Tuesday's lead editorial gladly acknowledges the survival of Freestyle Music Park through its first season, against substantial odds.
Inside the theme-park industry a year ago, conventional wisdom about the former Hard Rock Park was that its first owner would face bankruptcy, and then its second owner would buy it cheap, get it on the right financial track and sell it to a third owner who would then reap long-term profits from it.
Now rechristened Freestyle Music Park, its new owners have rejected that assessment, touting their local connections and promising a long run in Myrtle Beach. For our part, we're simply glad they have defied the difficult odds posed by the economy and apparently avoided another one-season disaster.
We, like many locals, had our concerns. The park slashed admission prices so deeply we wondered if they were even making overhead, but the tactic at least filled the park to levels we don't often remember seeing last year. News of a lawsuit filed by an agency that helped get the new park off the ground were troubling, but its quick resolution brought some measure of reassurance.
Park officials told The Sun News that the park's first summer was beneath expectations, but suggested it was financially sustainable for a first effort. That, in and of itself this year, is a victory. And with 1,000 employees, the battle for the park is one the Grand Strand could not afford to lose.
Freestyle will be open the remainder of the week and four weekend days in September (plus one other special event, the Freedom Fest) before closing for the year at the end of the day Sept. 13, maintaining its current two-for-$19.99 ticket deal throughout. Frankly, at that rate, the park is a bargain - especially for families, given the park's subtle transformation to more kid-friendly offerings. If you haven't yet been, treat yourself to an afternoon and support an endeavor we're grateful to see succeed.