Sustainable Playland Takeover Plan Is Scrapped

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County Executive Rob Astorino recently announced the management deal for Sustainable Playland to manage and operate Rye Playland has been scrapped.
County Executive Rob Astorino recently announced the management deal for Sustainable Playland to manage and operate Rye Playland has been scrapped. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

RYE, N.Y. -- Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and his administration have scrapped the management deal that would have put Sustainable Playland, Inc. in charge of the amusement park, according to a report Wednesday on LoHud.com. 

The new plan calls for Dan Biederman, president of Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, to be placed in charge while SPI will work to raise money for historic restorations, LoHud.com reported. 

“SPI is proud of the vision it put forth for Playland Park. We remain committed to a restoration and preservation plan that recognizes the park’s unique and historic characteristics,” Kim Morque, President of Sustainable Playland’s Board of Trustees said in a statement. “While SPI’s role is evolving, its vision and commitment has not changed. We will continue with our original mission of being a community-based organization that partners with Westchester County to enhance and restore the park.”

Despite the change in management, Astorino still said the ultimate goal is to make Playland a year-round destination, LoHud.com said. 

Astorino originally decided to enter into a management agreement with SPI in 2012, but support from the legislators had waned in recent months, according to LoHud.com. 

"I look forward to continuing to work with the County Executive to remake Playland," Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz said in a statement. "Following a thorough and productive review process in our Labor Parks and Planning Committee, it was apparent that SPI's plan had some good features but unfortunately wasn't detailed and comprehensive enough to secure support from a majority of Legislators.

"The BOL will continue to work with all stakeholders in County Government, Rye and residents all across Westchester County to ensure that we are making the best decisions regarding our stewardship of this truly unique and historic county asset."

Legislator Peter Harckham said the change will give the county the chance to learn from its previous mistakes.

“While the withdrawal of SPI’s Playland Improvement Plan from consideration certainly represents a setback for the goal of revitalizing Playland, it does afford the Administration and new consultant an opportunity to move forward with the lessons learned from this process: the amusement park must remain the focal point; the impacts to the environment and the neighboring community must be thoroughly vetted and the numbers need to add up and be realistic," Harckham said in a statement. "“In the meantime, the Board of Legislators’ Committee on Labor, Parks, Housing & Planning will focus on making Playland as successful as it can be for this season. It is an iconic destination and there is no reason for people not to flock to the park this year.”

Click here to read the full Lohud.com article. 

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