WPCNR PLAYLAND GO ROUND. From The Westchester County Board of Legislators. April 30, 2015:
Wednesday, the Board of Legislators (BOL) Labor, Parks, Planning and Housing (LPPH) Committee met jointly with the Budget and Appropriations Committee to continue the BOL review process for Standard Amusement’s management agreement to operate Playland Amusement park. Appearing on behalf of Standard Amusements was Nick Singer who runs Standard Amusements, Jack Falfas, an amusement park industry management expert who would be the onsite manager at Playland and Andy Maniglia, an advisor to Standard.
Wednesday’s committee meeting dealt with Standard’s financials. (all documents associated with today’s meeting can be found on the BOL website at WestchesterLegislators.com) Mr. Singer presented projections for the full fifteen year term of the management agreement, including; revenue, employee salaries, marketing expenses, operating costs, overhead and more.
A major discussion point in today’s meeting was how Standard’s financial projections would impact the County’s ongoing debt service associated with the park.
According to Standard’s projections, in the first year of the operating agreement, the county would realize revenue from Playland that would approximate the amount of debt service. This is attributable to the one time, upfront payment of $2.25 million dollars from Standard. In years 2-7, revenues from Playland operations are not expected to cover the debt service.
Through the 7.5% share of Playland’s profits and the $300,000 annual payment to the county, Standard’s projections shows that the debt service will be covered through those revenues for years 8-15.
BOL Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D) Somers, who is a Certified Financial Planner in his professional career said, “Based on our experience and discussions with Standard to this point, I expect that they will continue to provide the financial detail and clear vision for Playland that Legislators will need in order to approve this agreement.” Kaplowitz added, “Today’s meeting laid out Standard’s projections for revenue and expenses, I’m looking forward to hearing their plans for how we achieve that success.”
Legislator Sheila Marcotte (R) Eastchester, Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee said, “The Standard Amusements team and the County Executive have done a good job of striking a deal that is fair for Standard, fair for the County and above all else, protects taxpayers by laying out a plan that will immediately begin to mitigate Playland’s drain on our tax levy.” Marcotte added, “I look forward to continuing this vetting process and I am hopeful that at long last we have found the right operator with the necessary resources to return Playland to its, ‘tax-neutral’, former glory.”
Legislator Peter Harckham (D) North Salem, Chairman of the LPPH Committee which is the lead committee reviewing the Standard proposal said, “A lot of important information came out of today’s Committee meeting and some additional questions have arisen from as well. I’m looking forward to continuing our review of Standard’s proposal especially regarding their capital plan. For the past six or eight years, the park has not been maintained as well as it should have been and I hope that Mr. Singer’s team is prepared to detail how they will remediate the state of disrepair that currently exists.” Harckham added, “The LPPH Committee will be touring Playland with Mr. Singer and his team on May 7th. I expect many of our questions about the physical condition of Playland to be answered at that time.”
Attached is a schedule of the remaining BOL Committee meetings to review the Playland proposal. Today’s meeting as well as all the Playland Committee review meetings can be seen on the BOL website at WestchesterLegislators.com.