Former Freestyle Music Park managers sue for backpay, bonuses

Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2010 3:10 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Nearly a month after a foreclosure lawsuit was filed against Freestyle Music Park and its parent company, more than a dozen former department heads have sued seeking more than $232,000 in unpaid wages and bonuses, according to court papers filed late Friday. Seventeen employees are listed as plaintiffs.

Read more from The Carolina Forest Chronicle.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 11:19 PM

Backpay I can understand, but can you honestly expect any kind of bonuses when the park ended up in the red?

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010 11:26 PM

Usually bonuses for new parks are for opening the park on time. People usually put in long hours before a new park opens to make sure everything is in place and this is to award them for their time.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 12:58 AM

I should get a bonus for experiencing MonStars of Rock.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 9:59 AM

Bonuses are not paid for 'parks opening on time'. That is their job. They open, they take in money, they get paid like everyone else. Just about everyone who went to that park in a full time capacity milked all they could, and now there is no park.

If I was the judge looking over the periodic financials, I would probably tell them to get out of my office. You have vice presidents (which is a bs title for one park), and a former Cedar Point man neverless, in line for a buyout if the park failed, which it did. How can you demand compensation when you cannot even refund your season pass holders? Someone explain how anyone involved can ask for any money?

This park will be liquidated, local vendors who have filed the correct paperwork will get some money, and they will be the end of this disaster. End of story.

Last edited by Agent Johnson, Wednesday, September 8, 2010 10:00 AM
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 10:05 AM

Bankruptcy Code or state insolvency laws will determine how any funds/proceeds of liquidation are distributed.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 10:51 AM

Vater said:
I should get a bonus for experiencing MonStars of Rock.

We should have at least gotten a partial refund....or have our minds "zapped" by the gizmo from MiB so we could erase the horrible memory of that atrocit....er, attraction.

As far as "bonuses" - reallly depends on what's in the employment contract. For all we know, they could have gotten a bonus for selling over 100 cups of coffe in a day....(Futurama reference for those playing along at home). ;)

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 11:04 AM

^What he said. How can any of us determine whether or not the employees should be given bonuses if we don't even know what the bonuses were for? If it's in the contract and they fulfilled their obligation, they should be compensated. I don't understand how that could be debated.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 12:09 PM

You have a pre determined salary. Period. Bonus payments are beyond the salary/wages. Period. If there is no money, there is no bonus. On pure principle, all this idiots who parachuted out, knowing the park was never ever going to reach its financial obligations should never work in another park.

There is a huge persona in the industry of 'entitlement', and many of them took it upon themselves to look out for number 1, in leiu of supporting the business for long term growth and employement. Those VP's made every decision a wrong one, and yet continue to ask for more.

Now,, there are more employees wanting to loot the assets for their share, and they will get nothing. Sometimes you lose, and this is one if them.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 1:19 PM

So because of your experience, every other business in the world does things like Morey's? Bonuses and stock awards may be inappropriately named, because in many cases they're just as much a part of your employment contract as your salary.

I doubt there's much money left to be had, or that there will be anything coming out of the foreclosure, so it's just another party getting in line for nothing.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 4:42 PM

The folks I new of in the first year were severely overpaid, and yet the 'ownership group' allowed them to tap again and again the line of credit for payroll, which was superceeding incoming revenue, let alone the other mounting expenses.

That place the worst controls, and it didn't get any better last year. Not sure who was in the financial department, but yes, our park maintains much better controls, and does not allow runaway payroll, or anything else.

You can't pay people 'all that money' when there is no money coming in. I am not sure how these folks would ever get paid.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 10:56 PM

You're missing the point. Some business put "bonuses" as a standard part of compensation. If that was the terms of their employment, then that's what they're entitled to.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:19 AM

I'd like to think season pass holders would get refunds before employees get bonuses. I guess that's just not how it works.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:40 AM

They are entitled to their salary/wages. A poor operation deserves nada. Without even comparing to the AIG fiasco, these managers have seen the VP's get golden parachutes, again, corrupting the coffers.

They want their wages, which, they can apply through the courts, and hope to get. Again, bonuses are just that, extra. There is no judge in Atlantic Co. SC who will allocate further 'salary enhancements' over paying local or reginal vendors.

It all started over creating a unrealistic business plan. HRP part one had no on in upper management of being realistic in their alledged incentive program. Freestyle part two didn't fare any better, even with the so called experts of Baker Leisure.

And where are all those other VP's, directors, managers. Its not like another theme park company came in a swept them off their feet for jobs is it? You can't fix stupid.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:02 AM

I hate to pull out the reading comprehension post, but I'm not sure what else I can do at this point.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:14 AM

Bonuses are not extra if they're part of the contract.

If their employment contract said, "We'll pay you $100,000 if you can get all the rides running by June 1st" whether they called it a bonus, an incentive, a salary, or a blue flying dinosaur clause, then the employee is entitled to $100,000 if they got all the rides running by June 1st.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:34 AM

The "blue flying dinosaur clause" is kinda what I was getting at as well, Andy. Doesn't really matter what it's called or why it's rewarded, an incentive-laden contract gives a "bonus" when whatever objective named is achieved. We're all in agreement on that (except for AJ, but I think he's getting more into why bonuses SHOULD be given rather than "why MUST they be paid"). They must be paid whenever the contract calls for it....

Judges don't typically like to rule on whether a contract is *business-smart*, only whether it's legally enforceable. ;)

Last edited by rollergator, Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:35 AM
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Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:06 PM

I understand what they are supposed to receive. What they actually will receive is another story. Again, read what I said, they dollars were looted by their higher ups. There were no controls in place to prevent that.

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Friday, September 10, 2010 5:45 PM

Case in point...I don't know if it is still part of their contract or not, but I know that Cedar Point used to promise all the seasonals a bonus equal to some fixed rate per hour worked as an incentive for completing the agreed-upon contract.

I'm not sure how all of this works, but wouldn't it be safe to assume that filing this suit is intended to make sure that these former employees are parties to the foreclosure proceedings? I'm guessing here that as former employees of the failed company, they are not entitled to anything from the proceeds of the foreclosure...it all goes to the creditors. But by filing suit, if they receive a judgement, they become creditors, and might get some fraction out of the final settlement.

Is that a reasonable way of looking at it?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010 3:34 PM

Very reasonable, and with reality, they may see some pennies on the dollar. If they can prove their jobs had the merit.

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