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Public Info Session On Rye Playland Proposals Wednesday

A public info session will be held Wednesday about four proposals to upgrade Rye Playland.
A public info session will be held Wednesday about four proposals to upgrade Rye Playland. Photo Credit: Justin Stock

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Residents can let the Westchester County Board of Legislators know Wednesday what they think about four proposals to upgrade Rye Playland, the county’s 280-acre park and National Historic Landmark.

The event will be held at the little theater in the Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave, White Plains.

  • A county legislator said Tuesday night that he hopes the public will help set the direction of the amusement park. See story .

Representatives from the four proposals will give trade-show-style presentations at 6:30 p.m. where participants can visit each of the four vendor areas, look at materials and ask questions.

Residents will then have another opportunity to ask questions and make comments about the proposals during an hour-long question-and-answer session starting at 7:30 p.m.

Legislator Ossining Catherine Borgia (D), chair of the government operations committee, will moderate the meeting.

“I think this public information session will be an excellent opportunity for concerned residents and business owners to be engaged in the process of revitalizing Playland and see for themselves what each proposal offers in terms of enjoyment and economic viability,” Borgia said in a statement.

“This iconic park has created so many great memories for generations of Westchester residents, so we should ensure that Playland’s long-term future moves in the right direction - because once the contracts are signed, there will be no chance for second-guessing,” she said.

The board of legislators chose the top four proposals for review last month when the government operations committee, which covers county parks, detailed its goals for deciding which proposal to use, and began in-depth discussions with the four representatives about how they would operate Playland, their financial plan, and how they plan to modify the park and its infrastructure.

The first proposal, by Sustainable Playland, is for a $34 million project. Main institutions of the historic amusement park would remain, including the Dragon Coaster, boardwalk and Kiddyland.

New elements would be added, including an “aqua zone” mini water park and beach attractions, outdoor ball fields and an outdoor field house, as well as renovations to the indoor ice rink and a new outdoor winter ice rink, new restaurants, enhanced access to the Edith Read Wildlife Sanctuary, an indoor multiuse facility for rental, and a Great Lawn with views of Long Island Sound.

Under the plan, general admission to Playland and the Great Lawn would be free. Attractions throughout the park would be grouped into pay-as-you-go zones such as amusement, water, beach, and fields.

The second proposal, by Standard Amusements LLC, is to create a $25 million new Playland.

The park would include a face-lift consistent with its National Historic Landmark status - namely, improved food operations, new games to cultivate intergenerational shared experiences, restored and added rides, plus water-themed attractions and more live entertainment. In addition, the proposal includes four new sports fields and a community lawn.

The third proposal, by Central Amusements International, calls for a capital investment of $26.4 million.

The plan includes revamping rides, new rides, an interactive water playground, multilevel adventure-style mini golf, a children’s entertainment center to complement the children’s museum, and a summer camp. The focus would be on preservation of historic rides, restoration of historic structures and infrastructure improvements.

The fourth proposal is from The Paidia Co., a Louisiana-based company that operates amusement parks. Paidia would work with Legoland as a branding partner. Legoland is owned by Merlin Entertainments. Its proposal calls for a $150 million investment – with $100 million for construction and improvements.

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