Vote of the week: Would you have visited Hard Rock Park in 2009?
Plug in the amp and tune the guitars; it's time for the fat lady to sing.
There does not appear to be a buyer for Hard Rock Park, all but dashing hopes that the bankrupt theme park will reopen after what appears to have been its only season.
Many blame the park's management for not advertising and marketing the new theme park aggressively. I got several notes from a park PR rep in advance of its opening last spring, including an invite to attend media previews. But as the summer went on, I stopped hearing from the park. And I never noticed ads for Hard Rock Park on TPI or other websites, despite the fact that all other major U.S. theme parks were advertising extensively on the Web.
Would more publicity have helped? Let's vote on what your plans would have been for visiting Hard Rock Park in 2009.
Let's start by voting on what you did do in 2008.
Now, take a look at the park's attractions, if you haven't before. Assume that the park would be priced the same as whatever you consider a comparable park to be, with similar crowds and discounts. And that you could find a reasonably priced hotel room for your budget in the Myrtle Beach area. Would you have gone to Hard Rock Park in 2009, if you had had the chance?
Share in the comments your ideas on what could have saved (or might yet still save) Hard Rock Park.
If I would have known it was going to close so quickly, I probably would have tried a lot harder to go THIS year. By the time I knew the park was doomed, my travel budget for 2008 was spent.
I went in july this year and didn't have the great of a time.
We visited Myrtle Beach this year and drove by it a few times and honestly I wasn't impressed, drawn in, or interested at all. Not to say that they don't have good rides or theming. But it's location was strange, the signage and entrance area wasn't much to talk about. And the surrounding area where it was located wasn't invested much into either. You would think that something big like that would have more surrounding development. It was very disappointing.
The park is in a odd place, and could use some surrounding cover (trees..etc) to shield it from the highway and isolate the land. The neighborhood around it was starting to emerge from some down times. The success of the park would have obviously had a positive effect on development. On the inside, the park delivered the goods. I would have liked to have seen a couple more rides, but the park was new and they made up for it with entertaining shows.
Well, then, to meet what appears to be Wall Street's demands, we simply need to rename HRP "Ponzi Park," and convert it to a financial services theme.
Well, there have been worse park openings in recent years - anyone remember the Wild West World fiasco? The place was open about 60 days! Even in that case, there were recent plans in the works for it to re-theme and re-open. But, the current economic situation blah blah blah.
Honestly...WHY did they pick that spot??? Had it been up on the by-pass, it could have been a beautiful park and I feel would have been able to grow as time would demand. I agree with others that it lacked the visual attraction to draw people in. I hate that this will probably be the end of parks in that region. And of course the price was way too high considering the limited amount of attractions.
After looking at photos and reading information on the rides it is clear that this park does not pack enough punch to attract people outside a 100 mile radius.
Based on location and what it costs us to fly from Washington State to that part of the country, coupled with the fact that it didn't seem like it offered a lot of rides (which is our fortay), definitely would not have went.
I went to the Hard Rock Theme Park last summer.We arrived a half hour before the park opened.The ticket booths were down, and we sat in the heat for about an hour. The management felt sorry, and gave everybody bottled water. Finally when we got in the park we noticed how empty it was for the first week of July. The shows were not to the caliber of Disney or the Busch Corp. The only ride I enjoyed was Knights in White Satin, all the other rides were same ole.same ole. I could not believe there were no simulator rides or 3D shows. We went on every ride in the park including lunch where we done everything in 4 hours. No discounts unless you lived in North or South Carolina.Tickets were 50.00. When I left the park I told my wife it won't last a year I was right. In August went to Dollywood in TN. Had a wonderful 2 days at this theme park.
I'm not exactly sure why they picked that spot for the park. There are other parcels of land that it could have been built on. The highway 17 bypass would have been a good flat spot that is a happening place in MB. Perhaps it was land that the owners already had or bought for cheap. The land it was built on was at one time a mall, but it and many of the surrounding businesses closed down when Broadway and other spots opened up on hwy 17. It wasn't a slum or anything like that, just a past it's prime commercial district that obviously would have been fully revitalized with HRP success.
One of the investors in the park (I believe it was Binkowski) already had ownership or at least a share of the ice house theatre (where the Country Rocks show was held). That may have been a factor in their decision.
Family went in '08. Absolutely NOTHING to draw us back soon. (That is ultimately why this park failed. No real potential for repeat customers and/or high season pass sales.) Might have gone back in, say, 2012, if new attractions were built. We DID enjoy the park. Led Zepplin is a unique coaster. It probably can't retain the theming if moved elsewhere. (Although, that might be a good thing. That LZ biography and "Whole Lotta Love" gets REALLY old after a couple of rides!)
Myrtle Beach...where's that, again? And who goes there?
Okay, the numbers are small, and the nature of both the site and the question mean that we've got a much higher-than-normal percentage of former HRP visitors in the mix.
Location was a problem? Maybe a little; however, with their budget did anyone think that maybe they did not have time to develop it and possibly develop the surrounding area in the future? Oh, and Robert, you said there were no major airports nearby in a previous thread. I am not sure if you have been or Myrtle Beach and near their airport, but it is a fairly busy airport. It may not be the size of the big airports like Orlando, O'hare, etc. but it is busy. I do not see that being a problem.
A major airport would be one that people from the largest cities in the country can fly to, non-stop, multiple times a day. By that standard, Myrtle Beach is not close to being a major airport. Myrtle Beach had about 850,000 passenger departures in 2007. Atlanta's airport does that in, what, a week?
MB has a metro population of 300,000. I73 is in the process of connecting several cities and other interstates...running from Michigan to the Strand Area. As far as tourism goes, name another spot on the east coast (besides Orlando) that brings in as much tourism (average 15ish million a year) as the Myrtle Beach area.
Atlanta's airport probably does do that in a week considering it is the busiest airport in the world. You may be right on the airport situation; however, I still believe that it did not hurt Hard Rock Park. Derek made a very valid point. I really do not believe that the location is what put the park in its current situation.
Regardless of who you agree with, the park failed. Seems to me they just didn't offer enough to justify people going multiple times or at all. I know we never even considered going there based on the offerings. Whether you're one who is a coaster junkie or an amusement/theme park junkie, for me, their offerings were not appealing to me at all.
I think it was just the wrong place, wrong time type of deal. 2008 will go down as the year that not just the American economy, but the world economy was just not supportive enough for any type of high cost, high risk deal of any type. I remember working for a low-cost airline (Independence Air) in the two summer seasons that plane fuel was skyrocketing. No matter how much business we got, it was never enough.
Well first off the location was the main reason. just not many tourists wanting to go to theme parks when theyd rather go to the beach. It should have been located where music thrives. Myrtle beach isn't exactly a music capital of the world now. 2nd, hard rock should never have taken on a park by themselves. never never never, restaurants just shouldn't take that sort of risk. 3rd, the lack of quality and depth of rides. Yea the rides were fun, but most were disney or universal quality. There also wasn't that many rides and most could consider it a half day park. 4th the price. The price was outrageous. i think it was 50 dollars a day when we went in the summer. then the food was pretty pricey as well, but that compares to most theme parks. 5th, way too much anticipation. People were excited to hear about this park. however it didnt deliver and word spread QUICK about it being pretty bad. So bad that we even encountered a ticket person and the Alabama theatre where they sell tickets, suggest its not that great and is almost a waste. Thats pretty pathetic, but we did go just to check it out. Well thats my venting on hard rock park. May it find prosperity int he future with a new owner!
To the wise @ss that questioned where Myrtle Beach was and who goes to it...
Ronnie, I am sure you are absolutely correct in everything you have written. However, I applaud the fact that HRP designers tried to break out of the traditional amusement park mold. I would rather the park failed (which it did) then to have another Six Flags lookalike filled with everyday, off-the-shelf spinners and flat rides. HRP was attempting, in its own cash-starved way, to set itself apart from the Six Flags of the world and be something better: a true theme park. We don't need another stationary carnival propped up by a decent coaster or two, we need more theme parks.
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