Businesses not affected by Freestyle troubles

By A.J. Ross - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Freestyle Music Park may not be opening its doors this season, but nearby business owners say they are not worried.

Although the amusement park has suffered financially for nearly two years, undergoing new ownership and new marketing schemes, some store owners say they have never really depended on the theme park to help generate business.

"I'm disappointed, but I'm not surprised," said Shanna Coley, part-owner of Imaginations Inc., a costume shop just yards away from the park.  "We're mostly a local-based business, so we don't rely on them much."

Michael Sportelli owns The Corner Cafe & Deli located just across the street from Freestyle.

"I never really counted on the park," said Sportelli.  "I'd like to see it open. Obviously there's a lot of extra traffic in the area when it's open, but I wasn't counting on it."

The owners of Freestyle Music Park have until Thursday to pay of nearly $570,000 in debt.  Sportelli and some other business owners say they do worry if the park doesn't open this season, it may never open again.

"To be honest with you if it doesn't open this year I don't see it opening to be honest with you," said Sportelli.

Starr Coley, another business owner, says she shares some of these concerns.

"I think that when you're buying in bankruptcy and you still can't make a go of it, that makes it hard to believe that it's a good investment," said Coley.

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