We're closer to finding out the future for Hard Rock Park. Bids were opened Monday as part of the bankruptcy process and the results are expected to be announced Thursday. The question may not be who, but IF anyone emerges as the winner. And the real question that remains: Will the winner make a go of reopening the park, or simply dismantle the rides and repurpose the valuable land?
In our local view, we are hopeful the new owners will try to make the project work. If the new owners are able to acquire the facility at a favorable price, the business model for profitability is completely different than the challenge the original owners faced. Lower-priced tickets that actually reflect the value of the product, the opening of the Fantasy Harbour bridge, a more family-friendly theme and a better marketing effort could provide the base for a very successful operation.
We want the park to succeed. It is beneficial for the region in terms of job growth, tax benefits for the county and offering one more entertainment option for the millions of guests who choose the Grand Strand as their vacation destination.
Thursday we'll know if we have a new partner to help grow the entertainment value for the region, or if Fantasy Harbour is once again living up to its name.