Reporting Paul Murnane
RYE, NY (WCBS 880) - Rye Playland Amusement Park is a well-known local spot for summer fun but it is not very profitable.
WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane reports from Rye
County officials said attendance at the park has dropped by more than half since 2005. A March 10 deadline looms as Westchester County looks for proposals concerning the future of the 83-year-old park.
About 50 kids attended a Children’s Town Hall meeting convened by Rye Councilwoman Catherine Parker and suggested adding a gym or a water park at the site.
The children also suggested holding more year-round activities — including opening the ice rink during the summer, holding an Easter egg hunt in the spring and different festivities during the Christmas season, according to the Journal News.
“It is a spectacular piece of property that really could unleash the imagination of a lot of entrepreneurs,” says Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
On Tuesday, Astorino named 19 people to a committee which will evaluate proposals for reinventing the county-owned amusement park. Members of the committee include a high school student as well as representatives from business, government, the arts, parks and entertainment.
WCBS 880′s Catherine Cioffi with Rob Astorino
“It’s sort of like American Idol. They come in. They’re gonna sing and they’re either going to get laughed off the stage and mocked or they’ll advance to the next round,” says Astorino
In the thick of the debate, people who live near the historic landmark, including John Crotty, are paying attention.
“If you don’t want to improve the financial aspect of it, why change anything? So, everything’s got to be looked at from a practical standpoint as well as… ‘how does it fit into the community?’ and ‘what purpose does it serve?’,” says Crotty. “I think the concern is that it’ll be turned into something that creates congestion, traffic, [and would] take away a lot of the natural space that’s available here.”
Joseph at the On The Way Cafe says, “If they could reinvent something or, you know, put some type of other attraction there, it would would be great for, not only us, but the market and the pharmacy next door.”
Astorino says all of this will play out over the next several years.
What do you think should be done with Rye Playland? Let us know below!