Freestyle Music Park suffered another blow in its drawn-out battle to avoid permanent closure when a federal bankruptcy court issued a judgment against the park's owners.
The court's ruling on June 4 follows FPI MB Entertainment's failure to repay $570,000 debts by an April 1 deadline, and means that creditors now have a green light to attempt to the seize the park's assets. To do that, they will need to register the judgment in South Carolina - potentially preventing the owners from selling the land Freestyle Music Park stands on, and even enabling the park's rides to be sold to fund repayment of the debt.
There is still a slim hope that Freestyle Music Park could be rescued, with its owners continuing to seek the new investment that would enable them to clear the debt. However, it has stood abandoned throughout 2010 and there is no chance of the park reopening this season.
In addition to the debts, which were inherited from the park's previous owners when FPI MB Entertainment rescued it from bankruptcy in 2009, the owners face a number of other potential problems. Automaker BMW is seeking a ruling against the park after it sued for damages in January. It claims that cars on the park's Round About ride look similar to the BMW Mini, and that the park should have signed a licensing deal to use the likeness.
Located in Myrtle Beach, 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.