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“No Silver Bullet” for Rye Playland



It seems Playland’s future will remain unresolved for the next few months:

The following release was issued by the County Executive’s office:

 The process of “Reinventing Playland Park for the 21st Century” advanced to the next phase today, as County Executive Robert Astorino formally received a report from the citizens committee that he appointed to examine the feasibility of 12 proposals for the park.

In its report made public today, the citizens committee did not make a recommendation on a specific plan or vendor.

“There is no simple ‘silver bullet’ solution to the future of Playland Park and no such solution emerged during the Committee’s review,” the report stated. “A host of significant, longstanding structural obstacles must be overcome as part of any realistic plan for ensuring the long-term viability of the park.”

What the citizens committee did do was group all 12 proposals into three categories: responsive to the evaluation criteria and deserving further attention; some potential; and proposals they believed were not feasible or meriting further review; and suggested that “there may be value to combining some elements of the 12 RFPs or other concepts into a ‘hybrid’ plan for the park.

The process now moves to the third phase: further analysis by the county’s legal, financial and parks teams.  A determination of how to proceed from there is expected by early 2012.

Westchester County currently owns and operates the park, which has experienced a dramatic decline in attendance during the last five years.

Since 1928, the focal point of the property has been the amusement park, which today has 50 major rides and attractions. The prototype of today’s modern theme parks, Playland was the country’s first totally planned amusement park. Seven of its rides and several of its art deco buildings are designated as National Historic Landmarks.

The RFP covered approximately 100 acres of the larger 280-acre Playland property. A critical feature is that its focus goes beyond the historic amusement park. Scenic vistas and a beautiful beach on  Long Island Sound, an Olympic-size swimming pool, an extensive waterfront boardwalk, fishing piers, boating lake, dining and picnic areas, a proposed children’s museum, and an indoor ice skating rink, as well as the amusement park, can all be utilized, or not, in the plans submitted by developers.

— Photo by Floralgal


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October 7, 2011 10:59 PM

Perhaps, Mr. Ross, you should make a visit to Playland when you are not there on somebody else’s dime, and when it IS open to the Public – you just might find it to be a fun place deserving of any efforts to keep it funded and open. We have been there several times and have never been “scammed” nor had to deal with “shady characters”. What a sad day it would be if this historically significant place were allowed to “die” as you so unkindly suggest.

Mike Ross
Mike Ross
October 4, 2011 10:27 AM

I have to say, the only times I’ve visited the place are when it’s been closed to the public and rented for private events (usually by UBS bank). So we didn’t have to contend with the undesirable element in the crowds – but from the so-called ‘service’ we got from some of those running the refreshment concessions etc. it seems some of those same undesirables have got themselves on the payroll.

Some of them were definitely on the make, trying to tell people they had to pay for stuff when everything was supposed to be free. They were very brazen – when they were read the riot act by the organizers they simply took the merchandise off the shelves or put up a ‘closed’ sign; if they weren’t going to be allowed to run their little scam, people weren’t going to be served.

I don’t know who’s to blame but the place has turned into a complete dive, patronized and run by shady characters, and it deserves to die, in its present form at least.


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