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County Legislators Expect Decision Soon On Rye Playland

County legislators expect to make a decision about Rye Playland in the near future.
County legislators expect to make a decision about Rye Playland in the near future.

RYE, N.Y. - County legislators are closer to knowing what proposal will be used to upgrade and improve Rye Playland, the county’s 280-acre park and National Historic Landmark.

Legislator Catherine Borgia, D-Ossining, and chairwoman of the government operations committee, which oversees county parks, said county residents won’t have to wait much longer for a decision.

“We’re looking to make a decision in the coming months,” she said.

The board is focusing on the economic, recreational and environmental impact each vision of the park’s future will have on all of Westchester.

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, renovations to the indoor ice rink and a new outdoor ice rink for the winter, new restaurants, enhanced access to the Edith Read Wildlife Sanctuary, an indoor multi-use facility for rental and a "Great Lawn" with views of the 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 zones, like amusement, water, beach and fields and would be pay-as-you-go.

The second proposal, by Standard Amusements LLC, is to create a $25 million new Playland. The park would get 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 free community use lawn.

The third proposal, by Central Amusements International, calls for a capital investment of $26.4 million. The plan includes revamping of rides, new rides, an interactive water playground, multi-level 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 last proposal is from The Paidia Co., a private 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.

County legislators had a public information session Wednesday at the county center to discuss the propsals.

What questions, comments, or concerns do you have about the proposals? Tell us in the comment section below and on Facebook.

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