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Board Of Legislators OKs 15-Year Playland Management Agreement

A mother and her two children leave Playland Amusement Park on opening weekend in May 2014.
A mother and her two children leave Playland Amusement Park on opening weekend in May 2014. Photo Credit: File photo

RYE, N.Y. -- The Westchester County Board of Legislators passed legislation Monday which authorized the county executive to enter into a 15-year Playland Management Agreement with Standard Amusements, LLC to operate Playland Amusement Park.  The PMA passed unanimously.

With the passage of the agreement, Standard Amusements will now begin co-managing Playland with the county for the remainder of the 2015 season.  Following the co-management period, Standard has until Oct. 31 to finalize the deal.

The terms of the PMA call for the county to receive an upfront payment from Standard Amusements of $2.25 million. Standard is then required to make an additional $22.5 million in capital improvements to the park in the next five years.

Standard has indicated that it plans to make those investments in the first three years of the agreement.  After Standard has recouped its initial investment, the county would share in 7.5 percent of the profit from Playland operations.  Additionally, Standard will pay the County an annual $300,000 management fee that increases by approximately two percent each year.

The BOL performed its review and discussion process through two committees, The Labor, Parks, Planning and Housing Committee and the Budget and Appropriations Committee.  In order to accommodate the co-management period for the 2015 season, the BOL completed a very comprehensive review process in just 60 days.

“After an historic 87-year run of creating wonderful experiences and memories for generations of Westchester families, this vote puts Playland on firm footing to carry on for another 87 years in that mission," BOL Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D) Somers said. "It has been almost five years since County Executive Astorino announced his intentions to find a private partner to operate the amusement park and it has indeed been a roller-coaster ride since then.

"I thank my colleagues on the Board for their bipartisan cooperation and hard work in committee and I thank County Executive Astorino for his administration’s hard work and partnership in bringing about the last, best option for a major investment of financial capital and industry expertise in Playland.”

“I want to thank Chairman Kaplowitz for his leadership on moving this forward with the necessary speed and due diligence,” Astorino said. “This deal meets our three goals for preserving Playland by reversing the losses for taxpayers, putting the park in the hands of a top-flight operator, and revitalizing Playland as a must-visit destination for families for years to come.”

Minority Leader, Legislator John Testa (R) Peekskill said, “This public-private partnership agreement is our last and best opportunity to ensure a positive future for Playland.  Having expert operators who will invest in upgrades and improvements to the park will lessen the burden on county taxpayers while preserving this important county asset.”

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