The park, from what I saw seemed like it was a pretty interesting park with some kind of new rides. I think the slumping economy did not help with this park taking off since 2008 seems to be a bad time to open up a brand new park. The investors and creators should have seen this, but they did not. It also seemed pretty well received on this site with people actually being more excited than bashing it. However, I will say that I have found one park's reviews a little misleading, in my opinion, and that was DCA post all the improvements. Maybe it doesn't take much to entertain me.
It's a guilty pleasure, but it sort of felt good reading that letter from the Hard Rock investor to Robert about the site members not knowing anything.
If you click through on a member's name, you can see when they joined the site. (Site registration started in October 2000, even though the site was around before then.)
But that is a great vote topic, too. I'll keep it in mind.
As for Hard Rock, I thought that this park had a good chance to succeed, based solely on what was inside the gates. Make this the third gate at Universal Orlando, and I think we're talking hit.
But alone, in South Carolina, away from Interstate highways and major airports, and without massive promotion and a Web-savvy marketing team -- Hard Rock had no chance.
A big question is this, if the winner keeps the park open, will it stay themed to Hard Rock? Although the theme is a good one and can be built upon, it's also not cheap. A few million bucks for the Hard Rock license, and merchandise deals with several bands and other music acts for rides and merchandise tend to lessen profit a little. Most companies would probably drop the Hard Rock brand in the face of an economic crunch, although they would pretty much have to do nothing to open next year if they keep it.
I don't care what the theme park experts and their feasibility studies say. Forget about the colossal failure of the previous management and think about the market they are in. With the right management and the right plan, Hard Rock can be a winner.
HRP was a good experience but not anywhere near good enough to get me to travel back for a second visit unless many more attractions open. It's too far from where we normally vacation (NC Beaches, usually, HHI, occasionally)
The actual park location and surroundings are very poor. (A park at the beach should be AT THE BEACH!!!)
Beach vacationers have spent a lot on the hotel, food, etc. Several hundred for HRP isn't fitting into too many budgets.
Most MBSC "regulars" tend to be more interested in NASCAR than the British Invasion.
There is probably not a strong level of sales of season passes (which is critical in this business) because the area is sparsely populated. Most residents of MBSC are kids working summer jobs or retirees that like to play a lot of golf.
I am not confident the park will re-open. I do not think sucess will come easily. There is no market for HRP and THAT is what we saw this year.
I am, however, very happy to have had the opportunity to go and take my teenage kids. I hope my prognosis is wrong!!!
Also - Robert, I'm interested in that vote because I want to see statistics. I know you can see people's durations on their profiles, but it would be cool to see how much the site has taken off.
But the map still works.
Seriously folks, 35 million is chicken feed for that park. It's brand spanking new I would like to think that it didn't sell for that. 35 million is probably about what they paid for the 3 coasters, let alone build the whole park. I read somewhere that PARC was inquiring about managing for whoever the winner was, but then it seems that PARC denied that story. I would think that they could have been one of the bidders, given that they just bought the NASCAR fun center and Myrtle Waves water park..both about 5 miles down the road from Hard Rock.
If it did in fact sell for 35 mil, the buyer is a fool if they don't reopen it.
Assuming a 150-day operating season (April-August), you'd need to net $233,333 a day to make that money back in the first season. Assume $40 per guest in revenue, and you'd need to average 5,833 paying guests a day to cover the purchase price, not counting park operating cost.
Now, these numbers are absurdly low. Even assuming that many folks will be entering the park on annual passes and multi-day tickets, you should gross more than $40 a head when you factor in parking, food, photos and merchandise. And a Halloween event would extend the season another couple months. The park should be able to open in March for Spring Breakers, too.
Of course, I suspect that the park will go for more than $35M, too.
Throw all the numbers into the mix, and it seems to me that an average daily attendance of 10,000 is what you'd need to begin to make this park financially viable. If a buyer thinks that it can hit that number, it stays open. Otherwise, we're just selling off rides here.
Personally, to hit that number in Myrtle Beach, I think the park's going to need a substantial marketing campaign, including TV, radio and online advertising and marketing. Plus cooperation with the local tourism board and area hotels. That's an additional expense, which would require an owner willing to operate at a loss for the first year to pay for it.
I know nothing (well, at least according to the Hard Rock brass), but I will guess that the park sells for $52 million. Anyone else want to take a guess? We'll make this a contest for official TPI bragging rights. ;-)
The Hard Rock theme does cost some money, but still can be a winner with creative minds, and remember that the new owners would have a lot less debt to manage (hence more money to play with for special events, concerts, halloween...etc, which drew big numbers when they did happen at Hard Rock). Plug 2-3 million guests into the equation at $40-$50 bucks a head, and all of the sudden it doesn't look so daunting.
A low "mortgage" payment, combined with management that knows where and how to market, how to set prices, how to manage payroll, and how to entertain people...makes for success.
I'll go a little higher Robert..62 mil.
I really regret not making it to Hard Rock over the summer. It looked like it had the beginnings of a real nice park. Whether the mgmt team was too cocky, or foolish, or naive, or whatever, I think they were on the way to creating another great theme park vacation destination. It is truly a shame to see things end this way, with shrewd buyers just picking over the carcass of a once very promising theme park.
Now, why doesn't someone give me $400 mil to start a park? I wouldn't do much worse than Hard Rock, and with most of my mgmt and creative team assembled from regulars on this very website, I speculate the park we built would be absolutely amazing.
Robert, I've said it before, and I'll say it again: TPI regulars need to band together and build our own park. It will be a perfect amalgamation of theme and thrills...a marriage of the best of Disney and Cedar Point. People would immigrate to be near our park, guaranteed! Lead the charge, Mr. Niles. Make it happen!
The parcel of land was dilapidated before Hard Rock moved in, and still isn't what I would consider prime real estate in MB, so an investor buying the park for the land is probably out of the question. There aren't a whole lot of companies that are prepared to expand or even buy a cache of rides that would end up costing more money to move anyway. 100 million bucks isn't worth moving rides or the land the park sits on, so if the bids do go that high, there's a good chance that the park will open.
It will really be a shame if it doesn't open. If I had the money, it would be mine.
Blackstone...Herschend...who's the winner? They did say that there was one national and one international company interested in reopening the park.
We could build one sweet park. I'd be in the design division due to my mechanical engineering background. Hey, that sounds like a good topic - where would you be in the theme park layout?