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Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread

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You also would need to figure out a way to lure people from the beaches to the park.


As close as the park looks on a map to the beaches, the reality is, it was too far away and too expensive to get people to leave what they came to Myrtle *BEACH* for to visit.


During our visit, HRP was a Ghost Town and Family Kingdom was *packed* so it's not as though the tourists in Myrtle Beach aren't interested in amusements, they just don't want to have to put forth much effort to visit them.


I actually think that even if your gate price was FREE, you're still not going to see as many visitors as beach front attractions. And that is the real problem with keeping HRP alive.


My advice - don't do what the people who thought buying Cypress Gardens could do - turn a failed business into a successful business. It failed for a reason, many reasons, and I'm not convinced that even fixing one or two of those reasons will result in a successful venture.


I think in order to make HRP work, and I mean REALLY work, you need to re-locate it to the beach, re-locate the beach closer to the park, or move the park to a completely different area. I'm not convinced it's current location is going to make for a successful entertainment area. TWO entertainment complexes have already failed in that exact same spot. That should tell you something.



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Yes to both of those. The city of myrtle beach had thier shuttles that go around town add a line that goes out to Hard Rock. The cost was 3 dollars one way. The only problem is the last shuttle to leave the park was at 8:30 so not many people could stay after that unless they paid for a cab. And they have the whole old waccamaw part to use for a waterpark if they wanted. I would end up flattening all of that though and making it the parking lot while making the now parking lot into the waterpark. They could buy some trolleys and use that to get people from the parking lot to the park.

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It might have helped if HRP specifically had a "Magic Bus" (The Who)themed shuttle to and from the park & beach for at least 30 mins before opening until at least 30 mins after park close. I use the one in Pigeon Forge (Dolly Trolley) all the time when I go to Dollywood. It really saves on parking hassle, and at a measly $.50 each way is quite the bargain over parking fees. The busses would have given HRP more exposure and marketing along the beach too.

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The Dolly Trolley was nice and easy to use when I left Dollywood at closing.


I'm sure HRP could have found a way to cut some fat and utilize this combination transportion and marketing solution.


Theming it like a Magic Bus or Tour Bus would not have been that difficult to pull off. The wrap on the bus even could have been changed weekly to promote upcoming concerts at the park.

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Without a doubt, the park has the most value sold in pieces. It's going to be tough to find a buyer that is willing to buy the park and invest more into the park fixing the mistakes of the previous owners.

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While I would like to see this park reopen and be given a second chance, what has been presented so far doesn't look too good for the park.


It's weird though, I've always had this thought in my head that "any park with a B&M is a success". That died though, last year with Geauga Lake. I still thought this park would have been too big and too corporate to go under, at least this quickly.

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One of the interested parties in purchasing the whole park has withdrawn their bid to focus on other park purchase opportunities. I am beginning to believe the park is going to be sold in pieces.



Possibly PARC, as they've suddenly taken to focusing on FEC's, though I doubt they would have put in a bid for HRP with that in mind.


This pretty much marks everyone off the list of potential buyers. I guess this was probably the worst year for them to go bust, there's simply no one to come in and fix it. Oh well, discount B&M on the market! If only SDC or DW had some flat land for it...

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I've always had this thought in my head that "any park with a B&M is a success".

Actually, any park without a strong customer base in a marketable area that invests in a B&M coaster is taking a big risk. I don't think it was an issue with this park (There is no way that they were expecting to see a profit on their investment in just one year with or without the B&M) but that theory makes no sense at all. Good marketing, a good product and a good location make for a successful park.

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  • 2 weeks later...

^ $35 Million is just starting bid for the park


So it could end up selling for more then that, who knows. Although I'm guessing that someone will buy it then sell off the rides, then eventually the land. If a park that cost $400 million to build ends up selling for $35 million...then thats really a sign of the times.

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Here's an interesting article about Hard Rock Park:




A few excerpts:


County Council members would not support the bonds because the company refused to open its books to explain the business plan.


But even as the park approached construction, national amusement park experts said they feared the park would not make it. Dennis Spiegel, considered one of the foremost experts in the industry, called it "questionable" and said Myrtle Beach was simply not a year-round market.


As the opening date approached, local business owners got more details about the park's plans for marketing itself and selling tickets - and soon became worried that the park's team did not understand the Myrtle Beach market.

"The numbers of people were way out of line," said Frans Mustert, CEO of Oceana Hotels, a Myrtle Beach hotel group. "We told them we didn't think it was going to fly with their financials, but they never asked anyone else to invest, so we didn't care. If they had asked the chamber to invest, we would have said, 'Guys, you are crazy.' But they didn't."

Initially, many had believed the park would be spending tens of millions in advertising to promote the park, but it became clear that the figure would be nowhere near that number, and the park would not advertise practically until the opening date.

In November 2007, park representatives said they would be counting on free media publicity to get the word out and they would only be relying on the area's existing visitor base.

The park had floated the idea of advertising with Direct Air, a Myrtle Beach-based charter airline, its CEO Judy Tull said. They even talked about painting an entire plane with a Hard Rock advertisement. But they told Tull they would not be able to pay for any of the marketing until near the opening date, so that idea fizzled.


The park did not do what most area attractions do to sell tickets - work with local hotels. The way many attractions such as Medieval Times get visitors to buy tickets is by selling them at hotel lobbies and using the hotels' sales staffs as extensions of their own sales staff. The attractions sell the tickets to hotels at a discount, and the hotels then mark up the tickets and sell them to guests.

Instead, the park said it would only allow "preferred" hotels to sell its tickets.


Binkowski (the park's creative director and one of the guys who came up with the idea for the park) is back in Orlando, Fla., where he is in the middle of producing a low-budget horror flick he wrote and directed.

"I have mixed emotions these days when I'm filling up my car with gas," he said, citing prices that have fallen about $2.50 a gallon since the summer peak. "But you can't control those kinds of things. You can't get too worked up."

Binkowski said he hopes the park's new owner, which could be decided at an auction Monday and approved by a judge Thursday, will keep the Hard Rock theme.

"I do wish them the best because I think they'll have an excellent product," he said.


Interesting! So basically they did everything wrong from the get-go, and one of the guys responsible for the whole mess seems to put the whole blame on $4 per gallon gas this summer.

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The not working with hotels thing just floors me. The last time we went to CP the hotel we stayed at actually handed us discount pop cans (this promo seems to go on every year) and said enjoy your time here. I think it was maybe $7 off or something but still.


To not work with the locals is just nuts and suicide in my pinion.

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^^ Awesome find, Micole.


Looks like they took that rock'n'roll theme a bit too far in their own minds. I guess the whole "down with authority, don't tell us what to do with our park, we're doing it our own way" mentality worked out really well, huh?


Great job, guys. Definitely worthy of severance pay. Sure.


Instant karma's gonna get you.

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