Signs of life seen at former Freestyle Music Park

Something appears to be happening at the former Freestyle Music Park. People who work nearby report seeing signs of life on the long-dormant property.

Christopher Glanville's barber shop is across the street from what used to be the theme park's offices, giving him a good angle to see what's going on over there. Lately, he's been seeing a lot.

"Midway last week, the lights came on on the Zeppelin roller coaster, and I've noticed a new flag hanging from the apex of the roller coaster, and I saw some people out there taking pictures midweek last week," Glanville said.

The park opened as Hard Rock Park in 2008 and went bankrupt after one season.

New owners took over, renamed it Freestyle Music Park and again failed after one season. It's been closed since the fall of 2009.

The company that held the mortgage took over two years ago.

Weeds have since grown up around the property and Glanville says the former theme park is unsightly. He'd like to see it gone.

"Over there it would be great to see them tear it down, put up apartments or warehouses, something for local business."

Just down George Bishop Parkway from the barber shop, employees of Sports Doctors Gym say they've also seen lights on and test runs of the big roller coaster lately.

They say they don't really want to see the park torn down.

"I'd love to see it come back as an amusement park, water park, whatever they could put together, just to bring more people into the area for us, more business, too," said Dr. Jon Holt, a chiropractor at Sports Doctors.

Web sites that follow the theme park industry, like Screamscape and Coaster Fusion, have been chattering about recent activity at the park and speculating that the former Led Zeppelin (later called the Time Machine) coaster might be for sale.

Holt says that whatever happens to the former park he hopes it happens soon, because the way it looks now isn't good.

"Right now we'd love to see it just cleaned up. And running again would be awesome."

Dirk Vader, an attorney representing the property owner, declined to comment.