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New Playland To Bring Thousands of Jobs to Rye

RYE, N.Y. – A proposed project to renovate Playland Amusement Park in Rye would bring thousands of new jobs to the area, according to Sustainable Playland President Dhruv Narain.

“All the operations here are going to have jobs,” Narain said. “We think they’re going to be better jobs. We think they’re going to be careers for people, and we have some other ideas, too. We will continue to employ on a seasonal basis.”

Though there is no precise number, Narain said, thousands of jobs would be created for year-round operations at the new park.

During an announcement of the project Thursday morning at Playland, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino added, “Hundreds of jobs will be created from the construction of the $34 million of capital improvements as well.”

Construction is expected to begin by the end of 90-day contract negotiations for Sustainable Playland to take on renovations and operations of the park for 10 years.

In 2010, Astorino began a formal search for ideas to address chronic losses of $3 million to $5 million a year due to falling popularity of the historic park. A committee of 19 citizens and the county reviewed 12 proposals and chose Sustainable Playland because it had “the best vision for the park financially and operationally, as well as far-reaching experience and strong local ties,” Astorino said.

The overseer of overall operations will be Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, headed by Dan Biederman, a Chappaqua resident who is responsible for renovating operations of Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan. Biederman said that when he began working at Bryant Park, he had three employees, and Bryant Park now employs a thousand through its seasonal ice rink, day-to-day operations and restaurants.

“We envision this as a huge job creator,” Biederman said. “... A lot of these jobs will go to county residents.”

In the coming months, stakeholders including the Westchester County Board of Legislators, the City of Rye, the Town of Rye and the county Parks Board will make all the necessary approvals on the project, Astorino said.

“Playland Park gets back to its roots,” Astorino said. “It’s family-oriented; it’s a civic-commercial partnership with a vision for the 21st century; it protects the taxpayers; it creates new jobs, good jobs, short-term construction, long-term careers, summer jobs … and it certainly preserves the tradition of Playland. The Dragon Coaster will continue to breathe its fire for many, many years to come.”

For more information on the proposed changes to Playland, click here .

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