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Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:28 am
by DirkFunk
http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/2014/04/01/sustainable-playland-puts-hold-county-review/7153751/

The future of Playland Park was thrown into doubt Tuesday after Sustainable Playland, the nonprofit chosen by the county to take over the Rye park, put a hold on the county's review of its reinvention plans until legal questions are resolved.

The pause in the review raises questions about whether County Executive Rob Astorino's yearslong effort to reimagine Playland will fall apart, though some officials said they are hopeful the review can be restarted.

The group sent a letter to Astorino on Monday night saying a lawsuit by Legislator Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers, coupled with the city of Rye's assertion that it has approval authority over the plans, have added too much uncertainty to the process. They asked Astorino to intervene.

Sustainable Playland Inc. has already spent $600,000 on the review, which has been going on since 2010, the letter said. In response, the Board of Legislators parks committee canceled a series of meetings on the Playland Improvement Plan on Tuesday.

"SPI is not a deep-pocketed private corporation," Kim Morque, Sustainable's president, wrote. "We are a group of citizens who came together with a civic mission to preserve one of the county's greatest assets. As such it is neither realistic nor feasible to expect that SPI can remain committed to the project indefinitely."

Regardless of the outcome of the discussions, Playland will open on May 10 as usual. The county has long planned to run the park this year but was hoping to begin transitioning the management to Sustainable.

In a statement, Astorino called for a meeting with Rye Mayor Joseph Sack and board Chairman Michael Kaplowitz to try to resolve the legal issues.

"For four years, our goal has been to save Playland," Astorino said. "We have reached the point that litigation now threatens our improvement plans and the park itself. It is now time for elected leaders to do everything in their power to resolve the legal impediments that stand in the way of moving forward on saving Playland for future generations."

Astorino chose Sustainable from 12 groups that responded to his 2010 request for proposals for an overhaul of Playland to make it a year-round attraction and bring in more revenue. The county and the nonprofit signed a management deal and Sustainable submitted a multi-year plan for overhauling the park and adding features including new fields and a field house. The plan was under review by the Board of Legislators.

Jenkins' lawsuit, filed last year, challenged Astorino's right to enter the management agreement without board approval. Then last week, the city of Rye sent a letter asserting its right to run the environmental review of the plans and the need for several city approvals.

Legislator Catherine Parker, a Democrat who represents Rye and has supported Sustainable's plans, was pessimistic about the possibility of salvaging the deal.

"My feeling was that the letter sent by the city of Rye to the county executive last week was probably going to be the straw that broke the camel's back," she said.

But Geoffrey Thompson, a spokesman for Sustainable, said they are only stepping to the sidelines. Rye's position creates a serious issue that could end up in court, he said, and both Sustainable and its operating partners need clarity.

"We just said this is not productive and we need to know where we're going and how we're going to get there," Thompson said.

If Sustainable does eventually pull out, two other groups that responded to the county's original request for proposals in 2010, Central Amusement International, which runs Luna Park at Coney Island, and Standard Amusements, have said they are still interested in running the amusement park. Central has teamed with Sustainable Playland and will operate the amusement park if its plans are approved.

Legislator Peter Harckham, D-North Salem, chairman of the parks committee, said he hopes the review can continue while the legal issues are resolved.

"I hope we don't go back to square one," he said.


Short version: Sustainable Playland got the contract to run the park, but various people within local government have gone through legal channels to question whether or not that was even something that was legally allowable in the manner done. Also, the city wants to assert that the park can't just do what it wants, and still has to seek approval through them with the new management. With that resistance, Sustainable Playland is probably heading out and the conflict continues whilst the park operates on.

Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:42 am
by jedimaster1227
^Maybe it is just me, but I see Sustainable Playland bowing out as a total blessing for this park. There were other, extremely qualified companies like Legoland and CAI Amusements that proposed options for the park and were turned away. If Sustainable Playland throws in the towel, one of these other companies seize the opportunity to get their proposals back on track.

Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:08 pm
by coasterbill
jedimaster1227 wrote:^Maybe it is just me, but I see Sustainable Playland bowing out as a total blessing for this park.


I completely agree. Not only did they want to reduce the size of the park, but taxpayers would still be on the hook for a lot of the operating costs. I don't know how they ever went with them in the first place.

Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:39 pm
by alwaysairtime14
I didn't like Sustainable at all until they agreed to increase the ride area. After that I felt like Sustainable was still very far from perfect (and much worse than CAI). I'm at the point now where I don't have a preference over the county owning the park or Sustainable. But, if the county can get CAI back into the game that would be awesome!!!

Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:29 pm
by jedimaster1227
http://westchester.news12.com/news/westchester-sets-may-1-deadline-for-sustainable-playland-to-decide-on-future-of-playland-project-1.7762404

Westchester has set a deadline for May 1 for nonprofit Sustainable Playland to make a decision on the future of its project with the amusement park.

One of the main issues is who will take over as lead agency in the environmental review process. Both Westchester County and Rye are vying for the title, and new concerns from the city have brought the project to a standstill.

Sustainable Playland has spent the past three years and at least $600,000 to turn the park into a year-round attraction. The park is set to open on May 10.

Westchester County Board Chair Mike Kaplowitz and Sustainable Playground President Kim Morque will appear on this weekend's Newsmakers to discuss the issues surrounding the project.

Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:34 pm
by Rollercoaster Rider
jedimaster1227 wrote:http://westchester.news12.com/news/westchester-sets-may-1-deadline-for-sustainable-playland-to-decide-on-future-of-playland-project-1.7762404

Westchester has set a deadline for May 1 for nonprofit Sustainable Playland to make a decision on the future of its project with the amusement park.

One of the main issues is who will take over as lead agency in the environmental review process. Both Westchester County and Rye are vying for the title, and new concerns from the city have brought the project to a standstill.

Sustainable Playland has spent the past three years and at least $600,000 to turn the park into a year-round attraction. The park is set to open on May 10.

Westchester County Board Chair Mike Kaplowitz and Sustainable Playground President Kim Morque will appear on this weekend's Newsmakers to discuss the issues surrounding the project.



Hope Zamperla will take over. They have park experience with Coney Island and Victorian Gardens and 3/5 of their coasters are Zamperla.

Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:53 am
by A.J.
Here's a dumb question -

Does anyone think that Sustainable Playland - as a concept - would work for a brand-new mixed-use development somewhere? A green park, entertainment district and sort of small amusement area with a several marquee attractions? I was thinking about this last night and I was wondering what the reaction would be if Sustainable Playland was announced as a brand new park instead of a "revitalization" of a historic one.

Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:47 am
by DirkFunk
Here's a dumb question -

Does anyone think that Sustainable Playland - as a concept - would work for a brand-new mixed-use development somewhere? A green park, entertainment district and sort of small amusement area with a several marquee attractions? I was thinking about this last night and I was wondering what the reaction would be if Sustainable Playland was announced as a brand new park instead of a "revitalization" of a historic one.


Fiesta Texas is essentially just that. Lots of the large housing developments (think: Del Webb) contain aquatics centers/water parks as part of the amenity package for buying in.

Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:29 am
by SharkTums
I think I'd rather see Merlin try to get back in at this point.

Re: Rye Playland Discussion Thread

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:32 am
by DirkFunk
What, you wouldn't be excited for a terrible 3-across Eurofighter ripoff from Zamperla?

I really don't care who comes in so long as not-crappy rides are built and crappy rides are removed.