Rye Playland amusement park being considered for closure

Posted Wednesday, August 4, 2010 12:01 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Rye Playland is the only amusement park in the nation that is owned and operated by the government. Playland hasn't earned a profit in at least a generation. The park costs between 3 and 6 million dollars a year to operate. Astorino says it makes more fiscal sense to shut it down.

Read more from WNBC/New York.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010 12:04 PM

Wow. Was considering going this year, this might move that into the Definitely column.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 12:18 PM

This park is a gem, With the only full speed whip I've ridden lately, Everything is in pristine condition. Awesome setting. GET THERE!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 12:29 PM

We can fit it in, Clint. No problem.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 12:33 PM

We ran out of time to hit Rye Playland on our trip last month. I wasn't planning another trip to the area this year, but just might have to.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 12:41 PM

^^I'd make it a special trip for the kiddie coaster alone. Still the only wooden coaster on which I've been DENIED a ride....

Of course, the Derby Racer has been a no-go both times (DDM).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 12:42 PM

I'm sure there's a way to make it profitable, but the problem is it's run by a local government. There's probobly lots of red tape in the way of doing things. Just like a lot of things the government shouldn't be involved.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 1:04 PM

I don't think that's a fair generalization. All of the local governments I worked for were particularly efficient, because they had to be.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 1:23 PM

That's true local governments can be more effecient than larger state and the federal government so it's not fair to generalize. A private company would have much more flexability though, and the ability to move quickly without having to worry about what the tax payers in the area think. Regardless of what happens though I need to make a trip this year just in case it closes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 1:24 PM

So are they going to close all the other public parks in the state because they are not making money?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 1:39 PM

The Kiddie Coaster is only open to adults if you make special arrangements with the park in advance. It's a really cool ride and well worth the effort.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 1:48 PM

How does one make advanced arrangements?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 2:01 PM

Not sure it's all about them not making money, but are they losing money? This guy doesn't like that local taxes are paying for the park, when locals aren't going, and it costs a few million to operate. Can't totally blame him, but I would hope that they would consider leasing the park out so that the government is getting paid for the lease, and getting taxes from the business, if the business could be ran successfully.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 2:04 PM

They have tried that at least once in the past, and for various reasons it didn't work out.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 2:17 PM

It's not the only government run park. Green Bay runs Bay Beach Amusement Park. This is very sad news indeed, though.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 2:21 PM

Not sure exactly what the arrangement are with Midway Park (Maple Springs, NY)...if I understand correctly, it's inside a State park. Anyone more familiar with their arrangements?

Thanks Richard, I will try to figure out who/how to communicate with Playland...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 2:55 PM

If it's mostly people from other states visiting the park, if they closed the park, the state would lose more than it would bennifit.

Local buisnesses would be hurt, tax money income will also take a hit.Local jobs would be lost. Much more than the 2-3 million it is costing them to run the park now. I could see if it was costing them a lot more than that, but such a small amount?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 3:24 PM

I think Midway is family-owned and operated on land that belongs to the Parks Department of the State of New York.

There are probably a lot more parks with a similar situation that we may not be aware of. I know Lubbock's Joyland is on city park property, and part of Amarillo's Wonderland is also on park property. Those two are both family-owned and operated parks.

City Park New Orleans may be a third park that like Bay Beach and Rye is owned an operated by a government entity.

Sadly, I can see the county executive's point. They are subsidizing a park that is not benefiting the residents of the county. I am surprised however, that the park is not at least breaking even.

Last edited by Jeffrey Seifert, Wednesday, August 4, 2010 3:27 PM
Wednesday, August 4, 2010 3:27 PM

crazy horse:

That is dynamic reasoning. Most will look at the profit and loses statically and make a decision accordingly. I agree with you though. If the tax benefits do outweigh the losses at the park...seems it should stay open. If not...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 3:30 PM

Sadly, I can see the county executive's point. They are subsidizing a park that is not benefiting the residents of the county. I am surprised however, that the park is not at least breaking even.

It's not?

What about all the local jobs, tax money it takes in, local buisnesses that rely on the park?


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