Reporting Paul Murnane
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!
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Rye Playland Reinvention Heads Into Next Phase, May Partially Close Next Season