Westchester pols voted in favor of a Rye Playland partnership with Standard Amusements. Standard will make a $30 million investment in the park.
Standard Amusement’s $30 million investment will go toward revitalizing Playland with new rides and attractions, upgrading food choices, picnic areas, and restaurants and renovating grounds and buildings. Standard Amusements will pay the county $2,250,000 up front; invest $27,750,000 million of its money within five years into refurbishing the park; and make annual payments to the county starting at $300,000 and escalating 2% a year.
Once Standard Amusements has recouped its initial investment, the county will participate in a sliding-scale profit sharing agreement. In return, Standard Amusements will have a management agreement with the county to run the park for 30 years.
The county has agreed to fund 11 capital projects to rehabilitate the infrastructure at Playland, costing $32 million, including rides, gaming and concession improvements, as well as shoreline rehabilitation. Playland opens on Saturday, May 7, at 11:30am, for its 88th season.
Still, battling PR headlines rained down on the email boxes of those that try to make sense of it all:
From CE Astorino, Republican:
"APPROVAL OF PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP SECURES PLAYLAND’S FUTURE
$30 million in outside investment from Standard Amusements heading into iconic park in Rye
Astorino Thanks BOL for support and calls vote a “historic step forward”
Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino’s plan to ensure the financial future of Playland through a public-private partnership with Standard Amusements was approved Monday night by the Board of Legislators. The approval means that New York-based Standard Amusements will make a $30 million private investment in return for the right to operate the iconic park in Rye.
“We started with a blank piece of paper for how to save Playland six years ago,” Astorino said. “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.”"
From the Democrat controlled BOL:
"Playland Deal Falls Short of Desired Goals; Bonds for Significant Capital Investment Pass
(WHITE PLAINS, NY)— For the second time, the Board of Legislators ratified an agreement between Westchester County and Standard Amusements to turn over various aspects of operation to the private operator while requiring significant capital investments by the County that have been lacking in the park for years under multiple administrations.
Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye), joined by Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh) and Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), voted against the agreement but in favor of separate bond acts, which authorize the largest investment in Playland since it was built."
From Standard Amusements - from their PR firm that is strangely located in Chicago...:
"Future of Rye Playland secured - Comments from Nicholas Singer
“To have the opportunity to take a place that meant so much to me throughout my childhood and help restore it to a condition that ensures generations of children to come will be able to enjoy it as I did, is really a dream come true,” Singer said. “I cannot be more thankful to County Executive Astorino and the Westchester Board of Legislators for their vote of confidence and their partnership throughout this process. This is a wonderful day for Westchester.”"
Pick your poison...
See LoHud's write-up on the deal.