RYE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Rye Playland opened for the season Saturday, more than six months after Superstorm Sandy nearly destroyed it.
The boardwalk reopened ahead of schedule and under budget, after a major section was completely rebuilt.
Superstorm Sandy ripped parts of Rye Playland from shore, sending the famed boardwalk floating eerily in the Long Island Sound, with benches and lampposts still attached.
“Hurricane Sandy came here and wrecked it,” Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said. “Wrecked the boardwalk, she wrecked the Ice Casino. She wreaked havoc here, but we’re rebuilding.”
Crews had to rebuild a major section of the boardwalk from completely from the Pier Restaurant & Tiki Bar to the miniature golf course.
Workers also have continued renovations on the storm-ravaged pier and swimming pool, as well as the ice casino skating rink.
Rye Playland has cost Westchester County taxpayers millions to keep open. With lingering storm damage from Sandy, the price tag this year could be even higher.
The long-term future of the amusement park remains up in the air, as Astorino pushes for the non-profit Sustainable Playland to take over, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
“We’re going to have beautiful restaurants here, we’re going to have a refurbished ice casino,” Astorino said. That’s what’s going to draw people back here and stop the decline, both financially and attendance.”
A group called Save Playland Amusement Park is pushing back against any plan that reduces the size of the amusement park.
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