$8.88 for a theme park ticket? Freestyle is just that desperate

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Hard Rock Park still can't fill the house. The little theme park that couldn't opened a year ago in Myrtle Beach, S.C., failed to impress, and went belly up after a single season.

This spring, it relaunched, sans hippy-dippy rock 'n' roll tie-ins for the few rides, as the Freestyle Music Park, the theme park with a name just vague enough to appeal to everyone but interest no one.

It's hard to imagine little children crying and demanding to be taken to somewhere with a name like that, and sure enough, they're not. When the press inquires about figures, they're told, in the vague Freestyle tradition, that the numbers are "growing."

In an effort to do whatever it can to bring people in, Freestyle Music Park is trying two time-honored desperate ploys: shameless flag-waving and massive price cuts.

Over Independence Day weekend, when many parks are stuffed to capacity (Disney World's Magic Kingdom is said to have clocked well over 70,000 people on that holiday), Freestyle battled for attention by charging a mere $17.76 for two tickets.

Such patriotism-as-promotion must not have kindled attendance fireworks, though, and attendance must still be flagging, because the park has decided to extend the offer through July 26 as the "Every Day is July 4th" deal.


That insanely low price of $8.88 per ticket (if you buy two) is good for admission before 4 p.m., but if you show up after then, you'll pay $17.76 per person, or half what a typical Six Flags ticket might cost. (And those are already mighty cheap.)

The price cuts go deeper, too: At one of its restaurants, $17.76 buys lunch for a family or four: four hot dogs, four fountain drinks, and four sides such as potato salad or slaw.

Add it up, and a family of four can hang out at Freestyle for $13.32 per person, including food. Kids may not be pitching fits to go there, but with prices like that, parents might. Although I haven't been to Hard Rock/ Freestyle myself, it has been criticized for having a dearth of rides. But, come on. Surely there's $13 worth of entertainment there. There's nightly fireworks, for one. You'd be paying just a little more than for a movie.

But you'd better get your rides in soon. The last day of the park's season is Sept. 20, and considering the dramatic bargains available in what should be peak season, I wouldn't expect a reprise in 2010.
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Over Independence Day weekend, when many parks are stuffed to capacity (Disney World's Magic Kingdom is said to have clocked well over 70,000 people on that holiday), Freestyle battled for attention by charging a mere $17.76 for two tickets! For more great deals, browse through this gallery.
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