Rye, New York
Park News - (8/12/14) According to the local news the Westchester County Board of Legislators is now going to consider a plan to lease the Playland property to a partnership between Central Amusements and Standard Amusements, the two remaining groups still willing to operate the site going forward. As previously mentioned, Central Amusements is the division of Zamperla who built and operate the successful Luna Park at Coney Island.
The two groups plan to invest a combined $25 million into Playland with a guaranteed minimum payment plan to the county, which will succeed in taking the financial burden of running Playoff away from the taxpayers, as well as see some successful management and capital investment into the park to ensure its future. If Central Amusements plans for the site are still the same as they were in 2013, they planned on adding 22 new rides to Playland over the next five years and more after that to restore Playland to being a successful attraction.
The previous group who was working on the project, Sustainable Playland, has “”exercised its right to terminate its asset management agreement” and is now out of the picture.
(6/13/14) According to this news report Sustainable Playland has bowed out of their proposal to take over the operations of Playland Park. The county is expected to begin a review process of other proposals for the property once again.
(5/15/14) A local legislator, Catherine Parker, has withdrawn their support for Sustainable Playland’s proposal to overhaul the site. She claims that the plans have been altered too much from their original form and can no longer support them. With others still waiting on the sidelines for a chance to show off what they can do for Playland Park, it may be time to lay the proposals out side by side to decide who has the best and financially sound vision to redevelop the property for future generations.
(5/2/14) Sustainable Playland returns to proceed with their plans for Playland Park this week. You can read the latest update here.
(4/22/14) Westchester has set a May 1st deadline for Sustainable Playland to get back on board with their plans for Playland Park, otherwise they will move on and begin to look at other options.
(4/17/14) Forever in debate and turmoil, it seems like Sustainable Playland’s plans to renovate and update Playland Park could very well be “derailed” as the local politicians began to accuse the group of ‘ducking the tough questions’ on their plans and avoiding putting it all through a more thorough review process.
At this point the local news reports that Sustainable Playland sent in a letter in to say that they would not resume participation in the review process until the county could make up their mind about just what they want to see in the plans, what the target attendance they were seeking to have was as well as the construction of the ‘field house’ indoor sports complex.
If they do drop out entirely from the project (or get dropped…) it is said tha both Central Amusements International (the division of Zamperla who runs Luna Park in Coney Island) as well as a second group named Standard Amusements were both still interested in running Playland Park in the future.
(3/14/14) The size of the proposed new Field Building has been reduced, according to this latest news report, which will increase the amount of parking available on the site surrounding it.
(2/7/14) The battle for finding the right plan as well as control for Rye Playland battles on still, with local residents now finally stepping forward to say that they want more of the say in the final plans to transform the site for the 21st centrury. It seems a primary point of opposition has to do with the planned fields area that will take over part of the parking lot, and what they are calling a “field building”, a 95,000 sqft structure will will apparently contain an indoor sports play areas plus a pair of outdoor astro-turf fields.
(12/24/13) Looks like things are still somewhat in limbo regarding the future of Rye Playland, as the local legislators still have not decided to fully support the plan from Sustainable Playland in time to meet a January 1st deadline. The current issue at hand is a delay while they wait for a study on the parking needs of the project to come in, as the current plan has some of the existing parking lots being shrunk down to build a new field and ‘field house’.
(7/25/13) According to this news update Sustainable Playland is reported as having changed their plan to remove nearly one third of the rides at Rye’s Playland Amusement Park. As part of the change, the ‘great lawn’ plan will be reduced in size and they will only remove or relocate a small number of rides. The article mentions the future rumoval of the Playland Plunge log ride as one ride to be removed.
It is also worth mentioning that Mega Funworks has been replaced as the operator of the amusement park area by Central Amusements International, which is the group formed by Zamperla which also runs Luna Park at Coney Island. These two items combined can only be good news for the future of Playland.
(4/8/13) BuisnessWeek reports that Sustainable Playland has a tentative deal in place to run Rye’s Playland Park for the next decade. Final approvals must still come in from various government groups, but the group could take control of Playland as early as October 1st.
(3/8/13) More great media coverage about the efforts to “Save Playland”... keep up the good work!
(3/4/13) Good news, the show of support for the petition against Sustainable Playland has caught the eye of the media. Keep it up! Interesting to note that while Sustainable Playland say they think those against their plan are misinformed, they admit that their plan to remove 30% of the rides from the park will be “mostly thrill rides” which seems like a sure-fire way to kill off a small park like Playland in my book.
(2/22/13) For anyone interested, an online petition has been started to save Rye Playland from any plans that would involve the removal of large sections of the park. Click here to show your support.
(2/18/13) A report about a public turnout to talk about the various Playland proposals unfortunately seemed to have many supporters of the Sustainable Playland plan, which would see the historic amusement park cut down to half-size. Thankfully people from Standard Amusements and Central Amusements, who each have their own plan to invest in the amusement park were on hand to try and educate the masses. Central Amusments says their plan motto is “keeping it Playland,” and would involve no bulldozers. Instead they want to add 22 new rides to Playland in the first five years and more after that to restore Playland back to what it once was. Click here to read more.
(2/14/13) A disturbing article about the possible future of Rye’s Playand has come to light regarding the proposal from the Sustainable Playland group that would see the amusement park remove 30% of the rides. The article say that this is a very misleading comment, as when you take into account the size of the rides they plan to remove, the Playland amusement park would be cut down to 50% of it’s current size.
The plans are supposed to try and revitalize Playland, but cutting the park down to half of it’s current size certainly is going to lure in more guests (or income) to the area. Not to mention the fact that the park hasn’t added any substantial new attractions in years does little to help the situation. Based on the author’s take on the business model presented by Sustainable Playland at a presentation, they are looking to essentially remove half of the park up front, and the rest of the amusement rides will eventually “face elimination” as times goes on. Meanwhile proposals to run the park, and make improvements, by experienced amusement operators are on the table, but not getting the proper attention, which is just sad.
(1/25/13) The county has narrowed the choices down to just four it seems, as they prepare to compare all their options and choose the best plan to revitalize Playland Park. Follow the link to see what options may be in store.
(1/4/13) According to an interesting article (click here) representatives from “Legoland Development” have met with the county regarding a plan to invest up to $200 million to transform Rye Playland into a Legoland park while keeping mucg of Rye’s charm intact, much how Cypress Gardens was transformed into Legoland Florida last year.
I found it a bit odd that the article mentioned “Legoland Development” instead of Merlin Entertainment, which is the true owner of the Legoland theme parks. Makes me wonder if they are talking to some group hoping to lure in Merlin to make a Legoland in the area, or if this Legoland Development group has any official ties to Merlin at all. Still… the idea does have merit, and selling or leasing the park to a private group may actually be the best solution for the troubled public property that has become a burden to the local government budgets.
(10/15/12) The county signed a deal with Sustainable Playland, a not-for-profit group who will take their vision to reinvent Playland for the next generation. The new plan was described as a “civic-commercial partnership” which hopes to not only save Playland, but make it profitable once again as well.
The group will invest $34 million into the park and broaden its appeal with new features and attractions, while keeping the parks historic rides like the Dragon Coaster, Derby Racer and Kiddyland in place. A new waterpark area overlooking the boardwalk will be added as well as outdoor ballfields, an indoor field house, more restaurants, renovated Ice Casino and a new outdoor skating rink. A Great Lawn will also be set up for concerts and special events.
The plan will return the park to have free admission and allow riders to pay per attraction, but the biggest change will be a new operating calendar that will see Playland open year round. While most of the actual rides will be closed in the winter, the opportunity to lure in people for other activities year-round hopes to be the plan needed to turn Playland around.
2014 - Nothing new is known at this point...