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Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread


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I dreamt I went to the Hard Rock park (no kidding) last night which is totally random because I have no desire to make the effort to go there, which I guess says it all about their chances of success.

 

It was a mediocre park in the wrong location, not surprised at all by this news.

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This just in! Hard Rock Park has closed for the season...EARLY...and are filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

 

The front page of the site says the following:

We would like to thank the hundreds of thousands of guests from across the country that came to experience Hard Rock Park during our inaugural season and for rating their experience of Hard Rock Park as comparable to the best that the major theme parks have to offer. We would also like to thank the local community in Myrtle Beach for their support in opening the world’s first rock ‘n’ roll theme park.

 

Regretfully, Hard Rock Park has closed for the remainder of the 2008 season to allow management to focus on restructuring efforts. Following the completion of this process, Hard Rock Park intends to re-open for the 2009 season and we invite everyone back next year to continue the fun.

 

Hard Rock Park will remain focused on delivering a first class entertainment experience to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come and enjoy their visit to the Park everyday.

 

Here is the full Q&A from the website:

 

http://www.hardrockpark.com/closinginformation.cfm

 

Q: Why is HRP Holdings doing this reorganization? What do you hope to accomplish with this?

A: We took this step because, after thorough consultation with our investors and advisors, we determined that it would be in the long-term interest of the company as well as our employees, customers and other stakeholders.

 

This process will give HRP Holdings the opportunity to restructure its balance sheet and reduce its debt to ensure the future health and sustainability of the company.

 

As you may be aware, the unprecedented volatility of the global financial markets and rising fuel costs have had a significant impact on tourism worldwide. Specifically, tourism in Myrtle Beach is down as a whole.

 

Consumers continue to postpone or scale back their travel plans.

Theme parks nationwide are seeing attendance flat or down this year (Source: Leisure and Recreational Concepts Inc.)

Additionally, the frozen credit markets severely limited our ability to line up loans or the other planned financial resources we needed to execute our summer marketing plan and adequately promote the Park.

 

By taking these actions, we intend to re-open in 2009 with a much stronger financial position.

 

Q: Is Hard Rock Park going out of business?

A: Hard Rock Park is not going out of business. In conjunction with the filing, the Park will close for the season to allow management to focus on the restructuring efforts. Following the completion of this process, Hard Rock Park intends to re-open for the 2009 season with enhanced financial flexibility.

 

Chapter 11 is a common process that allows companies to restore their financial health so they can continue as stronger business. Many other well known companies such as Chiquita, Delta Airlines, Macy’s and Continental Airlines have emerged from this process as stronger, successful companies.

 

Q: I know you are shutting down for the season, but when will the Park open again?

A: Following the completion of the restructuring process, Hard Rock Park intends to re-open for the 2009 season next spring.

 

Q: Will there be any further workforce reductions as a result of the Chapter 11 filing?

 

A: At this time, we are not anticipating any significant changes in our non-seasonal employment numbers in connection with this announcement. Following the completion of the restructuring process, Hard Rock Park intends to re-open for the 2009 season and we invite all seasonal employees to apply for positions within the Park next year.

 

Q: Will employee paychecks or benefits be affected by the Chapter 11 filing?

 

A: All non-seasonal employees will continue to receive their paycheck on a normal schedule, and medical, dental and other benefits will continue uninterrupted.

 

Q: What happens to season passes? Can I get a refund?

A: In conjunction with the filing, Hard Rock Park will close for the season to allow management to focus on the restructuring process. Following the completion of this process, Hard Rock Park intends to re-open for the 2009 season.

 

Whether the Park will be able to provide refunds or extensions for Annual Pass holders will be determined by the Bankruptcy Court.

 

Q: What is Chapter 11?

A: Chapter 11 is a legal process that allows a company to continue to operate its business while it restructures its debts in an organized, Court-supervised setting. Chapter 11 refers to the portion of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that governs Bankruptcy Court-supervised corporate reorganizations.

 

Q: How do I get additional information?

A: If you have additional questions or concerns we invite you to call our customer service line at (843) 646-6450.

 

So IMO this does not sound good. For the record we had a good visit to the park in May. I felt the park was "nice" but in no way did it feel like a "complete" park or a "Fifty Dollar" park.

 

I'm not so sure that the location was a good decision either. I was and still am hopefull for this place to survive, but I just don't see how it can possibly have a future without some major changes.

 

From what I understand, there was already one failed entertainment complex on the land where Hard Rock Park sits on (outlet mall, theaters, etc) so I'm not sure why the felt another one would be successful.

 

It was a very good first pass effort and I'm curious to see how this will all pan out...

 

BTW, if you didn't get a chance to see our Hard Rock Park video, here it is again...

 

--Robb

hardrock_tpr.wmv

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Clearly Rock is dead... Either that or the park was a completely mismanaged piece..

 

Or, as many of us stated before, the demographics of the location CAN NOT and WILL NOT support a large theme park of any kind.

 

 

Jeff "I told you so" Johnson

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Hopefully the park will re-emerge stronger.

 

They didn't even make it a full season without filing for bankruptcy. That sounds like a fundamentally unworkable enterprise to me.

 

As funny as this kind of is, it is a shame to see an actual themed park go under like this while the CF parking lot parks carry on in all their concrete glory.

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As much as im NOT surprised by this at all! I’m upset to hear it! Not because the park looked amazing or had a huge lineup of good rides cause they don't. But I wanted to see what could be done with this park! The whole Classic Rock theme was the wrong way to go. They should have gone with music from the 90s and now! Not to many kids know about Led Zeppelin. Obviously they never checked the demographics, or never figured out who their target market was! I hope the park can make it and pulls a nice turn around into a corner stone park! Great plan wrong execution!

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They didn't even make it a full season without filing for bankruptcy. That sounds like a fundamentally unworkable enterprise to me.

Agreed. I'm not sure what they can do to turn things around. They had a pretty good start, but no one visited the park.

 

The only model I can see even standing a chance is free or miminal entry fee with a pay-per-ride or wristband option. At least get people on site, in the park, etc, and even if they don't ride anything maybe they will spend money on food, games, or other random crap.

 

As funny as this kind of is, it is a shame to see an actual themed park go under like this while the CF parking lot parks carry on in all their concrete glory.

That's the part that is sad. If the park was a total dump I'd say good riddance. But what they had was "nice" although I do think their selection of rides left something to be desired.

 

They could have also probably benefited by having more stuff for kids and families to do. When the only major ride that familes can experience together is the "Acid Trip Ride" I'm not sure that's going to go over too well!

 

--Robb

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I think they have a good shot of making a go of it now. Assuming the bankruptcy judge sees value in the company as a going concern, they will be able to emerge from bankruptcy with much of their debt erased. It makes it much easier to be profitable!

 

Unfortunately, those who put up the money to build the park will probably be left with nothing. There's also a chance that some ride manufacturers might be hurt, especially if they didn't get cash up front. (Then again, those owed money might just end up owning the park...) In any case, let's hope for limited collateral damage.

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From what I understand, there was already one failed entertainment complex on the land where Hard Rock Park sits on (outlet mall, theaters, etc) so I'm not sure why the felt another one would be successful.

 

 

--Robb

 

I had said this before but had this park been built in another city all together such as the Raleigh-Cary-Durham metro area would that have made a difference?

 

Raleigh is a fast growing area and it seems whenever magazines like Forbes does those lists of cities that are "recession proof", Raleigh is always mentioned. Plus that city has a very large international airport that offers coast to coast non-stop flights, unlike Myrtle Beach.

 

..and Raleigh doesn't have any park at all.

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But I expected this, you can't just out of the blue make a theme park.

 

Well...you can. But not one with a horribly misguided business plan that allegedly projected 3,000,000 guests in its first year. They also never reacted to what gas prices did to their business plan (even though it was never a $50 park in the first place), keeping prices way too high for too long.

 

I honestly believe that if restructured properly, it can at least survive. If it was me in charge, I would charge $10-20 for admission and turn the place into a pay-per-ride park where your admission gets you into the shows+1 or 2 ride coupons. I would also only leave a small portion of the property for theme park development, and focus on what seems to be popular in Myrtle Beach: shops/restaurants/hotel/golf/family fun center activities.

 

Should be interesting...at least if they don't recover, they have a lot of stuff they can sell to pay back most of the debt.

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I had said this before but had this park been built in another city all together such as the Raleigh-Cary-Durham metro area would that have made a difference?

 

Yes, it would have. Mainly because I would've gotten a job there immediately, and everyone on this board would've come to see me in my train-dispatching glory (the people, they love me). That right there would double the attendance numbers that HRP brought in at Myrtle Beach this year.

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Geez. It sounds kind of bad that they don't intend to give passholders a refund, saying that it will be left up to the court. I'm sure some people bought passes late in the summer hoping to be able to use them through next year. Their intention to open next year could be just as good as their intention to have a halloween event this year or be open through December.

 

And they didn't even have to blame weather as a factor for decreased attendance.

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Geez. It sounds kind of bad that they don't intend to give passholders a refund

Do you think they need to give a refund? When was the end of their season? I could see maybe if someone had bought a pass in the last 30 days giving a refund but if you bought a pass in May then you should have had a good amount of time to use it.

 

Perhaps refunds that are prorated based on when you bought it?

 

--Robb

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The only model I can see even standing a chance is free or miminal entry fee with a pay-per-ride or wristband option. At least get people on site, in the park, etc, and even if they don't ride anything maybe they will spend money on food, games, or other random crap.

 

I think that is a good idea for the park. I think Mt. Olympus has people pay like $10 to enter the park without riding the rides. At least it could draw more families to the park if their parents don't prefer rides. That way it doesn't end up like Wild West World where it lasted only one month.

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^^Where they selling 2009 passes?

 

Oh well, no surprises here as the park opened at a really really bad time. Then you have the limited ride selection, tattooed ride ops, and high prices, and it is no surprise that Hard Rock Park closed. Sure it had nice theming, but there just wasn't enough to attract guests.

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It's obvious why the park closed, but its still very sad that such a awesome park like this has to go under. Had some of the coolest features, also it had some of the friendliest staff IMO. So I'll miss it if it doesn't come back, but I had plans of going back next season, so I guess they must have done something right.

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Geez. It sounds kind of bad that they don't intend to give passholders a refund

Do you think they need to give a refund? When was the end of their season? I could see maybe if someone had bought a pass in the last 30 days giving a refund but if you bought a pass in May then you should have had a good amount of time to use it.

 

Perhaps refunds that are prorated based on when you bought it?

 

--Robb

 

I thought they were doing annual passes that were good for 365 days... maybe I'm wrong, I can't tell now and don't remember for sure. If that's the case, then it might make sense for someone to buy one late in the summer and then use it through this time next year. I agree if you bought one in spring you should have been able to get enough ride time in by now.

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