Hard Rock Park Discovers ‘Whole Lotta Love’ Isn’t Enough, Files for Chapter 11

Wow, summer went by fast! It seems like only three months ago that our very own Sway was ditching the Led Zeppelin “Whole Lotta Love” roller coaster in favor of a kiddie choo-choo ride at the brand-new Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.


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On Wednesday, word broke that the first rock-and-roll theme park had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and is closing its doors for the rest of the year. (Guess that means no Rocktoberfest parties there, damn!)

Since it opened in April, the 55-acre, seven-years-in-the-planning, $400 million park apparently performed way below expectations, despite the undeniable attraction of that Eagles “Life in the Fast Lane” ride. Projections of 30,000 visitors a day and 3 million for the year didn’t pan out, and the park cut its operating hours in August.

But operators still hope to reopen next year, despite the fact that this is one of the worst times in which to open a tourist destination that charges $50 a pop, what with gas prices skyrocketing and the credit market collapsing. Like a lot of businesses, the park was hit by the country’s current economic crisis, which President Bush discussed in Wednesday’s prime-time address and which spurred presidential candidates Senators John McCain and Barack Obama to issue a joint statement.