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Rye Playland Discussion Thread


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  • 1 month later...

I can't even comment on this saga anymore.

 

https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/2019/06/03/playland-standard-sues-westchester-asks-court-keep-operating-deal/1326744001/

 

 

Playland: Standard sues Westchester, asks court to preserve its deal to run amusement park

Mark Lungariello, Rockland/Westchester Journal News Published 7:54 a.m. ET June 3, 2019 | Updated 4:14 p.m. ET June 3, 2019

 

Westchester is set to approve a $500K contract for an outside attorney. Standard was to take over management in November.

 

The company that was supposed to take over management of Playland amusement park is suing Westchester County in bankruptcy court.

 

Westchester, which owns Playland, is trying to kill a 30-year contract with Standard Amusements but the company said in federal court papers Sunday that it wants to invalidate the termination – and have the county pay its legal fees, costs and other relief.

 

Standard filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy May 27, one day before the county was going to dissolve the company’s contract to operate the park on Rye’s Long Island Sound Shore. County Executive George Latimer, a Democrat, sought to end the deal that was struck in 2016 – two years before he was in office.

 

Attorney John Rapisardi, of the firm O’Melveny & Myers, asserted in an adversary proceeding complaint that the county had sought a way to get out of the deal since the changeover from Latimer’s predecessor, Republican Rob Astorino.

 

“It was clear from Mr. Latimer’s public statements, and his conduct, that he had no interest in preserving the Agreement or even talking to SA,” Rapisardi wrote in the 26-page filing. “He had one goal: terminate the Agreement by any means necessary.”

 

Elsewhere in the complaint, the attorney said Westchester couldn’t reverse a deal from a previous administration when a contract is in place.

 

“Rather, just as a corporation’s new management cannot abrogate the contracts prior management entered into, a government cannot walk away from binding agreements made by past administrations simply because the new administration does not like them,” the court filing said.

 

Adversary proceedings are decided within a bankruptcy case, usually with the goal of wiping out a debt to the company that is in the midst of reorganizing. Although the company denies any breaches of its contract, it’s asking the court to rule the breaches are fixable and give the company a change to comply.

 

Westchester lawmakers were set to approve a contract Monday with the law firm Paul, Riskind, Wharton and Garrison for up to $500,000 to represent the county in bankruptcy court. Usually contracts beyond $75,000 need to go out to written bidding, but John Nonna, attorney for the Latimer administration, said there wasn't enough time to go through the formal process.

 

Catherine Cioffi, a spokeswoman for Latimer, said she wouldn't comment on pending litigation. She said the county is "focused on having a great 2019 season at Playland." Standard was supposed to take over management in November, after this season.

 

Standard has said losing its contract would eliminate its only source of revenue. Westchester has taken the position that the company breached the terms of its contract but Standard denied that and says it has been rebuffed in efforts to address the county’s concerns.

 

It said while county officials said they were unhappy with the deal, they never identified any potential changes to Standard. The county formally accused Standard of breaching the deal last year, taking issue with the company’s claimed investment in the park, which included salaries, travel and expenses.

 

The company has contended the spending was allowed under the terms of its contract which allows for “overheard” and has a section that says any spending by the manager after May 1, 2016, will count toward the investment.

 

It had offered to write off that spending in recent months and it had also offered to increase its overall investment. Under the terms of the deal, Standard was to pay an annual management fee and invest more than $27 million into the park.

 

Standard said that in a May 2018 deal with Jadian UP Holdings, a real estate and asset investment company, $40 million was committed to Standard’s parent, United Parks. The filing said $20 million was drawn so far and the remainder would be available if the contract is preserved.

 

The suit names the county, Latimer, parks Commissioner Kathleen O’Connor and Hugh Greechan, commissioner of the Department of Public Works.

 

A Standard spokesman didn't immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.

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It is amazing that this saga continues to drag on in such a way... Rye Playland needs an established operator to come in, invest and clean up the operation. Such litigation only delays Rye's prospects for success.

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It is amazing that this saga continues to drag on in such a way... Rye Playland needs an established operator to come in, invest and clean up the operation. Such litigation only delays Rye's prospects for success.

 

The saga continues because there's a significant number of people with money who don't want Rye to exist. If Standard doesn't believe they breached the terms of the contract, then why shouldn't they sue to prevent a unilateral attempt by a politician to do enormous financial damage to them?

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The saga continues because there's a significant number of people with money who don't want Rye to exist.

I'm sure there are also plenty of developers on the starting line, ready to pounce on bulldozing it to turn it into some high-end mixed-use district.

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  • 3 months later...

Just a quick note the park is open today from 1-7 pm rides are open and tickets are 15.00 for a all day pass and free to just walk around also the last daily operation for rides is 9-29-19 and the park is doing the same special next sat and sunday to I will be there so expect a full picture report to close out the season

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  • 9 months later...

Rye Playland will not open in 2020

 

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2020/06/30/rye-playland-not-opening-coronavirus/

 

 

Rye Playland Amusement Park Will Not Open This Year Due To COVID-19

June 30, 2020 at 9:04 pm

 

RYE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Rye Playland Amusement Park will not open this year.

 

The park was originally supposed to open in May, but Westchester County Executive George Latimer says it just could not open safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Latimer says the county will use this time to make some planned capital improvements.

 

While the amusement park is closed, the Playland beach and boardwalk are open to county residents.

 

A mini-golf course and nature preserve at the complex are also open.

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  • 5 months later...

The saga may be over, Standard Amusement is allowed to run Playland

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2020/12/18/playland-standard-amusements/

Exclusive: Westchester County Executive Agrees To Turn Over Playland Management To Private Firm

By Tony AielloDecember 18, 2020 at 7:40 pm

RYE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There has been a major development for the future of Playland, the country’s only government-operated amusement park.

The county executive in Westchester has agreed to turn over management of Playland to a private company starting in 2022.

A thaw in the legal battle over control of Playland in Rye means Westchester County will allow a private firm to run the park, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reports.

“We’re at a point now where cooperation, cooperative effort together, is the best way to protect the interests of the taxpayers and the users of the park,” County Executive George Latimer said.

It’s a strategic reversal by Latimer, who just last year tried to kill a deal cut by his predecessor with Standard Amusements to manage the park.

Standard filed to bankruptcy, which made the county unlikely to win a lawsuit over canceling the contract.

The settlement ends a legal roller coaster ride between Westchester County and the company. It was bitter at times, like two guys in bumper cars trying to knock each other out.

Standard was modest in claiming victory, saying it “looks forward to working closely together in the coming years to ensure that Playland thrives.”

The county says the settlement will strengthen oversight of Standard’s commitment to spend $25 million on new rides, attractions and food service.

“People will come to the park, have a better experience. They will be more likely to return, which is part of how we reach our numbers, not just by the one-time trial visit, but by the repeat visit,” Latimer said.

The county also negotiated better terms for fees and revenue sharing that could eventually earn Westchester $1 million a year.

If the pandemic eases and the park reopens in the spring, it will be the final season before the 30-year deal with the private firm kicks in 2022.

The settlement does require final approval from the county board of legislators and federal bankruptcy court.

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  • 7 months later...

Planning to hopefully visit the park this Thursday around 1:00.

Hope to ride the coasters, dark rides, whip, log flume, carousel, and derby racer. How long should I expect that to take on a weekday? Are crowds a concern during the week? Won't need re-rides just looking to get through the hits quickly.

Anything else I should not miss / be mindful of? Can I ride Kiddie Coaster? I'm seeing max height restrictions, so I didn't know.

 

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I haven't been this year.  But I would give yourself 3-4 hours.  Relax, enjoy.  Stroll the boardwalk to the south.  Dusk is a good time to soak it in.  Crowds are not usually a concern.  The park tends to close for the day early with weather, so be aware of that.

The old mill is probably already on your radar.  Everything else you already mentioned.  The historics (Dragon, Carousels, Old Mill).  There are two laff-in-the- darks.  The house of mirrors.  Skip the Volare (I warned you...)

Usually you cannot get on the Kiddie Coaster sans a kid and they're strict on it.  Though I haven't tried in many years.

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Visited the park last Thursday. $20 admission plus $10 to park, so not too bad. A few observations.

1. Dragon Coaster is just quite boring. Nothing horribly offensive about it. Just not super existing and trains are clunky / restraints are not ideal. Also, dispatches are horrible. Lots of scenarios where people can't fit into the seat properly, etc.

2. Ye Old Mill is... long. And really just not super interesting. I had to ride with a mom and two kids because no single riders and they were all bored to death. It's a shame and I recognize the long straight corridors make things very challenging (maybe these long sections were intentional, ie- Tunnel of Love). Could use some more stuff going on.

3. Other two dark rides were honestly pretty solid. Lots of good gags, though sound system is crap and super loud.

4. Kiddie Coaster was a no go.

5. Park overall has a lot of great things on offer. But also a weird mixture of some temporary rides, too.

6. Entrance gardens are nice, but the rest of the park could generally use some TLC. Significant refresh of the buildings and otherwise would do us some good.

7. They literally had no water at the food stands or otherwise. Having to buy a drink and not offering cups of water is borderline a hostage situation.

8. Volares are definitely awful, no doubt about that.

9. The Whip desperately needs TLC. Runs a really aggressive ride for no good reason.

Overall, I am happy I made the trip. The park has a lot going for it, but obviously needs some work. Hopefully they do well this year and can do some of that TLC.

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Glad you had a positive experience and thanks for sharing.  Playland is a special place.

That being said, I think you kind of missed the point of both the Dragon Coaster and Olde Mill.  They were designed to be long and boring.

The Dragon Coaster is a scenic railway.  A family coaster to pair with the more extreme Prior and Church across the midway.  The Aeroplane, mirrored the Dragon on the cross axis and sat where the Volare and Thunderbolt currently are.  Yeah, the Morgan trains do it no favors, but there is nothing really left of that era/style on such grand scale standing that I can think of (maybe the Seabreeze Jack Rabbit).

Yes the Old Mill was originally more a tunnel of love.  The Sally story overlay dates from the early aughts.  It’s again supposed to be long and dark.  Kids need constant engagement these days…

On the other hand the Whip was too aggressive for you, huh?  I hope you made it on the Derby Racer, recently restored.  It’s a true star of the park.

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13 hours ago, Kstr737 said:

Glad you had a positive experience and thanks for sharing.  Playland is a special place.

That being said, I think you kind of missed the point of both the Dragon Coaster and Olde Mill.  They were designed to be long and boring.

The Dragon Coaster is a scenic railway.  A family coaster to pair with the more extreme Prior and Church across the midway.  The Aeroplane, mirrored the Dragon on the cross axis and sat where the Volare and Thunderbolt currently are.  Yeah, the Morgan trains do it no favors, but there is nothing really left of that era/style on such grand scale standing that I can think of (maybe the Seabreeze Jack Rabbit).

Yes the Old Mill was originally more a tunnel of love.  The Sally story overlay dates from the early aughts.  It’s again supposed to be long and dark.  Kids need constant engagement these days…

On the other hand the Whip was too aggressive for you, huh?  I hope you made it on the Derby Racer, recently restored.  It’s a true star of the park.

Yup, largely positive and absolutely glad I made it out there. I don't think I missed the point, necessarily. My main complaints with Dragon Coaster reside with the trains and restraints. It was still a classic and unique. Old Mill is a ride I am absolutely glad is still standing. But I don't see an issue in saying that they could add some additional music or something in the long hallways along with a bit of theming. Just something to keep folks interested.

The Whip had a huge jolt every time the car finished making the turns, it didn't necessarily look/sound great in that sense. Still enjoyed it, just an observation compared to other ones I've ben on. Derby Racer was indeed excellent! I wish it actually "raced" back and forth, but super glad to have gotten to experience it.

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IMG_3929.thumb.JPG.2b26b8dbfa87a24dae3f16b7d9fae6c5.JPG

That Whip might just be tearing itself to pieces... look at this cable which desperately needs tightening.

My problem with the Old Mill is the green rope lighting on the long corridors which are supposed to be long and dark!

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I’ve seen coaster purists jump through some wild hoops to defend lame rides before but “You’re missing the point, this coaster is supposed to be long and boring, kids these days think amusement park rides should be engaging” is a new one.

I want to love this park. I grew up going there and I have great memories there but the Dragon Coaster kind of sucks and the best ride in the park is the average Log Flume and it’s not close.

As for the Old Mill, yeah it’s a tunnel of love. The rope lights are there to dissuade the exact kind of behavior that the ride was designed to encourage but I mean... yeah. Lol

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Depending on your definition of “not far” it’s worth a trip. The Derby Racer is great and much much better than Cedar Downs.

Other than that I mean... you know... the tiki bar is cool. The Olde Mill is neat. They have a Log Flume. That’s all I’ve got. 

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51 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

Depending on your definition of “not far” it’s worth a trip. The Derby Racer is great and much much better than Cedar Downs.

Other than that I mean... you know... the tiki bar is cool. The Olde Mill is neat. They have a Log Flume. That’s all I’ve got. 

Its like 50-70 mins with no traffic but anytime I actually think maybe I'll go it's always worse cause of the gwb and I go meh. I'll definitely get there one day but I say the same thing about the Cyclone at Coney Island too lol

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15 hours ago, Satans Hockey said:

This park isn't that far from me but I've still never been....

El toro's not coming  back anytime soon.  I think it's time to take the long drive to check out the "boring" atmosphere of Playland and the Wonder Wheel.  Phoenix is lit if you need the shiny coaster incentive and recent re tracking work on Cyclone has it running the best I've seen it  during my 20 year tenure.

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