Rye Playland Reinvention Heads Into Next Phase, May Partially Close Next Season

WHITE PLAINS, NY (WCBS 880/AP) – This summer is coming to a close, and what next summer will bring for Playland is still up in the air.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane On The Story

Just three of twelve proposals for Rye Playland were called worthy of further consideration by the committee evaluating the future of the site.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said he won’t rule out closing down the rides and games next season, because it would save taxpayers $2 million.

Even if the amusement park section closes, Playland still loses $3 million a year on its debt service.

“It’s like going through a maze, you’re bumping into walls all the time on this because of the legal issues, the state issues, the labor issues, contracts,” Astorino told WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane on Thursday.

Astorino calls Playland a treasure and says he would never sell it.

But the issues, he says, are like a knot and if you’re not careful all you do is pull the ropes tighter and tighter.

“We are facing over $100 million deficit for next year and all of the low-hanging fruit that we had last year, and some of the fruit half way up the tree that we had to go grab, is gone,” Astorino said.

1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports: Playland In Serious Trouble

The proposals deemed worthy come from Central Amusements International, LLC (CAI Parks), Standard Amusements, LLC, and Sustainable Playland.

Last month, Astorino vetoed a lease agreement for a children’s museum at Playland.

Playland, a National Historic Landmark, is about 25 miles north of midtown Manhattan. It opened in 1928.

Astorino said attendance was 420,000 this year, down from 500,000 in 2010 and 1 million in 2000.

He said areas of the park such as the boardwalk, the beach and a bird sanctuary, would not be affected by closing the amusement-ride section.

What do you think the future of Playland should be? Share your ideas below!

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Rye Playland Reinvention Heads Into Next Phase, May Partially Close Next Season

More from Paul Murnane
  • jessie

    With the right ‘vision’ it could retain its place for fun! Closing the place would be criminal and should not be on the table. A water park and hotel as someone mentioned is a super idea. Find ways to make it work. If Astorino reallyyy wants to make it work, he’ll find a way and not close its gates on all who love the place. It’s a treasure, a little frozen in time but that’s what makes it a real gem. With a little foresight and planning the park could easily be a blend of old and new in other words, a success for not only the community, but the entire region. note; I wonder if attendance was down from last year due to the newly expanded Coney Island luna park? Add a “Splish Splash I was taking a bath” sounds like a great idea!

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/pstephenlamont P. Stephen Lamont

    With attendence down 68% in the past two years, the entertainment community is telling us something. Leveraging the beach, boardwalk, and the bird sanctuary, I envision a city within Rye City filled with 2 strips of shops, restaurants, and other amenities facing opposite to each other across complete with the existing bandshell from the boardwalk to Playland lake. Do the numbers, with buildout provided by the tenents. This would provide another nice fair weather attraction for seniors, residents, middle schoolers, and high school students.
    I have to attribute most of the ideas in this comment to my friend Caroline.

  • Rochelle Harrrison

    Why can’t Westchester County just bill New York City for the costs of running Playland? We’re the REAL New Yorkers anyway, so they owe us.

  • Playlandlover

    Playland should reopen and continue as it has been. It’s a treasure, and the amusement park makes money; it doesn’t lose money. Astorino is disingenuous about this.

  • Becky

    Turn it into a casino.

  • LissieV

    They should add a waterpark like Splish Splash in Long Island. More modern rides should be added like the 3D/4D rides in the Disney parks. Have special ticket days like Buy1 Get 1 free for students or Get a free ticket for your birthday. Try to get better entertainment. Also, Westchester County should think of adding hotels. You could really build this up with imagination.

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