Payment deadline looms for owners of Freestyle Music Park

Horry County, SC - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The owners of Freestyle Music Park have less than 24-hours to pay back nearly $570,000 in outstanding debt that was inherited with the purchase of the park in 2009.

FPI MB Entertainment LLC, the current owners of Freestyle Music Park, began feeling financial stress shortly after purchasing the $400 million attraction that was formerly operated as Hard Rock Park. The park was purchased under bankruptcy for $25 million, but included $569,151.52 in outstanding debt.

While the debt was inherited from the attraction's former owners, a spokeswoman for the park says FPI MB Entertainment has since been unable to close out leasing agreements to pay back the thousands owed to a handful of businesses. A federal court order has demanded Freestyle make the nearly $570,000 in payments to the park's trustee by April 1.

Seventeen businesses in all have filed suit against the embattled amusement park since its opening in May 2009. New Jersey-based Zamperla, Inc. filed suit against Freestyle Music Park in October 2009, the latest company to take legal action against the park's owners.

Zamperla, an amusement ride manufacturer, claims FPI purchased four rides totaling $765,000, but had only paid $665,000 at the time of filing. Zamperla provided the park's Samba Tower, Convoy, Kite Flyer and Magic Bike.

Additional companies to follow in Zamperla's footsteps include: Roundbox Advisors, The Brandon Agency, Duplicates INK and the Tetra Financial Group.

With the April 1 payment deadline quickly approaching for Freestyle Music Park, many along the Grand Strand are wondering if the company's financial woes will impact future operations of the park.

An attorney representing Freestyle Music Park confirmed Monday there are no plans to re-open the multi-million dollar park for the upcoming season.

Attorney David Slough says despite the news, the park's owners are currently in talks with potential investors. Should any negotiations yield the promise of new investments, Slough says there is the potential for the park to open for part of the 2010 season.

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