numbers are generally significantly higher than "real world" numbers, probably by 20%, so take into account that I'm being OVERLY generous here...

 

Based on the above, the park has an hourly capacity for these big rides of 5180 rides per hour. To put that into perspective...

 

If the park had hit it's attendance projections of 30,000 people (average) per day, this means during the peak times of the day, the lines for these attractions would have averaged nearly FIVE HOURS. What do you think the average guest would have thought of that experience?

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30,000 guest per day would have never happened, but I wonder how many guest would it take to atleast be profitable? If this park was to ever open again, it needs to be free parking/admission with a pay per ride ticket like a fair. It wouldn't hurt to have things no other park has either. This is where a small crowd could come in handy.

 

Also, what are the chances this park ever opens again? If a church was going to buy the land without rides for 10 million, how much with the rides?

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I'm guessing Led Zeppelin would cost around $15 million dollars. Maximum RPM should be around $5-7 million (I have no clue what a ferris wheel lift hill costs so that is my guess). Eagles Fast Lane maybe $3-5 million. The rest of the rides around the park should be around $5-10 million.

 

That is around $37 million worth in rides (my estimates were probably a little high). If the land its on is worth around $10 million, I'd say the park altogether is worth $40-50 million.

 

The land will never be reopened as a theme park. The best thing that could happen would be to relocate the good rides before they rust away.

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30,000 guest per day would have never happened, but I wonder how many guest would it take to atleast be profitable? If this park was to ever open again, it needs to be free parking/admission with a pay per ride ticket like a fair. It wouldn't hurt to have things no other park has either. This is where a small crowd could come in handy.

 

I believe in the bankruptcy stuff when they were saying they expected 30,000 that was around the level they needed for profitability. You can't really look at the park as what it would need as it's bankruptcy level to become profitable, as that doesn't take into account the cost it was to build it to begin with.

 

I can guarantee you pay per ride wouldn't work. There are so few rides there that couldn't be a winning formula. In a nutshell, it takes a LOT of staff to run even a small park correctly, which makes it basically impossible to run an overbuilt (in the way of size) park like HRP even for a small number of people. I would guess for the park to reopen and 'break even' in a year, they would need to draw at least an average of 2500 / day at a solid ticket price, and I doubt they *ever* drew that many people at a solid ticket price.

 

That is around $37 million worth in rides (my estimates were probably a little high). If the land its on is worth around $10 million, I'd say the park altogether is worth $40-50 million.

 

You can only say that a ride is worth that much if the rides themselves stay there, and then it still really isn't because a big part of it's value is the marketability that it has, which diminishes quickly with time. Marketability is restored (at least somewhat) when a ride moves, but deconstruction and reconstruction costs make it so that used rides often cost almost as much as new ones. HRP is sort of 'lucky' that they bought rides that sit on flat ground, as that helps retain movability...

 

Having said that, they really aren't in any danger of 'rotting away'. Nothing that the elements are doing to the rides couldn't be fixed with some sandblasting and replacement of parts.

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I doubt they get that much if they have an auction like GL did. We might see Time machine go for 1 million bucks. Such a shame the park didn't work out and as most here believe it will never work. They need to do something soon if they want any money for rides and restaurant equipment and so on.

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I can guarantee you pay per ride wouldn't work. There are so few rides there that couldn't be a winning formula. In a nutshell, it takes a LOT of staff to run even a small park correctly, which makes it basically impossible to run an overbuilt (in the way of size) park like HRP even for a small number of people. I would guess for the park to reopen and 'break even' in a year, they would need to draw at least an average of 2500 / day at a solid ticket price, and I doubt they *ever* drew that many people at a solid ticket price.

 

I disagree. My personal opinion is that if they built a solid transportation network (shuttles from major beach resorts) and opened up up as a pay per ride/night time hang out spot, with the bars and restaurant infrastructure to go along with the rides...it could have worked.

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And even with small crowds, the wait for Led Zepplin was often ridiculous, thanks to the silly "pre-show."

 

The wait for Time Machine when it was Freestyle Music Park was still ridiculous, even without the pre-show.

 

Yep--dividing up the line by "musical era" (to sccomodate the ride's different music tracks) really slowed things to a crawl, too.

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If I could, I would buy the park, sell some rides, buy some rides. Improve it, get new ticket system: (free entry, and buy tickets or wristbands). I would save some of the main rides like maximum rpm or led zeppelin. But I can't. I was hoping I could go there the first time I saw it but I couldn't, since it got closed before I went to US

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I can guarantee you pay per ride wouldn't work. There are so few rides there that couldn't be a winning formula. In a nutshell, it takes a LOT of staff to run even a small park correctly, which makes it basically impossible to run an overbuilt (in the way of size) park like HRP even for a small number of people. I would guess for the park to reopen and 'break even' in a year, they would need to draw at least an average of 2500 / day at a solid ticket price, and I doubt they *ever* drew that many people at a solid ticket price.

 

I disagree. My personal opinion is that if they built a solid transportation network (shuttles from major beach resorts) and opened up up as a pay per ride/night time hang out spot, with the bars and restaurant infrastructure to go along with the rides...it could have worked.

 

I would agree with you if it was designed originally like that, but it was designed as a gated park, and my disagreement was that you can't take a park designed to be gated like that, open it up and make it pay-per-play. I do agree with you that if you design the infrastructure to support that type of model, that may very well have been much more viable.

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^If I remember correctly, a lot of their food/retail/entertainment spaces were large enough they could have been repurposed as stand alone venues. It was set up as a ticketed park, but also as a ticketed park that expected huge crowds---so the space was there.

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  • 1 month later...

http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/23457177/lights-on-but-no-one-home-at-freestyle-music-park

 

Freestyle Music Park has been quiet for years, but for several nights, people say they've seen the park lit up like it's opening day.

 

"Several of our staff have noticed the lights coming on," said Beach Church Pastor Damon Adcock. Adcock says the park was a great boon to this stretch of George Bishop Parkway when it was open. "Having a large venue like that attracts new people to the area."

 

WMBF News dug into why the lights and equipment were coming on at the park, representatives from a realty company listing some of the land around the park said it was simply preventative maintenance.

 

But while researching, WMBF News also found a series of legal documents shedding light on the current state of the park. Even though initial filings were years ago, another hearing in Federal Bankruptcy Court is scheduled for September 24, and the park's trustee is still trying to collect some debts from companies contracted out by the park.

 

Calls to the park's lawyer were not returned.

 

Before it was Freestyle Music Park, it was Hard Rock Park, and its initial developer, Jon Binkowski, also went public about the park recently, speaking on the Season Pass Podcast.

 

"Our podcast was brand new when Hard Rock Park Opened up," Podcast host Doug Barnes told Binkowski. "All of a sudden, everything stopped. It is one of the craziest, most intriguing, wildest stories to come from the amusement industry."

 

Binkowski told Barnes and his co-host, Brent Young, about the problems the park had with investors, and the difficulties of keeping the theme park open without a parent company to support it.

 

"It was great not having someone to report to from a creative standpoint," Binkowski said. "It would have been great to have had someone to report to, to fuse some capital into us so we could survive."

 

The entire interview is available here: http://bit.ly/189usKw

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Too coincidental for their to be activity at the park right around the time of their next bankruptcy hearing...Could this be the start of the inevitable selling of the park piece by piece?

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