Newish Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino may be the real dragon if you are a fan of Rye's Playland Amusement Park.
A long-time money loser owned by the county, many have debated the fate of Playland over the years. Bring your Playland fun card and all aboard for a ride to determine the fate of this historic park on the shores on Rye City.
In comments to the editorial board of the Journal News and reported by Gerald McKinstry in LoHud.com, Astorino told the paper:
""I am convinced Playland is never going to make money… "The county has run out of excuses. The model is broken and we've got to fix it," he said, adding that revenues are down 15 percent this year on its roughly $16 million operating budget despite the relatively good weather compared with last year. "The question going forward is 'How do we utilize that parkland?' We have to look at our options."…
And while Astorino doesn't "want to see condos" at the Playland site, he reiterated his longstanding view that officials need to take a fresh look at what to do with the National Historic Landmark built in the 1920s — and perhaps privatize its operations or reconsider its current use altogether. Astorino said his administration is preparing requests for proposals, or RFPs, to be sent out in several weeks, to see what can be done with the place."
Will former Rye Corporation Counsel Kevin Plunkett – now Astorino's #2 – play the ghoulish part of Playland hatchet man?
Will Playland go the way of the Durland Scout Center–a public resource sold off and replaced with high priced homes? Will it be privatized–creating the worry that some have had in the past of many more cars and maybe a massive parking deck structure to support all the park visitors required to run a profitable operation? Or is the ghost of Edith Read hoping the Dragon Coaster gets sold off to the highest bidder and the entire property is turned into a passive park?
Also at risk, reported LoHud.com, is the planned Westchester Children's Museum that is being built on the boardwalk in the renovated bathhouses.
"In looking to the private sector, the county executive also "put a hold" on signing a possible $1 a year lease with The Westchester County Children's Museum to occupy the historic bathhouses, which are undergoing $8.8 million in renovations at taxpayers' expense.
Astorino compared the location to Park Avenue on the Monopoly board because "it's right there on the boardwalk."
"We owe it to ourselves to see what we should do with the entire property before we divide it up for different causes," Astorino said."
What do you think should be done with Playland? Keep the park as is? Privatize it? Knock it down? Make a massive Edith Read-Playland-Marshlands-Jay Heritage park?
MyRye.com wants to know. Leave a comment below with your thoughts.