Destination unknown for dismantled Freestyle park rides
Mon, 11 Aug 2014 22:24:28 GMT —
The former Freestyle Music Park in Myrtle Beach is being dismantled, piece by piece.
Workers are on site this week, taking down the theme park's rides, including the Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane" roller coaster.
The ride's tracks have been dismantled and are ready to be shipped to who knows where.
Several other rides have been taken down as well.
A former park employee says he has heard that a company in Taiwan has purchased the failed park's assets.
Dirk Vader, an attorney representing the property's owner, declined to comment.
But a theme park consultant says it would make sense that the rides end up somewhere in that part of the world.
"I think right now Asia is really the hot spot internationally for new theme park development, especially China. And that's because of the growth of the middle class in these countries," said John Gerner, CEO of Leisure Business Advisors, LLC of Richmond, VA.
Gerner says rides like those at Freestyle Park are attractive to buyers in countries that have high import duties on foreign-made products.
"Since rides are often the most important and expensive part of these parks, to be able to get them at a discount by getting them used could be a great savings for them," he said.
What began as Hard Rock Park, later named Freestyle Music Park, has been closed since the end of the 2009 season.
The park's developers filed for bankruptcy less than six months after opening in 2008.
The park had a one-of-a-kind, rock music theme when it opened.
Now, Gerner says the park's unusual nature makes its assets harder to sell.
"The more unique a ride is and perhaps customized, then you're going to get into issues that other parks are going to have difficulties working with."
The park may be dismantled, but it's not being torn down.
Horry County officials say no demolition permits have been issued for that property.