Baby Boomer fantasyland

Have you heard of the new rock and roll amusement park, the Hard Rock Park? I’m not making this up. Hard Rock Park, opening June 2 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, offers a Led Zeppelin roller coaster, an “Eagles Life in the Fast Lane” coaster, and the Carnaby Street Cafe, among other rock-themed attractions. Different sections of the park are named after iconic rock influences, like the British Invasion, Cool Country, and Rock & Roll Heaven. The centerpiece of the park, “Led Zeppelin — the Ride,” is a roller coaster that “sends you 15 stories high, 65 miles per hour and loops six times — all set to Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love'” according to the park website. You can also watch concerts at venues such as the Garden Party Stage to Malibu Beach Party.

My buddy John Hensler attended the park’s “sound check” (the park’s soft opening) and took these photos:

Lady Liberty rocking out

Night view of Led Zeppelin — the Ride. Note “the hermit” icon in lower right, reproduced from the inside jacket of band’s untitled fourth album. John adds: before you actually board the train, doors open and you walk directly forward into a darkened room. The lights go out, and a widescreen just in front of you displays a five-minute mini-doc with concert footage and rare interview clips from the early days of the band. The concert footage is augmented by lights and effects inside the room. Then more doors open in front of you, and you are on the loading platform (which itself is a giant zeppelin). Then you get on the ride, which has large speakers in each car. The ride itself is synched (as well as it can) to “Whole Lotta Love.”

The Lizard King graces a building wall (does he expose himself in the bathroom?)

Hope you enjoyed Rock & Roll Heaven

You can see more of photos on John Hensler’s Facebook page.)

The Eagles and Moody Blues kick off the grand opening event June 2-3, which gives you a clue about the park’s target Baby Boomer audience. The music purists will cry foul. But we can expect more experiences like this tailored to the affluent Baby Boomer population as marketers finally wake up to the swelling — and affluent — Baby Boomer population. According to The Media Audit, the number of U.S. Baby Boomer households with annual incomes of $50,000 or more increased to 22.7 million in 2007, with more than six out of 10 Baby Boomers having incomes of $75,000 or more. (Source: eMarketer, “Rich Baby Boomers Are Buying Online,” 10 April 2008.) Baby Boomers are ready and willing for a smart marketer to pay attention to them, as marketing and management guru Tom Peters stressed at the 2007 Client Summit conducted by my employer, Avenue A | Razorfish.

Having said that, I can’t quite picture Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones screaming and waving their arms on “Led Zeppelin — the Ride.”

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5 Responses to Baby Boomer fantasyland

  1. John says:

    Myrtle Beach holds one of the largest Harley-Davidson \”Bike Weeks\” in the country every May, and the HQ for this year\’s events is the Hard Rock Park parking lot. So yep, they\’re hitting their demo target rather well, I\’d say.

    Just don\’t hold your breath for \”Radiohead\’s House of Angst.\”

  2. Pingback: Led Zeppelin News » Blog Archive » Baby Boomer fantasyland

  3. Mark says:

    For more on the park, check out The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News\’s Hard Rock Park page: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/hardrockpark/

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