Led Zeppelin becomes The Time Machine at Freestyle

Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2009 10:20 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Freestyle Music Park, the former Hard Rock Park, announced Monday the roller coaster that bore the Led Zeppelin name for the park's failed first season will be called The Time Machine for the park's second season. Other areas of the park are also being rebranded, especially after a bankruptcy court in Delaware ruled in favor of the park's original owners, led by former CEO Steven Goodwin, saying that Goodwin and his associates still retained some intellectual property rights to the park's overall theme, design and layout.

Read more from The Sun News.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009 10:42 AM

I don't care what they call it, so long as they eliminate that wretched mandatory pre-show!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 4:16 PM

Pick the five songs

Last edited by Charles Nungester, Tuesday, May 5, 2009 4:16 PM
Tuesday, May 5, 2009 8:49 PM

"Officials with FPI MBE have said they plan to open other parks with the Freestyle brand."

Hmm, this last sentence in the article had me wondering. If the Baker group is successfull with this park, would they be willing to buy up parks from lets say SF or CF and rebrand them to a music themed style.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 9:40 PM
rollergator's avatar

^Really would make them candidates if *anything* were to ever become of the property at SFNO...and New Orleans is wuite the MUSIC city (along with Nashville). The signing of the long-term NFL deal, and the success of their NBA franchise, mean there's some basis to believe the town has some sort of a future. And you know I love tying in this pro sports stuff... ;)

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 9:58 PM

Sorry gator, New Olreans has no amusement park in its near future. Convention Tourism to New Orleans is entirely based on people who don't have rental cars, thus for all of its convention business, approximately zero will/would make it to that site. That was proven once the park first opened. Everyone forgets that the park was NOT a success when open.

While there is a population density in the Biloxi to Houston corridor, an amusement park in New Orleans has zero chance.

The sports teams are one-off (ok, two-off) unique situations, where the infrastructure was already in place, and/or state money was immediately available. Plus, you forget that sports teams are "transportable". They own limited physical plant (stadiums are almost always city owned). Thus they are easily moved, litigation notwithstanding.

No such state funding is available in the current environment for a resuscitation of the old site, or the creation of a new park at a new site.

New Orleans is a failed city (pre and post Katrina) and no one is going to invest significant monies there. They weren't doing so before Katrina, and they certainly aren't now.

(and before that gets taken out of context, I love New Orleans. Used to visit 3-4 times a year when I lived in Atlanta. Great place to party, horrible place to live/work/operate a business)

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Tuesday, May 5, 2009 10:02 PM
Tuesday, May 5, 2009 11:31 PM

^OK, not SFNO, but how about Valley Fair, or Cali's Great America, or Worlds of Fun?

Just playing along. :)

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 9:17 AM

I really hope that Worlds of Fun doesn't get rebranded into a music park.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 11:49 AM
rollergator's avatar

If not SFNO (or another *smaller* park in/around New Orleans), then I'll have to go with LibertyLand (Memphis blues theme) or Opryland (country music theme). Detroit could use a Motown themed park too, LOL. Not so sure about "Legends" park though - Arizona?

I just find the idea of these themes very attractive...futuristic, medieval, plants/animals. There are loads of good theming concepts (Mt. Olympus certainly works for me at least). Freestyle is still potentially a good concept, but they're going to have to prove it to alot of people.

Last edited by rollergator, Wednesday, May 6, 2009 11:52 AM
Wednesday, May 6, 2009 3:59 PM

There's nothing wrong with the themes. Any and all could work in the proper environment (Austin Texas would be a thought, although the proximity to San Antonio might preclude that)

You're mistake is trying to place them in locations that couldn't possibly support a park.

Detroit and Memphis suffer from the same problem as New Orleans. Amazingly depressed economies, and honestly, no one would invest there.
Nashville is semi plausible, but the crowd that used to flock to Opryland has moved on to Dollywood, and Dollywood has responded in kind. You would be hard pressed to re-create an Opryland style music park, while fixing what didn't work, and keeping what did. Most of that crowd (older, mid south, white, Evangelical Christian) have migrated their travels to Pigeon Forge, and there is now an activity "base" that Nashville can not possibly overcome. Go carts, outlet malls, Aquarium, Ripley's, lodging, etc all of that has coalesced around Dollywood. (Yes I know there is Opry Mills, but not the same as the concentration of Outlet shopping in Sevierville). No way you could develop anything in Nashville to reclaim what it once had.

The cost investment could not be recouped. After the demise of HRP, and the general problems with the other big chains, no one is going to do a blue sky design (even on a brownfield site, let alone greenfield). We could argue about the p*ss poor marketing, and other problems with HRP, but the fact that they blew $400M is just going to put the nail on new park construction outside of SoCal and Orlando.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Wednesday, May 6, 2009 4:02 PM
Wednesday, May 6, 2009 6:02 PM

$400 m being the nail is very true as being depressing news. It concerns my thoughts in New Jersey and any new park development group that wants to make it. An indoor water park looks better.Since learning about HRP I've learned from reading about Carowinds and maybe SFGADV the first development groups dropped the ball. The parks are successes to this day after they were built and moved on to new owners.

The new theme for the coaster is weird but the multi music choices seem to save it

Last edited by CHILLERLC1, Wednesday, May 6, 2009 6:05 PM

Thursday, May 7, 2009 2:44 PM

CHILLERLC1 said:........................ the first development groups dropped the ball. The parks are successes to this day after they were built and moved on to new owners.

That quote applies to the world beyond Theme Parks. You would be stunned by the number of hotels that get built by a development group, then file BK, and are then bought on the cheap and are run as successful enterprises. Hotels are often horrible investments. What happens is the original developer goes under, then the successor groups gets the property for cents on the dollar.

And that was happening long before the current economic slowdown.

Friday, May 8, 2009 5:41 PM

Sometimes I wonder if that isn't really a business model. Sucks, I know. But like it or not, these kinds of projects can be operated profitably, but the initial capital expenditure is *enormous*. That's why we don't see new parks opening all the time, not because the parks couldn't support themselves, but because they can't pay for their initial capital cost in the first few years of operation.

Hard Rock is a classic example. It cost $400M to build it, and it's a very nice facility, and it won't be too difficult to promote it and operate it such that it can easily cover its own operating budget. But given the scope of the park as built, I question how easily it ever could have covered its initial construction and startup costs.

With a park, it is even more complicated. It isn't just necessary to cover the initial costs, the customers demand continued capex just to keep them coming back every year!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Friday, May 8, 2009 6:49 PM

Maybe -- or at least in this post-modern age -- the best parks are grown organically from small seeds, a la Holiday World or Beech Bend.*

*Excluding Disney and Universal, obviously.

My author website: mgrantroberts.com

Friday, May 8, 2009 11:32 PM
sws's avatar

I'm just thinking if Valley Fair got sold and rebranded into a music park. We could end up with the first polka themed park.

Saturday, May 9, 2009 12:09 AM

sws said:
I'm just thinking if Valley Fair got sold and rebranded into a music park. We could end up with the first polka themed park.

Now that would be awesome!

Back to what Ride Man and the Ensign said, amusement/theme parks aren't like other industries. It's possible to build a small factory, then expand as demand for your product increases. You could plan a subdivision of hundreds of lots, but only develop so many at a time, and build roads, etc. for future lots as they're sold. But people pretty much expect to visit a complete amusement park.

I think instead of supplying an existing demand, parks have to create their own demand. This is why the initial cap expenditure is necessarily so high.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 12:31 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Or they have to start as something more like an FEC or "local company picnic" park.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 12:57 PM

I really liked the name of the new kiddie are and the family rides added to it. That home run makes this name even more disappointing.


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