WPCNR PLAYLAND NEWS. From Sustainable Playland, Inc. September 6, 2013:
Sustainable Playland Inc., selected as the future manager of Westchester’s best known public park, today submitted its Playland Improvement Plan (PIP) to County Executive Rob Astorino. The plan outlines SPI’s public-private partnership approach to revitalize and restore the iconic 85-year-old park on the Long Island Sound shore in Rye and provide year-round activities and attractions.
The submission of the PIP is an important step in converting the park to a public-private partnership with the County. The County will continue to own the property, SPI will manage it. SPI is a not-for-profit, community-based organization formed to develop and submit a restoration and revitalization plan for Playland.
SPI’s plan was selected among the dozen respondents to a Request for Proposals (RFP) for revitalizing the park issued by the County Executive. Subsequently, an Asset Management Agreement (AMA) was developed by SPI and signed by Astorino in late July. The next step in the process was submission of the PIP. This 80-page document will now be reviewed by the County Executive and his staff and commissioners.
Once the County Executive completes his review, he will formally submit the PIP to the County Board of Legislators for its review and approval. The Board must approve any plan for material improvements and modifications to the park. SPI hopes to begin implementing the plan as soon as possible so that its multi-year phase-in of improvements and upgrades can begin in 2014.
(Editor’s Note: If the Board does not approve the plan by January 1, Sustainable Playland has the right to abandon the project.
Earlier this week, members of the Board of Legislators turned Luna Park in Coney Island, to observe how CAI Amusements, Sustainable Playland choice to run the amusement section of the new Playland Sustainable evisions.
In a news release this week, Kenneth Jenkins, Chair of the Board of Legislators has said if CAI were hired to run Playland, there would not be a need for Sustainable Playland. To wit, ” bringing Central Amusements on board raises questiona about the value of Sustainable Playland’s involvement.”)
The PIP is consistent with recommendations included in the 2006 Playland Master Plan that was commissioned by the County, including converting management of the park to a public-private partnership model. SPI’s approach is modeled after the highly successful Central Park Conservancy in Manhattan that oversees the nation’s most prominent urban park.
The PIP adheres closely to the concept plan for restoring the park that was put forth in SPI’s RFP response. The plan seeks a balance of seasonal and year-round uses which will create a more reliable and predictable income flow. Playland is currently heavily dependent on revenues generated by its historic summer-only, weather-dependent amusement park. Under SPI’s plan, the Amusement Zone will continue to be the signature area of the park and its largest single financial element.
However, additional new uses at the park including a field house for indoor sports activities, year-round restaurants, the Westchester Children’s Museum, improved and expanded ice skating opportunities, as well as the restoration and enhancement of the park’s classic architectural and landscape features will broaden the appeal of the park and draw visitors year-round.
The Amusement Zone, as well as the new Aqua/Beach Zone, will be operated by Central
Amusements International, the U.S. subsidiary of the internationally renowned Zamperla company, a manufacturer of amusement park rides and an operator of amusement parks including Coney Island. The PIP includes details of the new rides and improvements to existing rides that Central Amusements will phase in over five years.
The PIP will be posted later on the SPI website: www.sustainableplayland.org