MYRTLE BEACH -- Bankruptcy papers filed by Hard Rock Park, which filed for Chapter 11 on Wednesday, reveal new details about the park's operations that it had previously kept quiet.
For example, the $400 million rock n' roll theme park said it estimates it sold approximately 11,000 annual passes, which cost $150 each. It proposed extending the life of those passes in court papers. "The Park believes that the support and loyalty of these individuals are critical to the Park's planned relaunch or the 2009 operating season," it said in a document.
Also, it said the park handed out 7,500 season passes to people in the hospitality and travel industry, and "other influential individuals within the region."
Under Chapter 11, businesses keep their creditors at bay while trying to rework their debt.
"The main benefit of Chapter 11 is the opportunity to retail some control over your business the opportunity to keep the business alive," said Charles Tabb, Alice Curtis Campbell Professor of Law at University of Illinois, who specializes in bankruptcy. "It buys you time. That's the big thing."
On the other hand, Tabb said, bankruptcy can really whack a business' public image, even if it does have a plan to stay open.
"It's pretty telling that they didn't even finish out the season," he said. "And that also suggests to me that they really have just been hemorrhaging money."