Finally, a decision has been made on the future of Rye Playland. However, for those of us who are fans of the property as an amusement park may find some disappointment in the plan that has been chosen.
Out of the final three plans that were considered for the future of the county owned park, the choice has been made to move forward with Sustainable Playland - a letter of intent was signed today during a big to-do at the park. Sustainable Playland is a non-profit that organized to come up with a future for the park designed by locals that extends the use of the property from an amusement park to a park with amusements, as they put it.
The other two plans were from Central Amusements, part of Zamperla Rides, who operate Coney Island's Luna Park, and Standard Amusements, a new company that is led by Jack Falfas, former COO or Cedar Fair.
|© Sustainable Playland Inc.|
"The space allotted to this component of the Park has been significantly reduced, resulting in a reduction in the number of rides from 46 to 33. Those rides that will remain are largely targeted to smaller children, including 21 kiddy rides and 12 family/low thrill rides. As a result, the potential market for the amusement component will be impacted. In order to estimate the attendance for a kiddy-oriented amusement area, estimates were made which compare a family/low thrill experience (with a smaller percentage of kiddy rides) with a kiddy-oriented experience such as the one planned for Playland Park. Based on these estimates, a reduced, kiddy-oriented amusement component could attract approximately 380,000 visitors a year."
As this was from the original proposal, I can't be sure if they've changed their view on any specifics, but the plan to reduce the rides is definitely moving forward.
|© Sustainable Playland Inc.|
Rides that will be removed, just judging from these images, include: The S&S Double Shot, Playland Plunge shoot-the-chutes, Log Flume, Catch a Wave, Yo-Yo (relocated), Thunderbolt, Kite Flyer (relocated), Sky Flyer, Wipeout, a family coaster, dark ride, and others that I'm probably missing.
It looks as though the park's coaster Super Flight, a Zamperla flying coaster, will stay, although that's without a doubt the first ride I would vote off the island if it were up to me.
The park's Kiddyland will be kept, and renovated as part of the plan, which makes sense since kiddie and family rides will be the focus. The park's Old Mill, Derby Racer, Kiddy Coaster, Whip, and Dragon Coaster (among others) will be retained, thankfully.
Since Sustainable Playland is a non-profit they will act as a holding company for the greater Playland area, and hire other groups to run the different facilities on the property. Naturally, one of these will be the amusements, and that sounds like it will be run by Mega Funworks. Mega Funworks looks to have a solid track record with water parks, but I do not see any amusement park history listed for them.
|The right side of the park will be cleared of rides.|
The overall plan calls for plenty of new features around the park, part of the overall plan to make the area a year round entertainment zone with a dramatically reduced focus on Rye Playland as an amusement park. New indoor and outdoor fields will be added, the indoor ice rink will be renovated, an outdoor one will be added, the great lawn will be built to hold concerts and events, and new restaurants will be added. The release states that $34 million will be spent to make these changes.
|Hmm, the right side of the park is quite different than the left.|
|Someone buy me, please!|
If the entire property picks up perhaps we will see new rides added - keeping expectations realistic (in the family oriented sector I would assume) will be important, though. We will never see a big new roller coaster added, but that's no so bad if it means we can still take a spin on the Dragon or hold on for dear life at the Derby Racer.