The closed Freestyle Music Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has been bought out of foreclosure by its mortage lender, raising hopes that it could reopen in 2012.
The Sun News reports that FPI US LCC purchased the park through a foreclosure auction, although in reality it will not pay anything as it was owed more than its bid of $7 million. The firm now hopes to reopen the park, which has been kept largely in one piece despite the repossession of some equipment since its closure two years ago.
The timescales for reopening in 2012 would appear to be very tight, although "routine maintenance" has been performed in the park during its extended closure period. This has included engineers inspecting the rides and running them on a regular basis to ensure that they are still in working order.
FPI US is considering three options for the future of Freestyle Music Park: reopening the park itself, leasing it to a third-party operator, or selling it outright. The company claims that it will learn lessons from the park's two brief previous periods of operations, both of which saw it collapse into bankruptcy within a year.
The foreclosure proceedings were brought against Freestyle Music Park by FPI US, which held the mortage on the park's property. However, this sparked controversy with several creditors unsuccessfully challenging the foreclosure lawsuit on the grounds that the mortage holder (FPI US) and the owner of the park (FPI MB Entertainment) are actually the same entity. The companies involved claimed that the mortgage situation was engineered to enable the owners to avoid paying creditors in the event of a bankruptcy, with the mortgage holder instead being first in line to receive any funds raised from selling off the park. In the event, all other creditors will receive nothing as a result of the FPI US takeover.
Freestyle Music Park struggled to stay afloat after 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 failed to reopen in 2010 after continuing to be plagued by poor attendance figures and financial problems.