Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rye Playland In Trouble?

While doing some research for our recent review of Rye Playland, I noticed that every few years a new local government official decides it's time for Playland to close because it's a tax burden on the local area. And each time that idea pops up it seems to die off just as quickly as it started, and the park continues to operate.

I guess it's time for that cycle to start anew. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino wants the property the park sits on to be used for something else - he cites the tax dollars that are needed to keep the park open as the reason why. He notes in this article that the local tax payers support the park, which draws 70% of its visitors from outside the area. In effect, he is saying the locals are paying for the park to exist for outsiders.

Alright, I see his point. But it's a little one sided, no? Granted I do not pay taxes there, but doesn't all that traffic probably have a positive impact on local business taxes? How about it making Rye a place that people have actually heard of and visit? Not to mention the fact that the park is historically special for various reasons, not the least of which is it's status as a National Historic Landmark.

Right now this really is nothing more than one guy talking to the press. Any decision about the future of the park would have to be approved by the County board, and the State Legislature would also have to approve. Hopefully this turns out to be a lot of hot air - the park is really beautiful and a unique treasure. Doesn't anyone appreciate history anymore?