The votes are in.
In a MyRye.com reader poll, 81.3% of respondents are against the expansion of the private Tiki Bar at Playland.
(POLL RESULTS: MyRye readers were asked: Should the private Tiki Bar at Playland be allowed to lease 5,500 additional square feet (50% more than what they have currently) of public space on the Playland boardwalk for an additional $15,000/year?)
The following letter send from Forest Avenue resident Dan Somma to Westchester County Exec Astorino captures some of the ani-Tiki sentiment:
My wife Nancy and I disagree with the decision to allow John Ambrose to take over additional Playland boardwalk space to increase seating for the Tiki bar.
We are Rye residents who frequent the pier, Seaside Walk and Reed sanctuary.
We thought that the Tiki Bar would remain in the same area as the old restaurant with similar services. We did not expect the Tiki Bar to become a 2AM late night pub crawl.
I have a copy of the present license agreement, which I obtained through the Freedom of information Law, and see that Ambrose has already violated that contract for the entire 2010 season.
If other bidders had been told that they could:
Put an additional 50 to 60 tables along the sea wall (Violation of Schedule A)
Construct Plexiglas additions to seating at the bar
Have drink stands on the boardwalk
Place a boat ramp in Playland harbor
Block entrance to one half of the pier
Have keys to the Pier to restrict fishermen and keys to the Seaside walk for truck deliveries or to eliminate walkers from passing through the restaurant , would they not, in all probability, have bid more than Ambrose.
Now, as Bill puts it you are “Memorializing” the contract since no one on the County level approved any of Ambrose’s abuses, as listed above, and he had free reign to run public park space as he saw fit.
From a business standpoint, you seem to be negotiating a contract on the monthly license fees (I haven’t seen the new agreement so can only take Judy’s statement here as fact) before seeing if the 5% of Gross Sales ( pages 3 and 4 #4) should be increased. It doesn’t seem that a true up occurs until April of 2011.
Has anyone inspected the Tiki Bar books and records as outlined in #5 page 7 of the contract?
In simple terms, if I am doubling the space of the restaurant shouldn’t I be doubling rent and/or the % of gross sales???
Will the rental or gross receipts be adjusted for the 2010 season?
How many of the Legislators have read the Contract?
This is not good business for Westchester County.
I would be happy to assist (for free) in any of the negotiations relating to this contract.
Retired Hewlett Packard Company Global Account Manager for Merrill Lynch"
In addition, the Tiki Bar had dozens of moorings put in, then the launch operator had the audacity to tell weekend boaters they could not anchor in the harbor unless they were Tiki Bar customers!!! Do they have expanded their tentacles into LI Sound! How do they think they have the right to take over the Sound like they took over the pier and boardwalk! Next is the Dragon Coaster.
5,500 s.f. / 15 s.f. table = 366 tables.
$15,000/366 = $41 per table break even.
That seems like pretty cheap base rent for one of the most picturesque locations in New York.
It would be great to better understand the economic/public access tradeoffs before leasing away public access to Long Island Sound.
Negotiations for Seaside Walk are happening behind closed doors. This doesn’t bode well for Playland RFP transparency.