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Rye Playland Saga Hits AP Wire

The Rye Playland saga was captured in an Associated Press wire story that ran Sunday. Nothing new, but a good summary of the Playland story:

"Park where end of 'Big' was filmed is in trouble

RYE, N.Y. — Playland, a collection of modest coasters, rides and attractions that evokes a simpler time and even holds a place in Hollywood history, is in trouble.

The 86-year-old Art Deco landmark north of New York City is the nation's largest government-run amusement park, and it's been a money loser for suburban Westchester County for years. It lost $4.3 million in 2013, attendance dropped from 1 million in 2005 to 390,000 last year, and a grand plan to revamp the park is more than a year behind schedule, caught up in politics and opposition from neighbors.

While no one is predicting that Playland will have to close anytime soon, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino — now the GOP nominee for governor — has often said the status quo can't continue. And officials note that only about 30 percent of Playland's patrons are county residents…

The park's style is evident at the end of the 1988 blockbuster comedy "Big," in the scene when Tom Hanks' character makes his wish to return to his life as a child.

One of the most beloved sections is Kiddyland, where the Red Baron airplanes and Crazy Submarine are especially tame. A long mall down the center is given over to shade trees and flowers rather than rides…

Meanwhile, some residents of Rye, where Playland is located, began objecting to the proposed field house, which is near a residential area. In response, it was reduced from 95,000 to 82,500 square feet. Then the city government, threatening a lawsuit, claimed that the city, not the county, should be the lead agency in determining the revamped park's environmental impact.

The state is expected to rule shortly on who gets to lead the review."

Read the entire piece.


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