Playland Comes Back! Revenue up 24%, Rec & Parks Tells Legislators.Legislator Parker: “Dispels talk about how Westchester residents don’t go to Playland.”

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WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Board of Legislators. September 23, 2014:

Today, the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) received a year-end report for 2014 attendance and revenue at Playland.

Attendance at the County’s historic 280-acre amusement park and recreation area this past year (which doesn’t include special events that take place through October) was 467,948, up more than 77,000 from last year’s 390,069, an increase of 20%.

Similarly, gross revenue collected at Playland was $8,750,455, up nearly $1.7 million from last year’s $7,068,481, an increase of 24%.

At their meeting this morning BOL members of the Labor, Parks, Planning & Housing Committee (LPPH), chaired by Legislator Pete Harckham (D-North Salem), were briefed by officials from the County’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, who attributed the 2014 increases in attendance and gross revenue at Playland to successful promotions, pleasant weather and special events.

“The great news about the wonderful season at Playland this year shows that there is still a lot of life and excitement left in this amusement park yet,” said Harckham. “The park continues to serve as a top destination for residents and their families. That’s why it is so important that the park’s revitalization plans move forward right away, and that a partner be brought on board before the next season begins.”

Harckham noted that the impressive numbers for 2014 were achieved despite inclement weather over the long Fourth of July weekend, usually the busiest weekend of the season.

Earlier this month the BOL continued its review of finalists to revitalize Playland and met with representatives of Central Amusements International LLC (CAI) and Standard Amusements LLC to hear how they might restore and operate the park. Both groups offered attractive plans for boosting attendance at Playland, which include major infrastructure investments, added attractions and enhanced operational management of the amusement area of the park.

As LPPH Chair, Legislator Harckham has been directing an ambitious review of plans to revitalize Playland. CAI and Standard Amusements were the two runners-up in a four-year-plus long process initiated by County Executive Rob Astorino to find an outside partner to manage and operate Playland. Astorino’s first choice, Sustainable Playland, Inc. (SPI), bowed out of consideration earlier this past summer.

“Seeing that Westchester County residents made up the majority of visitors to Playland this year, as they did last year as well, proves that Westchester families utilize and truly appreciate this park,” said Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye). “In fact, this year’s county attendance was up significantly from last year’s, which should dispel any talk about how Westchester residents don’t go to Playland.”

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