Rye Playland Discussion Thread

P. 30: The future(?) amid the squabbling
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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby Rai Fox » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:39 am

Not good at all. Definitely going to have to get there this summer, while it's still the same park.

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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby alwaysairtime14 » Thu May 09, 2013 7:03 pm

Now, now, Sustainable is not in the clear just yet.
http://newyork.newsday.com/westchester/jenkins-vows-lawsuit-to-stop-astorino-s-plan-for-playland-1.5098263

http://westfaironline.com/53931/astorino-reaches-agreement-with-sustainable-playland/
Everything positive is below the red line.

Playland’s days as a county-run fun park could be ending.

County Executive Robert P. Astorino announced that he has reached a 10-year agreement with Sustainable Playland Inc. (SPI) to run Rye Playland and take it off the county’s hands.

Several key county legislators remain skeptical.

SPI will take over the county-run park on Oct. 1, assuming all approvals are met, including from the county’s Board of Acquisition and Contract. SPI plans to invest $34 million in the park.

“Not only will the Dragon Coaster and the other historic rides be preserved, but the attractions will be expanded to make the park a destination for families year round,” Astorino said in a statement. “We have the vision and expertise in place for Playland to thrive for generations to come.”

Under the agreement, SPI will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of both the amusement area and the surrounding 100 acres of parkland. Proceeds to pay the county, maintain the grounds and make improvements will come from equity investments from the operators, fees SPI charges its operators, revenues generated by the attractions run by the operators, and other revenue such as parking and sponsorships.

“The SPI plan is designed to preserve, restore and enhance the historic character and qualities of Playland, including the historic amusement rides, the classic buildings and the landscape,” Kim Morque, president of SPI, said in a statement.

Democratic legislators said they were not ready to support the agreement, saying they have not read it and questioning whether it violates the county charter. According to an opinion by County Attorney Robert Meehan, the legislators must approve any major changes made to the park.

“The Astorino administration said its goal was to stop losing money at Playland, but Sustainable is not the way,” said Majority Leader Pete Harckham (D-Katonah). “From what we have seen and heard during numerous committee meetings held on the subject, Sustainable is the least competitive financially. But most importantly, this agreement essentially privatizes county parkland.”

Harckham said the other three finalists – Central Amusements International, Legoland, and Standard Amusements L.L.C. – are capitalized and ready to invest in Playland. He would like the administration to work with the board on this process.

“Let’s work successfully and collaborate,” Harckham said. “Let’s finish our review. Let’s work collaboratively to come up with the best proposal for residents and taxpayers. We have a lot of questions about Sustainable Playland.”

While the administration wants this done as soon as possible, Harckham said it’s simply not fair to rush.

“The administration has taken over two years,” Harckham said. “To put gauntlets and deadlines on the board is unfair to the process. We need to do due deliberations. We are almost complete with our analysis. We have to make sure we come up with the best product for Westchester.”

Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), chairwoman of the government operations committee, said she doesn’t think SPI’s plan is financially secure.

“They are a not-for-profit shell corporation that’s subleasing to vendors,” Borgia said. “Westchester does not get its money until those areas are profitable. It’s very risky financially.”

Borgia also criticized SPI’s plans to reduce the size of the parking lot and amusement park.

“Their plan just doesn’t make sense,” Borgia said. “There are more financially viable options on the table. This is too important for political jockeying.”

Geoff Thompson, a spokesman for SPI, said that Astorino’s announcement was a major step forward for the project.

“We feel our plan is the right and smart approach that addresses the issues that confront Playland,” Thompson said. “We have a year-round plan that’s balanced.”

Thompson said their plans will make the park accessible by being open year-round and allowing the community free access.

“This can be profitable,” Thompson said. “It will help taxpayers by lowering the debt.”

Donna Greene, a spokeswoman for Astorino, said the county executive stands by his selection of SPI.

“We had a committee of experts evaluate this,” Greene said. “The county executive wouldn’t recommend it if he didn’t think it was a good plan.”
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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby alwaysairtime14 » Thu May 09, 2013 7:05 pm

Playland opens Saturday, the 11th. Who will be there to show support? Me and...
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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby Rai Fox » Thu May 09, 2013 9:41 pm

I can't make it this weekend - and the weather does not look promising either - but I'll definitely make sure to get there ASAP.

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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby alwaysairtime14 » Sun May 12, 2013 6:00 am

Opening Day Report:
Small crowds to start the day. For once I was watching the speeches made by the county officials very closely. When Astirino came up there were cheers from the entire crowd. He began to talk about "reinventing" the park for the 21st century. The crowd erupted into whispers and discussion. However, Astirino never mentioned Sustainable. He probably would have gotten kicked out if he did by all the Playland enthusiasts that were there! :devil:
All the rides were operating and in good shape. Dragon was running one train. Bumper Cars had 40 out of the 60 cars on the track which was odd. Go-Karts had 10 cars, and they all stayed on-track the entire day. It t-stormed at 4 which made crowds non-existent. I got the front seat of the Dragon Coaster twice in a row! Everything was walk-on! Best Opening Day in the 4 year's I've been going.
Six Flags Passes: 2013, 2012, 2011
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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby Rai Fox » Wed May 15, 2013 12:05 pm

For anyone familiar with the park, how are weekend crowds at this time of year? I'm thinking of going this weekend, but with the $15 ride-all-day special they're offering, I'm expecting that it might get bad. I don't know what kind of wait times the park usually builds up, though.

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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Thu May 16, 2013 4:39 am

I'm still bummed that Rye didn't choose the CAI Amusements or Legoland proposals. The notion of adding to and upgrading the park just seems like a more solid idea than downsizing for the addition of giant grass lawns.
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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby Rai Fox » Thu May 16, 2013 12:01 pm

Aww, just noticed Quassy is closed this Saturday. I was hoping to get there on the way to Rye Playland for the Wooden Warrior credit...maybe I'll just wait til next weekend to get both at once.

Strange to have the park randomly closed for one saturday, though...

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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby SharkTums » Thu May 16, 2013 1:16 pm

^Perhaps it's a buyout. Spring and Fall see many large companies buying out parks for a day.

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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

Postby Rai Fox » Thu May 16, 2013 2:05 pm

That'd make sense. I'll just have to save it for next weekend!

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