County seeks RFP's for alternate use of Rye Playland

Posted Monday, August 30, 2010 12:28 PM | Contributed by Jeff

There’s trouble in Rye Playand, as the popular county-run amusement park in Rye continues to experience declining admissions and rising deficits. The county is accepting proposals for alternate uses of the park.

Read more and see video from WCBS/New York.

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Monday, August 30, 2010 4:26 PM

Sounds like the beginning of the end for this troubled park. Quite a shame really.

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Monday, August 30, 2010 6:25 PM

I was there yesterday for ACE day and it looked crowded to me.

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Monday, August 30, 2010 7:53 PM

Two Words.
THIS SUCKS!

Seriously a few billboards or anything would help the park, You have no indication that its even there, Even right off the exit.

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Monday, August 30, 2010 9:29 PM

It's been a dream of mine to someday visit this awesome looking park. Please don't close it down before I have the chance.

Sounds like some kind of a conspiracy to me.

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Monday, August 30, 2010 11:50 PM

I can't help but get this feeling that if they do come up with some alternate use for the park, it will be something "trendy" that will end up costing the county more money in the long run than they lose on Playland now.

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Monday, August 30, 2010 11:55 PM

I finally got on the Derby Racer, and the kiddie coaster, just this Sunday. And got to experience the Old Mill rehab (Kennywood might want to look into this theming option). It was pretty much packed, and it seems hard to believe that the place isn't doing better financially.

It almost rivals Kennywood in terms of historical significance. But (as a government employee myself) - it might have better operations as a privately-run park... ;)

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010 7:17 AM

I would hope that someone would submit an RFP that involves a private entity leasing the park and its equipment and operating it as an amusement park...

There are enough small parks out there that are successful enough that it is hard to believe that Playland can't turn a profit.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010 11:44 AM

^ I agree and I agree.

I think part of the problem is that municipal entities should not be operating amusement parks. I imagine that every decision that a private park can make in a second has to be reviewed and approved by one or more county agencies. That only makes the process longer and more expensive. Vendors probably add to their prices just to cover the costs of doing business with the government. I'd be willing to bet that their expenses are much higher than those for a comparable sized private park.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010 12:53 PM

The article points out that private operation failed once. Doesn't mean an automatic repaeat, but I guess my point is that it doesn't mean government automatically fails. I don't see this all that different from running a typical city park (few of which operate for profit). This one just happens to have rides.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010 1:11 PM

They released a 35 page document regarding this request. only 20 pages are actually about the proposal. it is not out right saying but suggests strongly the closing of all or part of the park. there was even a small not that only suggested teh kiddie land as n attraction to draw guests to a new attraction.

anyways the parks costs are high. on top of the normal costs of running a park it size employees are county " union"employees. There is a local in park Police force that costs 800,000 a year to operate. The powers that be also was funneling profits back int other parks system but issuing bonds to make capital improvement and ride additions. acording to hte release there are around 22 million worth with a 2010 payment do at 1.5 million.

This park can survive. There expected drop in attendance is estimated at 550,000 this year but I think that number is false. That 100,000 less then last year. Numbers in th last 5 years have been 900,000 to 1,000,000 guests. it was makign a profit. In fact hte park itself makes money. it's the property ( park, boardwalk, beach, pool, lake, etc.) that is costing too much. Why they are insisting on closing the only aspect of the park that is a real money maker is beyond me.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010 10:18 PM

Here is said RFP.

http://www.myrye.com/2010other/Playland/PlaylandRFPFinal827.pdf

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 1:52 AM

Interesting read there. Will be interesting to see if the plans can all work out in the end.

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Friday, September 3, 2010 10:09 AM

I just hope some one will see the value in the park. To think this whole problem is all do to one politician.

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Friday, September 3, 2010 4:57 PM

Jeff said:
The article points out that private operation failed once. Doesn't mean an automatic repaeat, but I guess my point is that it doesn't mean government automatically fails. I don't see this all that different from running a typical city park (few of which operate for profit). This one just happens to have rides.

Reading different articles and comments, it looks like people don't want a regular commercially owned amusement park there either. There also seem to be some heavy restrictions on how the park can operate.

They don't want to affect the neighboring residential neighborhood, so they don't want more traffic, they don't want a lot of new rides. They don't want development along the beachfront. The RFP mentions that the park employees are county employees, and that replacing them with private labor will negatively affect the county. All the restrictions have turned the park into a place that will only get so many people through the gate, yet have extremely high expenses. And they wonder why the place doesn't turn a profit.

Also interesting is that while they don't want to subsidize a park, certain parties seem eager to use on-site buildings for the proposed Children's Museum, which will be leased to them for $1. Isn't that also a subsidy?

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Friday, September 3, 2010 9:12 PM

MRCEagle said:
In fact hte park itself makes money. it's the property ( park, boardwalk, beach, pool, lake, etc.) that is costing too much. Why they are insisting on closing the only aspect of the park that is a real money maker is beyond me.

Since we arrived a little early on Sunday, I walked down into the beach/park area...there is a LOT of land along the beach there. Nice walking area with lots of trees and charm. Several maintenance *and* police force around. I can easily see where ALL that land that is *outside* of the amusement park could drain a lot of resource$...

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Friday, September 3, 2010 9:33 PM

Ya they made a deal to leas out a building for one a dollar a year. The group however has raised 6 of a needed 8 million to rehab the bath house and construct the museum. By the way this building in by the pool and no on the park property.

There are a lot of restrictions and pore business moves. The county should have never had their employee an Union workers at the park.

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Saturday, September 4, 2010 2:12 PM

rollergator said:


It almost rivals Kennywood in terms of historical significance.

This got me thinking, Rye and Kennywood are the only National Historic Landmark parks. Would that have any weight on keeping the park open?
I honestly have no idea, just curious if someone else knew the answer.

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Saturday, September 4, 2010 7:47 PM

I know when dealing with buildings with a historical designation that it's very difficult to demolish or alter them. But there's nothing that says you can't change its use, for example turning a former hotel into apartments with shops. I don't know how that would translate to an entire park. But I think they could change the use of some of the buildings, keep the beach and waterfront, and turn everything else into trails and recreation areas and not lose the historical landmark status. I could be wrong on that though.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010 1:22 AM

It most certainly is not difficult to demolish or alter buildings with historical designations. The owner is in no way obligated to maintain that historic status. See: Hotel Breakers.

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