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Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread


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I'm starting to believe that the most successful way to build a park is to start on a very small level and allow it to grow slowly as awareness builds. I know many people thought it was stupid to build a large park of this caliber in Myrtle Beach, but then again, look at where parks like Holiday World, Knoebel's, and Cedar Point are located.

 

I'm with Robb on this, though. I imagine they would have fared had they operated on a free or minimal admission basis. The Pavilion seemed to always be packed, which I'm sure had a lot to do with the fact that anybody could come in and check it out for free. Had Hard Rock taken that approach, they might have been able to place themselves among the many open attractions that are massively popular in the Myrtle Beach area, such as Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach, and formerly The Pavilion. I can't help but think they would have drawn a lot more people through the gates and at least made a killing on food (had they placed more restaurants in the park) and merchandise.

 

That's my serious, analytical moment of the day.

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I'm assuming they knew this was going to happen. I mean you can't expect many people to travel specifically to South Carolina to visit the park, and not to many people from what I'm aware of visit South Carolina in the first place.

 

As part of the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach is part of sixty miles of sandy white beaches along the beautiful, blue Atlantic Ocean which is your playground for fun, excitement, and relaxation. With close to 14 Million people visiting Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand each year, Myrtle Beach has earned the title of the No. 1 Family Beach in America.

 

Now you may consider yourself more informed.

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I'm starting to believe that the most successful way to build a park is to start on a very small level and allow it to grow slowly as awareness builds.

 

Every situation is unique. What it comes down to is the proper plan for the market you are in.

 

They're spending 1 billion dollars to add to DCA because that plan failed miserably. They've also had to scramble to add attractions to HKDL for the same reason.

 

On the other hand, IoA and TDS were able survive on their own without adding major attractions because they were built as complete parks from the beginning.

 

Then there is also smaller parks like Holiday World, Mt. Olympus, etc. where the market allows for continued growth like you described.

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Makes me very happy I got out there this summer and got all the credits... I thought it was a fun park, I had a good time there. I think the main issue with the place is the advertising. If I wasn't a coaster enthusiast who was only going to Myrtle Beach to go to HRP and FK, I wouldn't have even known the place existed until I was 10 or so miles out and started seeing billboards for it. And at that point would I make the choice to spend an entire day of my brief stay at Myrtle Beach at HRP? Spending hundreds of dollars in the process?

 

I think the easiest solution to a lot of their problems could be solved by getting more advertising deals on web sites for hotel reservations in Myrtle Beach or just general information web sites for the area. When reserving a room through Days Inn you have an ad promoting the park or something. Great way to get people planning on visiting the park months in advance so its already on their "to-do"list...

 

I hope they can pull through and have a successful 2009 season.

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Isn't this the second park to open and shut down in the same year in the last two years?

I can't remember the other name though.

 

I guess the King really has left the building....

 

Wild West World was the other. Much smaller park in that case though.

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1 - HRP's marketing efforts were crap. The "Hard Rock" name connotes extreme but that is not what the park is about. The 14 million annual visitors to Myrtle Beach need to know more than just the name of the park.

 

2 - Lack of water rides, in that environment is just plain stupid

 

3 - Pricing structure was just not thought out.

 

4 - Very poor (and insufficient) flat ride selection

 

 

For the record the things I really liked

1 - Atmosphere

 

2 - Food, I thought the food at the restaurants was fairly priced, varied at different locales and they had may unique offerings (Sopapillas, yum!)

 

3 - Souvenirs were excellent

 

4 - Shows were all well done.

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As part of the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach is part of sixty miles of sandy white beaches along the beautiful, blue Atlantic Ocean which is your playground for fun, excitement, and relaxation. With close to 14 Million people visiting Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand each year, Myrtle Beach has earned the title of the No. 1 Family Beach in America.

 

For some reason this makes me want to buy a timeshare.

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Chapter 11 is not an uncommon thing for a company to do. We had a local water park that filed chapter 11 every year for years. They did it to protect what cash they had. If they didn't then the creditors would taken the cash and there would have been nothing left to prepare the park for the following season. Seasonal parks have to bank the cash they make in the summer to hold them over in the off season. If you didn't make enough in the summer then chapter 11 is a way to hold on to what little you have. I'm assuming this is the spot HRP is in today.

 

HRP is no doubt losing money and they are just trying to hold on to any cash they have to make a go of it next year. I really think the park will open again. To much has been invested to call it quits so early. The scarey part for the investors is that they are have to invest even more in the short term to make this thing fly. They need to add shade, water features, lower ticket prices and market the hell out of the park.

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This was pathetically predictable.

 

Here's what I think will happen, either the park won't reopen next year and will be liquidated, or it will briefly reopen next year, continue to lose money, file for bankruptcy again, and then be liquidated.

 

I personally don't think Hard Rock Park had or has a chance in hell at succeeding. There are just so many things they didn't do right and continue to do so.

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Wow.... that sucks. But it was expected. Oh and did anyone else see/post this article?

 

Hard Rock Park in SC files Chapter 11 bankruptcy Thu Sep 25, 9:59 AM ET

 

 

 

Hard Rock Park has closed for the year after losing a whole lotta money.

 

The owner of the Myrtle Beach amusement park filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday, ending an inaugural season that fell far below projections for the 55-acre, $400 million rock 'n' roll attraction. When it opened in April, park officials planned to stay open through what it called "rocktoberfest" and even have some programs during the Christmas season.

 

The park, which included roller coasters based on Led Zeppelin's classic "Whole Lotta Love" and the Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane," plans to reopen in 2009, park spokesman Jim Olecki.

 

The park will keep 75 workers through the offseason. It had 2,000 employees at its peak, Olecki said.

 

The attraction never had enough money for promotion when it opened in April and the worsening credit crisis made it impossible to raise more, Olecki said.

 

Executives suggested the park could attract 30,000 visitors a day and 3 million for the year at $50 a ticket, but those numbers fell far short. In August, it cut operating hours.

 

Owner HRP Myrtle Beach Holdings filed under Chapter 11 in Delaware bankruptcy court. The company licensed the brand name from Hard Rock International, which owns the restaurant chain.

 

A bankruptcy judge will decide what will happen to people who hold annual passes and other tickets.

 

The park, which opened this year after seven years of planning, couldn't have picked a worse time to start because of a drop in tourism based on rising gas prices and other economic problems and the credit crisis, experts said.

 

"The stars were clearly not aligned for them to get going this year, some of which was their own doing and some of which were other factors," said Don Schunk, a research economist at Coastal Carolina University who studies tourism.

 

The park should be able to attract more visitors in 2009, but Schunk isn't sure things can turn around.

 

"Given everything that's going on right now, how likely are they to go out and attract new investors? With the kind of markets we have right now that's a challenge for any business," Schunk said.

 

The park was the biggest investment ever in South Carolina tourism.

 

"We're naturally disappointed, as we were hopeful Hard Rock Park would establish itself as an anchor attraction for the Grand Strand, and clearly that has not happened," said Brad Dean, president of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. "Clearly in the future, we would encourage them to revisit the pricing strategy and consider more out-of-market advertising."

Hmm..

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I'm assuming they knew this was going to happen. I mean you can't expect many people to travel specifically to South Carolina to visit the park, and not to many people from what I'm aware of visit South Carolina in the first place.

 

Um, if they assumed it was gonna happen, then they wouldn't have built it in Myrtle Beach. And many people do travel to South Carolina.....to play golf.

 

 

Again, Nashville, Austin, even Atlanta or SoCal. Memo to Hard Rock management: if you're gonna be centered around music/music history, then a city with a thriving music scene might help a bit with your demographics. Just a thought.

 

Nashville would have been a great place. Yeah, it's mostly country music, but it could've been Opryland 2.0!

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They are MILLIONS in debt guys. They still owe Vekoma, B&M, Premier, and practically all of their supply vendors. It wouldn't shock me to see some of their attactions"disappear" when the manufacturer comes to repo making it more difficult on the park. If they do re-open, I am sure their suppliers will want all of their money up front before supplying the park goods. They can blame the economy all they want, but 80% of the problems were with mismanagement of the park in many ways.

 

Perhaps Warren Buffett can bail them out like he did Goldman Sachs...

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According to screamscape

 

Hard Rock Park owes at least $343 million right now, including about $7 million to vendors for goods and services. Several liens have been filed against the park, with the largest coming from Premier Rides for just under $1 million. While the park made $20 million in ticket sales this season, they also went through a four-year $15 million line of credit in less that one season. Of the remaining 1,200 employees, the park will drop down to just

 

I have no idea how they can get out of that mess

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The more I read about the situation the worse it seems. While they're saying the park will reopen next year, I really wonder if it is going to be any better. Without major investment (which doesn't seem likely) this park is going to open next year on borrowed time.

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According to screamscape

 

Hard Rock Park owes at least $343 million right now, including about $7 million to vendors for goods and services. Several liens have been filed against the park, with the largest coming from Premier Rides for just under $1 million. While the park made $20 million in ticket sales this season, they also went through a four-year $15 million line of credit in less that one season. Of the remaining 1,200 employees, the park will drop down to just

 

I have no idea how they can get out of that mess

 

From what I understand a majority of the vendors still havent filed their liens yet including B&M and vekoma. I would say the number is close to $450 million...

 

NO WAY they reopen under current management. I bet won't be able to buy a styrofoam cup with any kind of credit. Perhaps Blackstone will scoop them up.

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That sucks. When I was there in JULY is was DEAD. The longest wait I had was for Max. RPM which was only about 25 min. They were even offering $10.00 second day admission for up to 7 days and if you got all 7 days it was only like $35.00. They were obviously dieing to get people to stay in the park for longer periods of time.

It was a pretty awesome park for photography though.

 

They obviously aren't going to have any money to get any new rides or coasters, so I don't really know how next year will make a difference if it's the same exact park as this year.

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