Hard Rock Park files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008 8:20 PM | Contributed by Jeff

HRP Myrtle Beach Holdings, LLC ("HRP Holdings"), the parent company of Hard Rock Park, today announced that it and certain affiliated entities have filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This process will give HRP Holdings the opportunity to restructure its balance sheet and reduce its debt to ensure the future health and sustainability of the company.

"The downturn in overall consumer spending combined with rising fuel costs have had a significant impact on tourism in Myrtle Beach and other markets. Additionally, the frozen credit markets and the unprecedented volatility in the global financial markets has severely limited our ability to line up the planned financial resources needed to execute our summer marketing plan and adequately promote the Park," said Chief Executive Officer Steven Goodwin. "As a result, we have made the strategic decision to utilize the Chapter 11 process to proactively address these issues and provide the Park with the financial resources it requires for future success."

In conjunction with the filing, Hard Rock Park has closed for the remainder of the 2008 season to allow management to focus on the restructuring process. Following the completion of this process, Hard Rock Park intends to re-open for the 2009 season.

Read the full press release on PRNewswire via Marketwatch.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008 8:51 PM

I hope the park makes it. I have heard many cool things about the park and the dark ride sounds awesome.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008 9:07 PM

Three words:

Wild
West
World

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008 9:10 PM

I don't think this is anything like that. I still think it's a combination of poor marketing and a perfect storm of economic suckage. There is too much invested in the park for it to go away, and I bet they'll get their act together next year.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008 9:38 PM

Wasn't the thing with WWW that they didn't have enough money to get through their opening year (or two) without depending on a big profit? Seems kinda like HRP was counting on making a killing this year and it didn't happen.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008 9:49 PM

The difference between Wild West World and Hard Rock Park is, Wild West World was some guy who decided to build an amusement park. Hard Rock Park has investors. Hard Rock Park is not going anywhere anytime soon. This park has a lot of potential, I just wish they would not of built it Myrtle Beach. I think that is problem number one.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008 10:50 PM

They obviously raised some amount of operating capital or they would've closed in June. I suspect that what that the original game plan was that they could make enough to operate year-round, even if it was at a net-loss for the first few years. What really happened, if we were to guess, is that they spent way too much operating the park and made way too little.

That's a lot different from some random guy who mortgages his house to build something and hopes people will come!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008 11:43 PM

*Fingers Crossed* Holiday World's first steel will be a very, and I mean VERY slightly used B&M looper with attached sound system!!

I'm thinking 4th of July section, with patriotic themed music!

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Thursday, September 25, 2008 8:56 AM

^What have you been smoking, And can I have some?

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Thursday, September 25, 2008 9:21 AM

A short AP article appearing in various forms says the park didn't have enough money to promote itself when it opened, and the credit markets made that even harder. It would seem to me that marketing would be even more important than any one attraction, so I wonder why the plan didn't include one less big attraction and a boat load of cash to sell the park to the world.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008 10:37 AM

This doesn't sound like WWW to me, but it does sound an awful lot like Jazzland. A park was built in an area that attracts a lot of tourism, but for various reasons the tourists that visit the area haven't flocked to the park. I read that they were expecting over 3 million guests the first year. Look at other parks within tourist destination areas. Hersheypark is just under 3 mil, SDC and Dollywood are less than that.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008 10:41 AM

Yeah, I think that's a much better comparison. That panned out in the end, and I'm sure this will too. I don't believe it can be a year-round thing though. I just can't imagine that MB gets enough traffic year-round for that.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008 12:01 PM

^Yeah exactly. I don't get why the would of built this "theme park" in MB. It doesn't make sense.

Last edited by ChrisC., Thursday, September 25, 2008 12:01 PM
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Thursday, September 25, 2008 12:38 PM

I don't think they'll close the doors for at least 3-5 more years, but they desperately need to do something to get the people that do go to MB through the gates.

I know two couples who have gone to MB in the last 3 months. Both couples are huge rock/metal fans and I told them all about the park before they left. When they returned, I asked if they visited and they both replied "meh". Though they were intrigued at the prospect, neither couple actually made the visit. Both said that the coasters looked neat from the highway, but that they "weren't there for that type of vacation".

I don't know what the answer is, but I can guarantee you that the $50 gate price isn't helping.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008 12:49 PM

Now is just about the worst time for new,fresh out of the box theme park development here in the US market.The economy stinks(thank you Mr. Bush) gas prices are approaching $4.00 a gallong(again) & the overall confidence in the markets isn't high what with a couple of major financial institutions going under recently.

Hopefully the owners of HRP can turn things around & soon.It'd be a shame for them,and those who bankrolled the project to loose all their hard earned $$ on a failed business venture like that but unfortunately s**t happens.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008 12:55 PM

It's weird. I LOVED the park. I had a blast and didn't mind throwing down the $50, plus more for food, parking, sodas, and a T-shirt/hat. I probably spent about $80-$100 total in the park and didn't have a problem with that, where I would with other parks. It was WELL worth the 8 hour drive and the insane gas prices. I thought it was well worth every dime. Normally I try to be as cheap as I can but sometimes you just have to splurge. It depends on what people feel I guess. I don't normally "fork out" that much unless I know I am getting quality service, food, etc. Busch Gardens Europe is another place I don't mind spending a lot of money. You will never find me spending that much at a Six Flags park. Hell, if it wasn't for the cheap season passes I wouldn't bother. I would NEVER pay gate price.

I have always been a huge rock and roller, but I have talked to other rock fans who didn't think much of the park at all, so I can't explain that one. It seems like people either love it or hate it. It's DEFINITELY not an coaster enthusiast park, even though I thought all their coasters were kickass. ;)

Like I said the nice lady at customer relations said that most people complain that there isn't "enough" whatever that means, as in people expect a Disney World or Cedar Point. She was SHOCKED that I raved about the park for a good 45 minutes. :)

I hope the park does well. It's definitely the best trip I have taken this year and I give the park 100% of my support. According to their website they are not going anywhere. I am guessing they openened at the wrong time. I think ALL parks have suffered with the economic downfall. Even Holiwood Nights had the lowest in attendance I have ever seen this year.

I did "sense" that something was wrong when I visited Hard Rock on a Saturday afternoon in July and it was DEAD, yet Family Kingdom was horribly overcrowded and had crappy operations that evening. Maybe Hard Rock just needs another year to get their stuff in order. It's going to be a challenge. Like I said many times before, the park isn't for everyone.

-Tina

Last edited by coasterqueenTRN, Thursday, September 25, 2008 1:08 PM
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Thursday, September 25, 2008 1:15 PM

Emiroo said:
Both said that the coasters looked neat from the highway, but that they "weren't there for that type of vacation".

The thing is it's not 'that type of vacation' - the problem is the park isn't doing very much (or doing it well) to get that message out.

I don't know what the answer is, but I can guarantee you that the $50 gate price isn't helping.

Two things:

1. I still can't believe $50 for a theme park ticket is an issue to people. (especially in a tourist trap like MB)

2. If you're paying $50 to get in to HRP, you're a moron.

Regardless, we loved the park and my family would easily tell you that it's one of the best parks we ever visited. Easily the highlight of our MB visit.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008 10:13 PM

Hey, did you hear about the new attraction Hard Rock Park is opening during this period......it's called MINIMUM RPM

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Friday, September 26, 2008 9:34 AM

I don't want to get too political but if you think Bush is the reason for the poor economy than you need to educate yourselves. He takes much of the blame for our national debt...mostly attributable to the wars...but both parties share in the blame in terms of what is happening in Wall Street right now. Neither will admit it...but this didn't happen because of one President or one Party.

I wonder how John Riggleman is affected by all of this? For those that don't know he is a park veteran who, after years at Cedar Point has gone on to many other things...most recently Hard Rock park. He has had his hand in shaping the way Park Operations is handled in the industry and, in my opinion, is one of the good guys. I hope he is doing well.

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Friday, September 26, 2008 9:35 AM

Minimum RPM........funny.

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