This is the conclusion of my exclusive interview with Steve Baker, President of Freestyle Music Park. In Part 1, I spoke with him about his experience in the amusement industry as well as Freestyle Park International’s vision. With reports of low attendance last year, most of my questions in the second half focused on the park’s obvious first hurdle; getting guests in the park. Again, I was not able to tape the interview so Baker’s answers are paraphrased.
How Freestyle Music Park Hopes to Launch a Rockin’ Revival in 2009
Hard Rock cited marketing as one of the reasons for the downfall of the park. How do you plan on marketing Free Style Music Park?
Baker bluntly responded he was going to, “actually do it,” meaning market the park. He stated that the former operators didn’t take advantage of Myrtle Beach’s well-defined infrastructure including using hotels, motels, timeshares etc. to sell tickets. He also mentioned in-room advertising and billboards.
Considering Freestyle Music Park is such a new attraction, how do you plan on bringing in the Myrtle Beach vacationers who are already in Myrtle Beach, but may not have plans to visit your park?
Baker stated that the former operators didn’t educate potential customers beyond the ‘Hard Rock’ name. He would focus on making them aware of the tremendous amount of things to do in the park and also offer better admission prices.
It would seem that a new theme park would need to build a local, loyal base of customers in addition to the vacationers. What are you going to do to lure locals to the park?
Baker stated that he planned on working with local groups and he listed about every major local group one could name including boy and girl scouts, civic groups etc.
Tell me about the additional family attractions that the park will offer.
Steve felt that the Hard Rock brand was too edgy and too far into the hard rock genre. He said that he wanted to soften the park’s image a bit with more family friendly feel.
What are some additional efforts that you will be taking to pull in those money conscious visitors during a recession?
Here, Baker stated that they’d hope to promote the park’s great value and again mentioned that there will be a lot to do. He also cited a recent Orlando Sentinel article that reported that parks are still full even in this economy.
Lastly, I asked about the changes that the park’s rides and attractions were going through now that the park had a new name.
Baker stated that he couldn’t give any specifics yet as they had just started the changes that week, but that announcements would be forthcoming. They are re-doing ‘Hard Rock’ themes throughout the park. All of the major rides and roller coasters would return for this season with some tweaking. He mentioned that there would be additional genres of music and that the park was going to be family and fun with still some edge to it.
I would like to thank Steve Baker from Freestyle Music Park for the interview. I would love to hear from some readers about what they think of the interview and the future of the revamped park.
What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Freestyle Music Park’s new direction? Do you think the park will fair better in 2009? Do you plan on visiting Myrtle Beach? If so, will you give the park a try? Leave a comment below.