Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread

P. 300: Former park land sold for $3.5 million
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Re: Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread

Postby vcgjr76 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:29 pm

OldJJman wrote:
vcgjr76 wrote: The article goes from the original concept to why the park failed.


It's an interesting look at the park, but when the story gets finished, you'll still never see the real reason that the park(s) failed.



No offense, but there are 257 pages before this one that very thoroughly cover that discussion.

The bottom line is this (which NONE of the experts, insiders, or creators of HRP will ever admit to, because if they did - it would mean that they had an initial catastrophic misjudgment): the per capita income of residents and tourists to the area simply could not sustain a large amusement park, especially with a $50 admission.

Myrtle Beach residents and tourists couldn't sustain a park 1/5 the size (that was always busy), Myrtle Beach Pavillion. Nor could they sustain an outlet shopping mall which stood vacant for years on that very site HRP was built on. They barely sustain Family Kingdom, only 3 miles away.

The three most important things in business are:

1. Location
2. Location
3. Location

It was built in a very BAD location.

You will find in the previous 257 pages many, many predictions, before the park even opened, of the park's demise. Once it opened, and a few people here had visited, those people said "get there while you can - it won't last".

We knew this, but because we don't have financial backing, or certain corporate sponsors, we "don't know what we're talking about".

Yet the park failed. Twice. By people that KNOW what they are doing.

They will NEVER admit that it's a bad location. Never.


Rollercoaster Rider wrote:It could've survived somewhere else. If it was near Nashville, It would be operating and booming!


Remember Opryland? Smaller park. Same fate.


In the first segment of the article that I linked to, they talk about the feasibility study done for the park. The independent study found that Myrtle Beach got an estimated 14 million tourist and could support 3 major theme parks. That's more people than live in the city of New York.

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Re: Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread

Postby Guy T. Koepp » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:55 pm

OldJJman wrote:
vcgjr76 wrote: The article goes from the original concept to why the park failed.


It's an interesting look at the park, but when the story gets finished, you'll still never see the real reason that the park(s) failed.



No offense, but there are 257 pages before this one that very thoroughly cover that discussion.

The bottom line is this (which NONE of the experts, insiders, or creators of HRP will ever admit to, because if they did - it would mean that they had an initial catastrophic misjudgment): the per capita income of residents and tourists to the area simply could not sustain a large amusement park, especially with a $50 admission.

Myrtle Beach residents and tourists couldn't sustain a park 1/5 the size (that was always busy), Myrtle Beach Pavillion. Nor could they sustain an outlet shopping mall which stood vacant for years on that very site HRP was built on. They barely sustain Family Kingdom, only 3 miles away.

The three most important things in business are:

1. Location
2. Location
3. Location

It was built in a very BAD location.

You will find in the previous 257 pages many, many predictions, before the park even opened, of the park's demise. Once it opened, and a few people here had visited, those people said "get there while you can - it won't last".

We knew this, but because we don't have financial backing, or certain corporate sponsors, we "don't know what we're talking about".

Yet the park failed. Twice. By people that KNOW what they are doing.

They will NEVER admit that it's a bad location. Never.


Rollercoaster Rider wrote:It could've survived somewhere else. If it was near Nashville, It would be operating and booming!


Remember Opryland? Smaller park. Same fate.


Entirely different circumstances. Opryland was a profitable park. It's still shrouded in mystery as to why it was closed. The general consensus is that the Gaylord family was just greedy and saw that the overhead for a mall was drastically cheaper than the overhead for a park. Where as this is kinda obvious, the park wasn't closed due to lack of visitors. With that said, I think Nashville would be better suited to having a theme park than where they put HRP.
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Re: Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread

Postby OldJJman » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:39 pm

Guy T. Koepp wrote:The general consensus is that the Gaylord family was just greedy and saw that the overhead for a mall was drastically cheaper than the overhead for a park. Where as this is kinda obvious, the park wasn't closed due to lack of visitors. With that said, I think Nashville would be better suited to having a theme park than where they put HRP.


Yeah, I'll give you that. It was actually a really nice park. I also believe that the Gaylord family did what they believed was best for them, and you can't fault them for that. Even though we, as enthusiasts, may try to.

There is also NO DOUBT that HRP, would have succeeded in Nashville. The per capita income of the region, and those of it's tourists are significantly greater than that of Myrtle Beach. (Probably would have had a major area themed to country music as well. Ugh.)

Not to mention accessibility via a major airport...


vcgjr76 wrote:In the first segment of the article that I linked to, they talk about the feasibility study done for the park. The independent study found that Myrtle Beach got an estimated 14 million tourist and could support 3 major theme parks. That's more people than live in the city of New York.


Believe what you want.

The facts (NOT a bought and paid for study!) are:

A MUCH smaller park failed to be sustained, only 3 years earlier. They barely keep the one they have open.

An outlet mall (which usually draws more people and $$ than an amusement park, and has much lower overhead costs for the owners) failed on the exact same site.

As a vacation destination, Myrtle Beach is known for 3 things: golfing, beaches, and cheap rentals (4 if you count the bars). It's known as an inexpensive vacation destination.

It's not even a big destination for "spring break" from college. The large tourist $$ are not, and will not be spent in that part of the country. Never has.


The only people that have made significant money, are the previous owners of Myrtle Beach Pavillion, who sold the land from the park to a real estate developer who had plans to make 6-7, 20-story hi-rise condos, at 80-200k per each condo.

They had great intentions of bringing $$ to the area, yet there was never enough interest to start the actual buildings. I believe that they finally did start the project, on a much smaller scale. I'm not sure as I lost interest in the area.

The bottom line is that the area cannot support a large amusement park, despite what the "feasibility study" said.

Like I said before, and MANY others, look through the pages of this thread. It's demise was predicted by many people here on TPR, before it even opened. For the exact reasons I've already mentioned.

People in that part of the country, and those that generally vacation there, do not have the same expendable income as those that vacation in the larger metropolitan areas.


Money talks, but it's just not as available in Myrtle Beach.
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Re: Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread

Postby arby » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:03 am

I don't mean to kick a dead horse. As a newbie on these forums, I haven't read back through the previous 250+ pages. However, I've been forced to go to Myrtle Beach a week every year for the past 7 years and will be for the next four years so I thought I'd give my input. My daughter is a competitive dancer so we converge on the beach to compete with dancers from all over the country including ones from Ohio, Florida, and Canada. These competitions go on for 5-6 different weeks over the summer.

While there is a lot of disposable income that comes into the beach, the largely rural (and traditionally lower per capital) nature of North Carolina and South Carolina helps to skew the studies that show per capita for visitors. With that being said, when we and our dance family friends go to Myrtle Beach, we like to spend the time relaxing on the beach and doing beach-type things like renting boats on the ICW, going parasailiing, or doing jet boat tours to see dolphins on the Atlantic, not spending a summer day in a hot amusement park with little shade.

I may or may not agree with everything that was previously discussed, but I am in the general consensus that a traditional amusement park will never do well in Myrtle Beach. That's just not what people from the area are looking for when they go to the beach...and certainly not at that location. Any successful amusement park at MB has to be pay-per-ride.

With that being said, Family Kingdom appears to be thriving and doing very well. primarily because of their location and the fact that it has free admission. They are close to downtown Myrtle Beach that is starting to become revitalized, drawing more people to the downtown area. Here's a shot of the crowds at the park exactly one month ago when we were there:

IMG_5045_edit.jpg
The crowds caused 30+ minute waits on nearly every ride as dusk fell all the way up til closing at midnight.


I certainly don't think Myrtle Beach could sustain three amusement parks, although it could potentially get a good draw from a free admission park built on a pier like Galveston or places in New Jersey.

There is a second amusement park in North Myrtle Beach that we went to last year. It was not in the best of shape and we did all we wanted to in about an hour so we had no desire to go back there this year. It wouldn't surprise me if that one wasn't around much longer.
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Re: Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread

Postby cfc » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:05 am

^I agree that a traditional amusement park near the beach, like Family Kingdom, has a much better chance of doing well than a theme park farther away. It gives families something to do in the evenings (like the areas numerous mini-golf courses). It's the same situation in Virginia Beach.
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Re: Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread

Postby TyRush » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:28 am

^Yes totally agree! Not many people want to drive after a long day at the beach..

Speaking of Virginia Beach, my family has gone to Sandbridge for about 11 years now! I love how quiet the beach is, and they still have the little park downtown on the boardwalk!
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Re: Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread

Postby willh51 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:41 am

Remember the Pavilion? That did great business. That's what tourists wanted; a water-front park that you didn't have to drive to.
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Re: Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread

Postby Dr. M » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:45 am

arby wrote:I may or may not agree with everything that was previously discussed, but I am in the general consensus that a traditional amusement park will never do well in Myrtle Beach. That's just not what people from the area are looking for when they go to the beach...and certainly not at that location. Any successful amusement park at MB has to be pay-per-ride.


I totally agree with this. HRP's pricing was unbelievably stupid no matter how you slice it. $50 per ticket, ALL tickets, no child or senior citizen discounts. That rules out any family with kids too young or grandparents too old to ride anything. And no cheaper evening tickets. This rules out any family that might want to spend the day on the beach and then go to the park in the evening (perfectly viable considering the park wasn't even that big). Of all the things to screw up, ticket pricing is such a basic thing, I mean just look at ANY other amusement park in existence.
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Re: Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread

Postby DirkFunk » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:50 am

Pavilion actually did pretty great business. Too bad the space it was on was theoretically worth more as condos at one point than an amusement park. Then the economy crashed, and now there's nothing there.

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Re: Hard Rock / Freestyle Music Park Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbear30 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:30 am

Some friends and I went on Labor day weekend the year it closed and each got in for just $26 a person. It was completely dead on a Saturday on Labor Day weekend if that tells you anything. There was all of maybe 150 people in the park. There were no waits for anything except the water coaster and it was about a 10 minute wait. Everything was running and looked nice but I knew it was doomed after seeing that. Glad I got to go and get those 5 credits!

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