Former Hard Rock Park CEO wants cut of revenue from new park

Posted Thursday, March 26, 2009 2:21 PM | Contributed by T Van

The former CEO of Hard Rock Park is asking the park's new owners, who purchased the property out of bankruptcy last month, for an annual $500,000 licensing fee and royalties, according to documents filed in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. Steven Goodwin, the former CEO, said in an e-mail to the park's new owners, FPI MB Entertainment, that the park is still the intellectual property of a corporation he formed. He is asking for 1.5 percent of the park's revenues above $50 million, according to court documents.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009 2:33 PM

I believe the business term for the proper answer is "pound sand."

Thursday, March 26, 2009 2:42 PM

Sure, he can have a licensing fee. As soon as every one of the park's creditors that got 10 cents on the dollar is made whole.

What is it with these egomaniacs who screw up huge and then still believe the world owes them something?

"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
Thursday, March 26, 2009 4:11 PM

ThemeDesigner, I could not have said it better myself.

Thursday, March 26, 2009 4:18 PM

Why? Because he says so? "INTELECTUALLY"?????????WTH?The park would be sold off for now and abandoned without the buyout.Chuck

Pound Salt is right.P.S. I think everyone who looses a suit like this should pay the DEFENSE FEE as well. That will stop a lot of crap.

Last edited by Charles Nungester, Thursday, March 26, 2009 4:18 PM
Thursday, March 26, 2009 4:49 PM
rollergator's avatar

Brian Noble said:I believe the business term for the proper answer is "pound sand."

I thought the phrase went something like "Sure, after the AIG execs get THEIR bonuses...and Madoff gets some bailout money". The line that I keep hearing that absolutely makes me ROFL is "but we need to pay those bonuses to keep our best people"....if your BEST people get you billions into the whole, maybe instead you should try giving bonuses to your WORST people?

In either case, Goodwin has HUGE.....cojones. And probably an ego to match. Nonethless, he thinks more of himself than anyone else does....and hopefully his argument goes nowhere. On the other hand, will this park ever pull more than $50M in revenue in any given year (or maybe that's $50M total for all time?)...

Last edited by rollergator, Thursday, March 26, 2009 4:50 PM
Thursday, March 26, 2009 5:01 PM
Jeff's avatar

If you're going to call it "intellectual property," then it was an asset, and the new owners bought those assets. You don't get to finish up Chapter 7 and then keep money generated by the business that replaces yours.

Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - - My Blog - Twitter - Video

Thursday, March 26, 2009 5:11 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Exactly, Jeff.

Thursday, March 26, 2009 5:15 PM
LostKause's avatar

Laughable. Unless it was clearly included in the contract, he sold his so-called intellectual property when he sold the park.

Thursday, March 26, 2009 5:26 PM

This guy totally has a fantasy idea of something he has nothing more to do with.

I love people like that. AIG execs watch out now this guy has one upped you. At least this guy thinks he can get what he doesn't own anymore. LOL

Too funny.

Last edited by Thrillseeker0216, Thursday, March 26, 2009 5:27 PM
Thursday, March 26, 2009 5:28 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I also think it's laughable that we compare the AIG guys to this guy.

Not even close to the same situation.

Thursday, March 26, 2009 5:34 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

My thoughts exactly, Gonch.

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, March 26, 2009 5:38 PM
sws's avatar

Dear Mr. Goodwin, what is the color of the sky in your world?? For I would like to visit it some time....

Thursday, March 26, 2009 6:08 PM

I have to agree Jeff. this guy must be living in a dream world where he can do whatever he wants even after the park had to be sold. I am sure that judge will toss this case out due for lack of merit. Once the park is sold then so does his rights to anything.

Thursday, March 26, 2009 7:42 PM

What seems to be interesting is that HRP Creative Services, LLC owns the trademarks to many of the rides & building names, not Hard Rock Park. Look it up at USPTO. So the park must have paid fees to HRP Creative for the names much like they did to Hard Rock International, the Moody Blues, etc. HRP Creative wasn't a part of the bankruptcy so they would still own the IP.

I'm no lawyer, but it looks like someone missed this during the bankruptcy due diligence. If Goodwin is right, the park either pays for the licenses or would have to change quite a bit more than just the Hard Rock brand. Would love to know the opinion of a trademark attorney on this.

Don't agree with it at all, but if its legal what can you do?

Thursday, March 26, 2009 8:18 PM

Court documents say Goodwin created a separate corporation, called HRP Creative Services Co. LLC, and created an agreement transferring the park's intellectual property from HRP Myrtle Beach Operations, one of the corporations that filed for bankruptcy, to the new corporation. Goodwin signed the agreement on behalf of both corporations.

Goodwin, Jon Binkowski and Felix Mussenden, the three original founders of the park, all have a stake in HRP Creative Services, according to the Web site of the Division of Corporations in Florida, where the corporation was formed.

I believe the legal term is fraudulent conveyance. The owners of the park are THE SAME as the owners of the "intellectual property."

Two things: 1) If HRP borrowed $$$ before seperating out the "intellectual property" the creditors have a lien against those rights as well. 2) If there is no legitimate financial reason to seperate out those rights, except to deny creditors access to assets that are rightfully theirs it is a fraud, and, hence, illegal.

I am not an expert--or even aware of the specifics--but it could very well be that the only reason to transfer these rights from the owners to the SAME owners doing business by a different name is an attempt to deprive creditors of assets that are rightfully theirs.

Note also, "Goodwin signed the agreement on behalf of both corporations." Courts HATE self-dealing. The court will almost certainly require HRP Creative Services to show that it PAID for those rights, and that the payment was consumate with with the value of the asset being transferred.

My bet is these guys transferred the rights without paying a dime. No court will accept that.

This Isn't A Hospital--It's An Insane Asylum!

Thursday, March 26, 2009 11:14 PM
rollergator's avatar

^The first paragraph you quoted, and the first conclusion you drew (fraudulently-acquired assets of HRP Creative), is pretty much exactly why I said what I did. These are my inferences, and I'm totally willing to be wrong, but that's how it looks to me. If the corporation made money, Goodwin stood to make a ton of money from HRP. When it didn't, he created a "dummy corporation" to turn over the IP assets of the park. When the park went to bankruptcy, no mention of this holding company came up. If HRP Creative really does maintain some stake in the new park, then someone representing FPI MB completely failed to uncover this paperwork apparently filed in Florida? Something's not right....and it LOOKS to me like it's Goodwin in collusion with Binkowski and Mussenden. IF HRP Creative was supposed to be such a stakeholder in the original ownership agreements, the paperwork would have been filed back then...and someone other than Goodwin certainly would have been appointed to represent the original ownership in their dealings with HRP Creative. (Meaning he couldn't have signed on their behalf without some exceptional conflict-of-interest). Some of you are clearly better lawyer-types than me though...

Friday, March 27, 2009 12:14 AM

fraudulent conveyance it is. Captain Hawkeye had it right.

Self dealing will definitely get you on the judge's bad side. This one seems like a real cluster.

Friday, March 27, 2009 9:19 AM
birdhombre's avatar

If all he owns is the IP, can't the new owners just rename all the rides and anything else that had a trademarkable name? Zepplinator, Maximum Steelvenom, Shake Rattle 'n' Hawk? :)

Friday, March 27, 2009 10:51 AM

Zepplinator, Maximum Steelvenom, Shake Rattle 'n' Hawk? :)

Damn you, Cedar Fair!

Seriously, though, this is definitely a turn in our story here. It'll be very interesting to see how this plays out.


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