The owners of Freestyle Music Park face a race against time to find new investment for the beleaguered park, ahead of an April 1 deadline to pay off $570,000 in debts.
The park's lawyer, David Slough, has stated that while the owners are continuing to speak with potential investors, there are currently no plans to open the park in 2010. This could still change if the talks are successful, however with a bare minimum of 6 weeks required to get the park ready for operations it would be almost certain to miss the early spring season and potentially the lucrative Memorial Day weekend as well.
Slough, of the Nexson Pruet Law Firm, pointed to the difficulties in attracting investment during the economic downturn as the reason behind the park's struggle to reopen. He said: "It’s a tight credit market so any potential investors that are out there, it’s difficult for those investors to get the funds to invest in the park."
FPI MB Entertainment, who own Freestyle Music Park, were granted an extension in February on a previous deadline to repay debts built up by the park's previous owners. At the time, management claimed that the debts could only be cleared if new investors could be found. Despite months of negotiations, there are few credible rumors that any agreement is imminent.
The company has already laid off all of its permanent employees, meaning that it has no staff in place to help prepare the park and associated marketing materials for the 2010 season. Following the lay-offs, the owners said that the investment deals that were on the table were contingent on the park opening for the 2010 season, something which looks increasingly unlikely.
Freestyle Music Park has struggled to stay afloat since opening in April 2008 under the Hard Rock Park name. Visitor numbers fell well short of the owner's 3 million target and the park was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, closing its gates in September 2008. It was then picked up by FPI MB Entertainment for just $25 million, having cost a reported $400 million to build. It reopened for the 2009 season under the Freestyle Music Park name, but has continued to be plagued by poor attendance figures and financial problems.
The park's website remains offline as its future hangs in the balance.