The Shake, Rattle & Roller Coaster may soon ride the rails again: South Carolina’s Hard Rock Park was saved from bankruptcy and liquidation yesterday after a new ownership group stepped in to buy the beleaguered amusement park, MyrtleBeachOnline reports. FPI MB Entertainment purchased the shuttered park for $25 million, just months after Hard Rock Park failed to find a buyer when it first went to bankruptcy court in September 2009. The new owners hope to reopen the park by Memorial Day 2009.
Hard Rock Park opened to great fanfare in April 2008, boasting rides dedicated to Led Zeppelin and the Moody Blues and featuring a park-opening concert by the Eagles. As the recession kicked in, however, park-goers became scarcer, ultimately forcing the park to close a month early and lay off most of its employees. Even the licensing deal that allowed the park to be named “Hard Rock Park” was jeopardized. While FPI MB Entertainment said the location would remain “Hard Rock Park,” they likely won’t sell any merchandise relating to the restaurant chain.
Considering even Disney was forced to make some layoffs today, you might be thinking now isn’t the best time to be getting into the amusement park business. But part of the Hard Rock Park’s problem was its high ticket price of $50. The new ownership has hinted that park-goers will be much “happier” with the price of admission this year. Plus, anytime you can buy a less-than-one-year-old amusement park that cost $400 million to construct for $25 million, it seems like a good deal.
As for all the rock memorabilia the park was harboring, for the most part all that stuff had been cleared out after it filed for bankruptcy. However, some memorabilia has gone missing, leading officials to think that either “the company’s list of memorabilia was wrong or some of it had been stolen.” So if there’s some guy from South Carolina on eBay right now claiming to own a Jimi Hendrix guitar, it might be worth bidding on.