Well, it looks like Hard Rock Park will be back in business for the 2009 season. That's great news for the area.
In our local view, there are several things about the reopening of Hard Rock Park are of extreme importance.
- The need to hire between 750 and 1,000 employees. That is a big, big deal.
- Park owners are saying they will invest significantly in marketing; that's an area where the park's previous management did a very poor job. With the marketing funds slashed for this region, the marketing efforts for Hard Rock Park will create more buzz and visibility. This additional boost will help to promote the Grand Strand as a vacation destination. We need that increased exposure this year more than ever.
- It creates one more attraction for locals and visitors to enjoy. Plus, having an empty, decaying park sends the wrong message. Having the Zeppelin roller coaster speeding around the track is a much better impression than a cobweb infested, locked down facility.
The business model for the park to be successful is much different when you invest $25 million compared to the original $400 million commitment. Pricing can be more reasonable and the opportunity for success is much, much better.
With the opening of the Fantasy Harbour Bridge coming later this year, an aggressive marketing plan, new pricing, additional rides and attractions, we're optimistic the park will succeed. It is important for the region that these new owners not make the same mistakes as the previous group. We wish them much success.