Hard Rock Park official says lack of out-of-market advertising was devastating

Posted Friday, September 26, 2008 10:16 AM | Contributed by Jeff

After an inaugural season rocked by poor attendance and tight credit markets, Hard Rock Park wants to reorganize its debts, cut costs and market the park to a wider audience in an attempt to survive in 2009.

The Myrtle Beach theme park blamed a drop in tourism and its own inability to advertise outside the Grand Strand for its cash problems, which forced it to grind to a halt Wednesday when it filed for bankruptcy.

Read more from The Sun News.

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Friday, September 26, 2008 10:17 AM

See, I said all along that the marketing sucks. I wonder if I can file a lien for my consulting services. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008 11:09 AM

I'd have had some underpaid staff/interns out on the beach running contests with tickets as prizes. One lucky contest winner brings a couple of friends, and I've not only generated some nice publicity, but I've got some paid admissions, along with food, parking, souvies, etc. Clearly marketing wasn't their ONLY problem, as noted many times, but it certainly was FAR from one of their assets. ;)

Friday, September 26, 2008 11:54 AM

I wonder if we will see the Miccoussakee Tribe of Indians make a foray into the amusement park business. They already own the Hard Rock holding company which includes casinos and resorts in Florida. They certainly have money to throw around.

I didn't really know how the park was set up. Did a company lease the rights to the Hard Rock brand to build the park?

Friday, September 26, 2008 12:09 PM

wahoo skipper said:
I wonder if we will see the Miccoussakee Tribe of Indians make a foray into the amusement park business. They already own the Hard Rock holding company which includes casinos and resorts in Florida. They certainly have money to throw around.

Miccoussakee doesn't own Hard Rock, Seminole does.

Friday, September 26, 2008 12:29 PM

Yeah...sorry about that. They are both in my area down here...and both have casinos. I can't keep them straight. Either way...if you are part or all Indian down here in Florida you are doing all right these days.

Friday, September 26, 2008 12:47 PM

They still seem to think that didn't get the message to enough people...and that may be part of it. But I still think they weren't sending quite the right message to people in the first place.

Friday, September 26, 2008 12:53 PM

I'm pretty sure that the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando is owned by Universal and operated by Loews. At the very least, UO leases the property.

Friday, September 26, 2008 2:35 PM

I wish them the best for reorganizing.

This whole thing leaves me dazed and confused...

Friday, September 26, 2008 3:31 PM

I've been saying this all along. I think the news items here need the Fark type tags because this one has "OBVIOUS" written all over it.

Friday, September 26, 2008 11:37 PM


This whole thing leaves me dazed and confused...

Obviously... you're starting to ramble on.

Saturday, September 27, 2008 7:20 AM

Gee, ya think???

Let's take an example for a little compare and contrast: CP.

They do little advertising outside the Ohio market, yet you have people traveling hundreds and thousands of miles to visit. It's because they have built up that REPUTATION of having the biggest, baddest, and the most coasters in one spot.

On the other hand, HRP, new park, no rep. They should've gone and done out of market ads up the wazoo, including big markets such as NYC, Philly, Boston, and DC. Heck, even a Superbowl ad might've been a good idea. They though the "Hard Rock" name would be enough.

Saturday, September 27, 2008 9:16 AM

^True enough. I guess they missed that part of RCT. Advertise everywhere, get many guests. Don't advertsie everywhere and miss your goal. (i know, i'm over-simplifying, but it makes sense.)

Saturday, September 27, 2008 9:36 AM

Your comments are one-dimensional, Hopman. A park doesn't need to have great coasters to be successful. Ask Six Flags.

Saturday, September 27, 2008 9:40 AM

I think the location was bad, and their hope of 3 million was insane. Lets
face it, when people go to the beach they are not looking at going to a
large scale amusement park. They don't want to spend 50 plus a person to
get in and waste a day at the beach. That’s why parks like the Pavilion and
Family Kingdom are at the beach, they are smaller, less expensive and people
can go just for the night, they also have their choices of POP or tickets.
HRP is way off the main drag for Myrtle Beach, I know that’s where they
could get land, but its not somewhere that people can just walk to either.
I didn't make it there this year, I was waiting until Thanksgiving, oh
well... One of my friends went while there for a week this past June.
Only 2 people, including himself went out of his group at the beach, that
was about 7 or 8 people. They all said it was too expensive and didn't want
to devote an entire day there for the money.

So, they seemed to out prices themselves, all of that with the gas and
current economic situation was just too much for a new park...


Saturday, September 27, 2008 12:21 PM

HRP has been at the nexus of a perfect storm:

About the worst timing possible to open a new park.
Ridiculously high expectations about attendance they could passively pull in.
The national economy going down the tubes.
Gas prices topping $4/gallon.

Put all those together and it's a recipe for a disaster. That being said, I still think they'll pull through, so long as the bottom doesn't fall out of the country and we wind up in another Depression.

Sunday, September 28, 2008 7:34 AM

A park doesn't need to have great coasters to be successful. Ask Six Flags.

I was just trying to pick something to contrast to HRP.

Sunday, September 28, 2008 4:35 PM

But clear HRP isn't going for the same market as CP. If you're going to make a contrast, at least pick something in the same ballpark. SDC comes to mind (a family friendly, largely themed park in an existing tourist area with lots of other options).

Monday, September 29, 2008 3:18 AM

Fair enough.

Monday, September 29, 2008 2:42 PM

Their problem was not lack of advertising. Their problem was building the park in myrtle beach.

Atleast for me ehre in the NYC area there is only one airline that flies directly into myrtle beach airport and that is spirit. I flew spirit once and never again. Even trains don't go near there.

Any other flights would take 8 hours and something like 3 lay overs.

I am not driving 12 hours to get there either. They would have made more money building in an area that was easy to get to.


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