New Rye Playland Deal is Private-Public Financial Partnership

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We’re still talking about Playland.

Ending a six-year process, Westchester County legislators on Monday approved a plan where Standard Amusements will make a $30 million private investment in return for the right to operate the amusement park.

The county, which will maintain ownership, is also expected to chip in $32 million to restore the park’s deteriorating Art Deco infrastructure.

Standard Amusements, is, according to reports, a hedgefund-backed group headed by Harrison native Nicholas Singer.

“We started with a blank piece of paper for how to save Playland six years ago,” Astorino said in a news release. “Now we are taking a historic step forward. The capital, the operator and the vision are in place to protect both taxpayers and the Dragon Coaster for years to come.”

Westchester County legislators approved the 15-year deal 13 to 4, the release said.

But Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye), voted against the agreement but in favor of separate bond acts, which authorize the largest investment in Playland since it was built.

 

Parker said, “I believe this deal has gone backwards from the one that was crafted previously.  We are spending more money than we were in the last deal and the private operator is reaping more of the benefits of our investment than they were in the last deal.  I believe turning over the keys to one of our county’s most valuable assets without any avenue of accountability is a mistake that will cost us in the long run.”

Standard Amusements plans to add new rides — potentially a small waterpark for kids — as well as restaurants and games and upgrade the park’s physical plant while trying to maintain Playland’s family-friendly feel.

Photo: June Marie Sobrito

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