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Rye Forms Committee To Handle Whitby Castle Oustourcing

Rye officials will begin going over the proposals for vendors to take over the management of Whitby Castle.
Rye officials will begin going over the proposals for vendors to take over the management of Whitby Castle. Photo Credit: The Daily Voice File Photo

RYE, N.Y. -- Rye is moving ahead with its goal to outsource the management of the Whitby Castle restaurant at Rye Golf Club, and will begin analyzing proposals over the coming weeks.

The restaurant is owned and operated by the city, and has struggled to make a profit for several years. The 2013 deficit for the restaurant is projected to be around $650,000. This fall the Golf Club Strategic Committee sent out a request for proposals in an effort to find a new vendor to come in and take over the management of the restaurant. The city received several proposals, which were due at the end of December.

The city has organized a temporary committee to look over the proposals. The committee consists of three members of the Ry Golf Club Commission, at least two members of the Rye City Council and two members of the Rye Golf Club Strategic Committee. The committee will have its first meeting on Jan. 6 at Whitby Castle.

The Golf Club Commission and Golf Club Strategic Committee will select their own members to be on the committee. Mayor-elect Joe Sack will also participate on the council, and other members from the City Council will be selected when the new council meets in January. City Council Member Julie Killian said that she would like to serve on the committee, because she thinks it is important that someone who is not a member of the Rye Golf Club be present.

"It certainly affects the members of the Rye Golf Club, but it is also an overall city issue," Killian said.

"It's a very tight schedule," said City Manager Scott Pickup. He said that the committee would pretty much have to meet every week in January in order to analyze all the proposals, find a preferred vendor and an alternate vendor, and begin entering into contract negotiations. Pickup said the goal is to bring a potential contract to the City Council to vote on at its Feb. 26 meeting. That would give the vendor enough time to open sometime in May, to correspond with the height of golf and pool season.

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