Hard Rock Park sold to FPI MB Entertainment for $25 million*
* Updated throughout:
A bankruptcy judge today approved the sale of the closed and bankrupt Hard Rock Park
to FPI MB Entertainment.
The deal is for $25 million - quite a discount from the $400 million the park reportedly cost to build. The judge said that a competing bid from a new group calling itself Coastal Entertainment, came with "too little, too late," according to a live blog from the courtroom on the Myrtle Beach Online site.
We did a little digging into FPI's background last week. The sale is to close by Thursday, and we're awaiting word if FPI can reach a deal with Hard Rock International before then, to preserve the park's branding. If they can't, FPI will have to rebrand the park and destroy all unsold Hard Rock-branded park merchandise.
Update: FPI MB Entertainment has confirmed that Baker Leisure Group will manage operations at the park. (We first reported the connection between FPI MB Entertainment and Baker here on TPI last week.)
In the previous version of this post, we asked readers whom they'd like to see get control of the site. Now that the sale is approved to FPI, tell us what you think.
Baker Entertainment. He seemed to do well with World Showcase! Need some Disney umpf into this project (I know he does not work for Disney anymore)
Hopefully, a group gets the park that knows what the heck to do with it. So, here's hoping someone makes the right choice.
I find this funny, and I hate to say I told you so. Up until a month ago, nobody (besides me it seems) wanted anything to do with this place. Now all of the sudden there's a three way war going on for it.
A park has to have a theme to be a viable destination attraction, one that will draw people from more than two-three hours' drive away. Take a look at the list of most popular parks in North America at the right. You have to go all the way down to Cedar Point before you find an unthemed park in the U.S.
The only bad news I see here (which somewhat echo's Robert's comments above) is that the new owners are dead set on adding new rides before their Memorial Day opening. I am no ride designer, but I fear the quick fix they are shooting for will lead to the addition of several off-the-shelf midway rides common to most carnivals and state fairs (and Six Flags parks). If the new owners go down that road, then the long term outlook for this park is grim. Slamming in a couple of midway rides to beef up the attraction list is a huge mistake. The new owners need to bite the bullet and operate at a loss this season, and really take time to plan for future expansion. As Robert stated previously, I would hate for HRP to become just another small market, midway mecca.
I agree as well about the rides. Although the park could really use some more rides, it should be about quality instead of quantity. They could still somehow use the music theme without the Hard Rock brand. Aside from the merchandise, memorabilia, and signage, I'm not sure what else HRC really brought to the table. If they did keep the music theme, they could maintain ties with the bands and entities that are currently being used in the park and keep the rides intact, although I'm not sure it's necessary to do that. Quite simply though, the new owners probably won't reach a deal with HRC, but they honestly don't need Hard Rock to do a music themed park. I think it's best to keep intact what they can and build on it with regard to quality.
As one of the 3 HRP fans on TPI I am THRILLED that this park will reopen although it will look very different from the park I visited last May.
I'm attending a reunion in Myrtle Beach from September 24-27. I hope they are still open.
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