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Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread

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It's a shame, the park is gorgeous and has loads of detail. But if your that close to Caorwinds, Six Flags Over Georgia and Disney you need to have more things to do. We went there when it was Hard Rock and we went there when it became Freestyle. Both times we were there maybe four hours!


I just hope the park doesn't close again!

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But lets all hope they can find a great way to get through this crap and open back up for a great new season!


What use is bubble-headed optimism in the face of harsh reality?


They couldn't make a go of this park even when the new owners paid less than 10% of what it cost to build in the first place. The only way they could get anyone through the gate was to price admission so low that they couldn't afford to pay even the smallest bills to vendors.

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^While it is purely my opinion, I would hardly call Time Machine miserable. Andrew and I had a few pretty decent rides on it, and there were some nice pops of air here and there. Sure it had a little bit of B&M rattle, but I've experienced the same thing on the Hulk at Islands of Adventure as well.


For what the ride is (an icon for the park) and what it does (serves as the most popular attraction in the park), it does well. The guests eat every ounce of it up, and I doubt there are many in the general public that pick away at the rattle, simplicity or lack of commodity in it like we would here.


I guess the way I always try to look at things is from the two-sided perspective... As enthusiasts, we tend to look further into things that the general public does, and considering that they are the majority while we are the minority, their words matter more. As I said before, I doubt an average guest really looks at a coaster like Time Machine and says "It shook too much and I think that made it miserable." Considering parks of this size (and smaller) still have vintage Arrow coasters (and Vekoma SLC's--which I happen to like, but I am among the few) that do far more damage than a little B&M rattle, and yet they are still successful. I just think we are at times too critical of the concept of success vs. failure in attractions like this because we take things from our perspective, as opposed to the mass perspective.

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All good points and all very true. I should have said it was a miserable ride for me. Rattling aside, I was grayed out for most of it and I personally generally hate onboard audio.


It is a beautiful looking ride, indeed, and would make any park's skyline more attractive. I just wouldn't get all worked up if it was a park near me.

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All good points and all very true. I should have said it was a miserable ride for me. Rattling aside, I was grayed out for most of it and I personally generally hate onboard audio.


It is a beautiful looking ride, indeed, and would make any park's skyline more attractive. I just wouldn't get all worked up if it was a park near me.


Agreed, it is an incredibly photogenic coaster. I'd like to see it go somewhere that has a mediocre ride selection like Beech Bend or Wild Waves, if they have the room or the money.

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FSMP will not be open much longer. I thought they would make a turnaround after hard rock, but the park will die. If(and when) this place closes will it be torn down, abandoned, or rebought? I cant imagine it being rebought as the park is cursed with terrible luck. I cant really imagine them tearing down a huge park either though, its been lanscaped and everything and would cost probably millions to tear down.

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^^ At least that lawsuit isn't as serious though. I've seen these kinds of suites occur to people near me, and all it takes is taking down the disputed materials. They could go out right now and chip the logos off the cars and not have to worry about it, seeing as they don't have the cash to buy the license.


I agree with^ that the park is doomed at this point anyway. The real question is, who's up for round 3?

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A Deleware judge has given FPI MBE 30 days to pay off $570,000 in debt owed from the previous owners of Hard Rock Park.


The judge reluctantly gave the park a 30 day extention saying the following, "I received a phone call from the respondent’s counsel and they’ve indicated they have a funding problem, and they requested some additional time, and I reluctantly allowed to give them an additional thirty days."


Freestyle says that a a deal with a new investor would be completed mid/late January.


John Stine, Director of Sales & Marketing released the following statement saying...


“We inherited numerous issues with the purchase of Hard Rock Park out of bankruptcy last year. We have paid millions of dollars to our various vendors and are currently behind in payments to these two specific vendors and the Trustee regarding some agreed upon cure payments relating back to the bankruptcy proceeding."


"The Trustee filed this action in an attempt to bring current the cure payment. We had been communicating with the lessors and the Trustee in regards to payment prior to this filing. The formal hearing today resulted in a 30 day extension for payment. We’re working very hard with several potential investors to close a transaction in the coming weeks and as always, remain committed to paying these debts.”


The park's public relations office, Michelle Cantey tells us, "We're always looking at opportunities that are best for this park and have never been in exclusive negotiations with any one set of investors. We are in various stages of due diligence with several potential investors."


The next hearing will be held on February 16th.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some news about the pending fate of Freestyle Music Park has arisen regarding some potential investors...




Sources tell Discover Myrtle Beach that one of the former owners of Hard Rock Park has arrived in Myrtle Beach and is interested in reacquiring the park with new investors.


Felix Mussenden, who is one of the Hard Rock Park's former owners, President and Chief Operating Officer, is said to have arrived in Myrtle Beach this weekend and is touring the park as one of three parties believed to be interested in purchasing the park.Mussenden, is rumored to be working with WET Holdings' Steve Dooner. Dooner's Las Vegas Wet is billed as the ultimate Vegas-style theme park that will be an environmentally friendly landscape


of hotels, arenas, casinos, shopping and dining facilities. Las Vegas Wet will include the largest indoor waterpark in North America, a snow dome where guests can ski indoors year-round, and a destination for locals seeking either a day of fun with the family, or simply a night out on the town.


Dooner himself has worked with Paramount Parks, Disney and Universal.


Another person involved in Mussenden/Dooner team is one of the original investors out of New York. This player adds a bigger piece of the overall plan because we are led to believe that if they reacquire the park, it may include a redevelopment of the entire Fantasy Harbour area, including the current mall up against Highway 501.


The Waccamaw Pottery Mall is also owned by the original investors under a separate company.


The Mussenden/Dooner team isn't the only party interested in acquiring the park. Sources tell us that Southern Star Amusement has also expressed interest and has been discussing taking over.


"Southern Star is thinking they can convince the Russians to let them operate it until they find money," our source says. "It's likely that Baker will be gone shortly. Definitely if Star gets the deal they want."


This could mean that Baker Leisure will no longer operate as the Park's management company as early as this Wednesday.


Southern Star has previously been involved in an attempt to purchase Six Flags in New Orleans. The company was unable to make a $500,000 payment in order to apply for Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds. Nickelodeon then ended their relationship to turn the park into Nickelodeon Universe.


When asked about Mussenden/Dooner or Southern Star’s involvement, the park’s Marketing Manager, Michelle Cantey says in a written statement to Discover Myrtle Beach, “We can confirm that we are at various stages of due diligence with several groups of potential investors. We had hoped to have agreements finalized by the end of January but this is a lengthy process that has taken longer than initially planned.”


“In looking back at the FPI-MBE transaction with Hard Rock Park, that was almost a four month process. We appreciate everyone’s willingness to work with us and patience during this tedious process. We remain committed to fulfilling our obligations with our vendors. With all interested parties, we emphasize the fulfillment of our financial obligations with local vendors as a key component to their future success with the Park.”


It is unclear how the area community will react if a previous, major owner returns to the park after Hard Rock Park’s failure.


As for the possibility that Baker Leisure would no longer be managing the park on behalf of the investors, Cantey says that is still being discussed but there is no truth to any rumor of Steve Baker or Baker Leisure being bought out as a minority owner.


To add to the mix, a third party from Florida is also rumored to be "the investor" the park's management team has stated it has been in talks with for several months.


Sources tell Discover Myrtle Beach that Tara Perry of Exploration Holdings may be the longer rumored group who has been trying to invest in the park back in November but Cantey could not confirm the story.


Whether any party is able to secure financing is unclear. Time is of the essence as FPI MBE is back in court on February 16th regarding a $570,000 debt the park must make. Should no investor come forward to take over the park, it may signal the park's move into bankruptcy protection. The attorney for the trustee in the case reluctantly gave the park its 30-day extension, which makes any further extension unlikely.


As for the previously mentioned opening date of March 11, it will not be the date for the opening of the 2010 season. Cantey said in a phone conversation that the date was floated around in an interview with the Sun News, but March 11 is not going to be the actual opening date.


“We are looking at late March,” Cantey said, “We have group commitments beginning March 26 which we are very excited about.”


Also this past week in park news, a Horry County court passed judgment in a lawsuit put forth by Thomas Supply. The judgment was for $4,351.63 according to court records.


Other vendors have been waiting patiently for answers to their own payment questions. Payments due range from hundreds to the thousands in the six figure range, possible even more. A sale is what all vendors are hoping for because new owners would be expected to take over the park's debts.


Many local companies were left with empty pockets from unpaid bills after the Hard Rock’s bankruptcy filing.


Some vendors continued to work with Freestyle and now find themselves in a similar position.


One vendor tells us, “I don’t care who buys the park or what’s going on. At the end of the day I just want to get paid for services rendered.”


Some vendors also tell us that they would consider working with the park yet again, if they were paid, but new work would be paid upfront.


However, should the park move into the bankruptcy phase yet again, it would end almost any chance for vendors to recover more lost payments


I can't even conceive the thought of Danny Rogers of Southern Star Amusements getting a hold of the park...

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