As reported Tuesday morning, Rye Playland will be closed for the 2020 season. In his daily COVID-19 briefing, Rye guy and county boss George Latimer provided more context on the Playland closure.
“It is a health decision first and foremost,” said Latimer. Latimer took time to review county decisions around various facilities – the opening of golf, bicycle Sunday and most public pools as well as the cancellation of ethnic festivals and July 4th fireworks at Playland and Kensico Dam.
Playland beach, the boardwalk area and adjacent mini-golf and the Edith Read Sanctuary will all remain open. The closure of Playland pool was previously announced. Some of the summer jobs lost by the Playland park closure will be mitigated by the county hiring more people than usual for the open beaches and pools to manage the involved elaborate safety procedures. County owned, Playland Park generates anywhere between $3-5 million in a typical season and almost all of that revenue will be lost except for limited amounts from parking and beach fees.
On the plus side, Latimer announced drive-in movie nights will be scheduled for the Playland parking lot area on Friday, July 24th and Friday, August 7th. Specific times and movie titles were not disclosed.
“The park itself, if used, could spread the disease,” said Latimer. “That is why we are closing it… and again I’ve fought so hard for this park. We’ve been through quite the drama. This might be the most dramatic issue of my tenure so far in terms of the park itself and the governance.”
“For me to be the one to close it is particularly hard,” he continued. “Again, you do what you have to do. We think it is the right decision.”