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HomeNewsRye Playland to Open with New $25M Deal

Rye Playland to Open with New $25M Deal

dragon_burstRye Playland will open on Saturday, May 9, with a new plan for the future: a long-term contract with New York-based Standard Amusements signed on April 13 by Westchester County. It creates a public-private partnership to operate the park over the next fifteen years.

According to County Executive Rob Astorino, the deal represents a $25 million investment, but  taxpayers won’t have to pay for any of the improvements at the park.

Under the new agreement, Astorino says, “Standard Amusements will pay the county $2,250,000 up front; invest $22,750,000 million of its money within five years into refurbishing the park; and make annual payments to the county starting at $300,000 and escalating 2% a year. The county will also receive 7.5% of profits once Standard Amusements has recouped its initial investment.”

The head of Standard Amusements, Nicholas Singer, grew up in Harrison, and his company was one of the finalists in the RFP process that started several years ago. (See our previous coverage.)

Day-to-day operations will be handled by United Parks, which is headed by Jack Falfas, a leading amusement park executive. The county will keep control of the property, as well as any benefits to the property from the physical improvements made by Standard Amusements.

The Westchester Children’s Museum — also opening on May 9 — will operate outside the agreement. Several new exhibits are planned for the museum, and a major $10 million capital campaign is underway to “build out the full museum and feature exhibits designed to encourage imagination, play, and interactive learning on a year-round basis.”  exploreathon

The new contract with Standard Amusements needs the approval of the County Board of Legislators in 60 days.

If it is approved, Standard will start to co-manage the park with the County this summer and become sole operator on Nov. 1.

Joyce Newman
Joyce Newman
Joyce H. Newman is an Emmy Award-winning environmental journalist, educator, and gardener. She holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden, and is a tour guide there.
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