Legislators Pass Playland Agreement With Standard Amusements

Turning a page in the long saga of Playland’s attempted revival, the County Board of Legislators on June 15 unanimously authorized County Executive Rob Astorino to enter into a 15-year Playland Management Agreement (PMA) with Standard Amusements, LLC to operate Playland Amusement Park.

Published June 26, 2015 3:35 PM
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Turning a page in the long saga of Playland’s attempted revival, the County Board of Legislators on June 15 unanimously authorized County Executive Rob Astorino to enter into a 15-year Playland Management Agreement (PMA) with Standard Amusements, LLC to operate Playland Amusement Park.

By Tom McDermott

Turning a page in the long saga of Playland’s attempted revival, the County Board of Legislators on June 15 unanimously authorized County Executive Rob Astorino to enter into a 15-year Playland Management Agreement (PMA) with Standard Amusements, LLC to operate Playland Amusement Park.

Standard will begin co-managing the amusement park with the County for the remainder of the 2015 season. The company has until October 31 to finalize a deal.

The terms of the PMA call for the County to receive an upfront payment of $2.25 million from Standard, which is required to invest an additional $22.5 million in capital improvements over the next five years. After Standard has recouped its initial investment, the County will receive 7.5 percent of Playland’s operating profits. Standard will also pay an annual $300,000 management fee to the County, increasing by about 2 percent annually.

During the review and discussion period, including a public meeting conducted in Rye June 2 by the BOL’s Labor, Parks, Planning and Housing Committee, issues and clarifications regarding Standard’s plans were vetted. Those included: job security for current Playland employees, a capital projects priority plan, financial and attendance reporting to the BOL by Standard, and a declaration that Standard would not construct athletic fields. The last item was particularly important to neighbors of Playland.

According to the BOL, Legislator Catherine Parker played a key role in obtaining commitments from Standard for specific capital improvements, including: North Boardwalk, Colonnades, lights on ­­Playland Parkway, and a fire suppression system. “This is one of the largest public investments made at Playland in decades and will make significant strides towards revitalizing one of the County’s greatest assets,” said Parker.

After the vote, BOL Chairman Michael Kaplowitz said, “This vote puts Playland on firm footing to carry on for another 87 years. I thank my colleagues for their bipartisan cooperation in bringing about the last, best option for a major investment in Playland. The review process has been absolutely transparent and fully engaged the public along the way.” Kaplowitz also thanked Astorino, who said that the deal “meets our three goals for Playland: reversing the losses for taxpayers, putting the park in the hands of a top flite operator, and revitalizing Playland as a must-see destination for families.”

The BOL’s Budget and Appropriations Chair Sheila Marcotte of Eastchester, commented that “Playland has been a $3-4 million drag on the County tax levy for years, and that’s just not sustainable. I am confident that the Standard Amusements deal will be a transformative opportunity.”

 

 

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