Freestyle Music Park
FPI US LLC
Myrtle Beach, SC
Formerly: Hard Rock Park
Park News - (5/3/13) The final chapter to the Hard Rock Park saga on ThemeParkUniversity has been posted. Check it out.
(4/29/13) The next part of the Hard Rock Park saga has been posted to ThemeParkUniversity… this time mulling over the corpse to determine just why Hard Rock Park failed.
As for the possible sale of the park site to the non-profit group. If they are able to raise the money to buy the site, it was also confirmed in another article that all the rides and attractions would be removed from the park site by the owners before they take over.
(4/24/13) The local news has reported a possible sale of the Freestyle Music Park property is in the works, but unfortunately they seem to have no plan to run it as a theme park. The group is an organization known as Abiding Village, formed by members of Christ United Methodist Church. The group has kicked off a fundraiser to earn $10 million in 3 weeks time in order to purchase the property. If that sounds low, it is… the property is valued at between 150-180 million, but the owners are apparently offering Abiding Village a special deal. I’ve got a feeling that the $10 million deal does not include all those valuable rides on the site… so if the deal goes through I’d expect to see the owners quickly try to sell off all the rides and any other valuable hardware as quickly as possible.
(4/19/13) Another segment in the Hard Rock Park saga has gone live today, showing off even more concept ride art for attractions never built (KISS Bumper Cars, A Wipeout water ride, Hot Rod Lincoln swing ship, plans to double the length of Maximum RPM and more! There was even a unique Mustang Sally ride that was kind of a mix between Radiator Springs Racers and a launched roller coaster with indoor and outdoor sections. Plus they talking about the park’s unrealized plans for a true Halloween Haunt style event. So sad…
(4/17/13) I often wonder just what Hard Rock Park would have been like if it had not closed down so quickly. As with any park, there are always plans and attractions designed that are put on the back-burner either due to time or budget restraints (or both).
ThemeParkUniversity is back this week with some never-before seen artwork showing off some of the once official expansion plans for things like the Paradise City resort area, on-site timeshares, a Welcome To The Jungle river rapids ride with on-board soundtrack, a slow boat ride called Many Rivers To Cross, a wedding chapel as well as future ride concepts based on the music of Kiss, Beatles and a trip down Route 66.
(4/15/13) The next segment in the story about the former Hard Rock Park has been posted to ThemeParkUniversity this week.
(4/9/13) Part 6 in the series on Hard Rock Park is now live at Theme Park University. Check it out.
(4/8/13) Part 5 of the ongoing look at the creation of the ill-fated Hard Rock Park has been posted to Theme Park University. This chapter takes us in for a closer look at the park’s Maximum RPM coaster (the only one ever built with a ferris wheel style lift) and the ultra-unique dark ride experience, Nights in White Satin.
(3/29/13) Theme Park University has posted Part 4 in their series on Hard Rock Park, this one is all about Led Zepplin: The Ride.
(3/22/13) ThemeParkUniversity has posted Part 3 in their ongoing article about the ill fated Hard Rock Park. Check it out.
(3/15/13) The second park in the series of articles about the creation and fate of Hard Rock Park has been posted to ThemeParkUniversity.
(3/8/13) Theme Park University is back with another unique update… this one promises to be Part 1 of a series of updates about the creation of Hard Rock Park, starting off with some backstory on the project that may be news information to many of you. Go check it out.
(2/19/13) I’m told that from time to time, some activity is spotted inside Freestyle Music Park as there are said to be approximately 10 employees still on the payroll there. There are a couple of maintenance types who run the rides and equipment every so often to keep them from just rusting away, there is said to be one HR / desk jockey person keeping the paper trail in motion and the rest are said to be security guards. But with people still working on site daily, I’ve heard it isn’t uncommon to see the occasional truck or vehicle on site.
(2/4/13) I’ve heard a strange tale from a local who claims to have seen what looks like “moving trucks” inside the old Freestyle Music Park lately. Anyone else nearby seen any sign of activity in the park?
(10/10/12) It seems our favorite closed theme park is getting some prime time coverage this week, as the former Hard Rock Park is serving as the background setting for the latest episode of Revolution. May be worth checking out.
(7/2/12) The local news reports that land nearby the former Hard Rock Park which was once planned to be the site for a resort hotel is going to be sold at a foreclosure auction on Monday. The 27 acre site was once planned to become home to a Hard Rock Hotel before the theme park itself folded before it could finish it’s first year of operation.
In other news I’ve been sent a link to an odd little site outlining some of the idea to reopen Hard Rock Park as Outback Oasis Park. I’ve got to admit, I’m really taking this more as a Blue Sky dream and not a serious business proposal at this time… as I’d have to know a lot more about the parties involved and if they have access to the financial pockets needed to make this a reality. I still think we need an experience family park style operator who really knows how to market and make a small park like this not only successful, but also willing to hit the right price point to make the park seem like a good value experience that they need to have their family experience. (Again… not to beat a dead horse, but I’d love to see the Koch family from Holiday World take a crack here, or Herschend Family Entertainment (Dollywood, Silver Dollar City).
(6/29/12) In an interesting twist, someone has posted a basic plan to see if it may be possible to reopen Freestyle Music Park over at the Discover Myrtle Beach forum. I don’t know how serious this is, but I do wish the best of luck to anyone who attempts to reopen this park. It really was a nice park… it was just small, needed time to grow, and attempted to open in the first year as a premium price attraction at the start of a depression. I’d love to see if given a fair shake.
(2/20/12) Put the brakes on… it seems that Freestyle Music Park does not have a new owner after all. The reality of the situation is spelled out a bit better in this news article, but the gist is as follows. The current park owner, FPI US LLC, is still looking to find someone to buy or operate the park property. In order to pay the bills needed for security and keep up the maintenance inside the park, they have mortgaged the property to the Ysanne Trading Limited group in exchange for a $20 million loan. With a loan that large, I can only hope that will give them the time to find a new owner with a good background, financial stability, and theme-park biz knowledge in order to give the park another attempt. Personally, I’d love to see Herschend Family Entertainment give it a shot, or maybe even the new Bluegrass Boardwalk team attempting to revive Kentucky Kingdom.
(2/17/12) According to an update over at Discover Myrtle Beach, Freestyle Music Park has new owners who have signed a $20 million deal to aquire the park through a foreign lender. The new owner is listed only as Ysanne Trading Limited, a company based in Cyprus, an island nation in the Mediterranean. So far I haven’t been able to uncover anything about this group, has anyone else?
(2/13/12) While I don’t have much news about Freestyle Music Park itself, the local news reports that the old Waccamaw Pottery mall site has been purchased this week by a new investment group who plans on reviving the former shopping center. The previous owners were also investors in Hard Rock Park who had planned to demolish the mall to make way for a new Entertainment / Retail site called Paradise City, but those plans quickly fell short once Hard Rock fell on tough times.
According to this second article, the new mall owners did report that while they don’t know the fate of Freestyle Music Park, they are aware of ongoing talks to find a new operator for the one, with one group currently said to be very active in their negotiations. Though at this point, there is really no hope that Freestyle would be able to reopen for 2012… so we’re looking at a 2013 opening at best I think.
(12/29/11) The latest report at Discover Myrtle Beach mentions that their sources have reported that the owners of Freestyle Music Park may be near closing a deal with a potential new buyer (or operator) for the property that would be able to reopen it in time for Summer 2012. Anyone else heard more?
Looking briefly at the playing field, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up being some kind of combination effort on the park of CNL Lifestyle Properties buying the property outright and then hiring one of their existing management companies to run the park like Herschend Family Entertainment, ARM or Premier Attractions Management.
HFE has the most experience dealing with the unique Myrtle Beach marketplace and demographics through their management of Dolly’s Dixie Stampede dinner theater (now revamped as Pirate’s Voyage). Management deals are also something they are getting more into, as they signed on to run both Elitch Gardens (CO) and Darien Lake (NY) for CLN last year.
I think Freestyle may be a bit too small for the big players to deal with, though you never know where Parques Reunidos will pop up to purchase another property to run under the Palace Entertainment brand either as smaller parks and attractions seem to be there niche.
I’ve also got to wonder if Ed Hart has been out to kick the tires either. The man has a reputation for brining failing parks back to life, as he did it with Kentucky Kingdom and Magic Springs already… and after just being shunned from his latest attempt to revive Kentucky Kingdom a second time, I’m sure he’s been looking for his next big project as well.
(12/22/11) According to Myrtle-Beach.com, there is still hope that Freestyle Music Park can reopen in time for the Summer of 2012, but the owners are still attempting to finalize a deal with a group to either buy or operate the park for them. They’ll need to hurry up if they want to have any chance of reopening for 2012 however.
(10/3/11) The local news reports that Freestyle’s owners are trying to find someone to take over and reopen the park for them, or buy it outright, but to make sure everything is ready to reopen for the 2012 season, someone needs to come on board this fall to get the ball rolling.
Some interesting ideas are floated around as well as a way to combat the problems the park had the first two season, such as possibly just making admission to it totally free, and just charging per ride. Others suggest an adjustment of the hours to make the park’s prime time hours in the late afternoon and evening, as most people in the area are at the beach or playing golf during the first part of the day. Of course, adding more rides and making the park more visible to the main highway passing by is also a priority as well. Should be interesting to see what happens this time around.
(9/28/11) According to Discover Myrtle Beach, their sources tell them that the word is coming down from the current owners of Freestyle Music Park to start bringing in the people needed to get the rides ready for operation once again. Great news so far… now how long until we see some rides start testing again?
(9/26/11) While all has been silent from Freestyle Music Park lately, a new rumor did come in claiming that one of the former Hard Rock Park investors may have obtained some new investment partners with the goal of purchasing the park back and reopening it in 2012. No word on how true this rumor is, or if the current owners will be able to get their act together enough to get the park open or not in 2012, but I guess we should start looking for any signs of life or activity at least in the park as a sign of things to come.
(8/4/11) Perhaps one of the most shocking announcement of the week has come in claiming that Freestyle Music Park may very well reopen for the 2012 season. According to the news article, which confirms a rumor I heard about a week ago but didn’t believe myself, FPI US LLC, the mortgage holder of the park, has bought the park out of foreclosure. FPI US is looking to either find a partner to manage and operate the park, or to find a buyer looking to take it off their hands and run it outright. Apparently they are already in the early stages of talks with someone.
The buyout deal seems a little odd, as you may recall there were two FPI companies involved in the park’s ownership, and FPI US LLC forclosed on their former operators, FPI MB Entertainment LLC. FPI US LLC gained full ownership of the park through a “credit bid” of $7 million at a foreclosure auction, but really didn’t have to pay that sum as they were owned more than that amount by the former operators. Everyone else still owned money is ‘out of luck’.
They are going to look at what worked for the park during it’s two previous attempts at life and more importantly, take careful note of what was tried that did not work. Of course both of the park’s two previous lives also took place during the two worst years of the economy as well, when people were cutting all unnecessary costs and trips. Perhaps the third time will be a charm after all.
(6/1/11) According to the latest news over at Discover Myrtle Beach, those Mystery Guests who were seen touring Freestyle Music Park about a month ago apparently made an offer to buy some of the park’s rides. However, they also believe that the Russian owners declined the offer. In fact, there is also a possibility that the owners may have paid off their debts in order to bring in a higher price for the park, rather than have it liquidated to the highest bidder.
(5/19/11) Due to the speculation that PARC Management could possibly be looking at purchasing Freestyle Music Park, one of our readers contacted PARC to get their comment on the matter.
According to the official reply sent back from Angelica M. Guardia, PARC’s Corproate Communications Corridinator, “We currently operate three properties in Myrtle Beach, NASCAR Speedpark, Myrtle Waves Water Park and the Pavilion Nostalgia Park – for Myrtle Beach we have no immediate plans to expand beyond these facilities.”
Take that for what you will… either not involved or no longer interested, it sounds like PARC is not involved. Or just not willing to say anything yet…
(4/25/11) Discover Myrtle Beach has posted a photo of couple of people on-site at Freestyle Music Park. Shot from behind of course, so we have no idea who they are, but it’s proof that there is life inside the gates right now.
(4/23/11) Screamscape sources have leaked us some interesting updates about Freestyle Music Park. According to our source, those mystery guests seen touring the park a few days ago were seen touring the park for three days straight. The group of 6-7 people was described as being “well dressed” and were spotted leaving the park in a van the other day. Our source actually decided to tail them for a bit as the van drove away from the park and dropped them off at the nearby Country Inn & Suites. One member of the group then entered what seemed to be their own personal car (with Florida plates) and departed. It kind of makes you wonder if the rumors about PARC being involved here is true, as both PARC and the acquired Baker Leisure Group company are both based in Florida.
Either way… a three day tour of the property does quite intense… as if they are possibly very close to announcing a deal I hope. Stay tuned!
(4/20/11) Discover Myrtle Beach reports that a small group was given a tour of Freestyle Music Park earlier today. Yep… from the sound of things the group was too big to simply be some kind of insurance claim, so it sounds like an interested buyer was touring the property. Cross your fingers… this could be good.