Parker proposes increasing Playland marketing budget


Westchester Legislator Catherine Parker, D-Rye, is proposing legislation to increase Playland’s marketing budget by $200,000 this year to try to bring more patrons to the park.

The Rye park, which is owned by the county, has been hurt by confusion over whether it reopened after being damaged in Hurricane Sandy and discussions over a proposed change in management.playlanddragon

Parker argues that the county would recoup the money for marketing through higher attendance, citing comments by Parks Department staff.

The park is running as normal under county management this year after County Executive Rob Astorino withdrew a plan to turn the management of the park over to the Rye-based nonprofit Sustainable Playland. For more on the latest click here.


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  1. Need Real Analysis on

    When will Westchester taxpayers have a truly independent audit of the Playland expenses and revenue and an unannounced plain clothes detail assigned to see how the day to day operation goes on?
    When will we see an analysis of who is on the Playland payroll and if they are actually working at Playland or filling a cubicle in the executive branch of Westchester?

  2. To what other group do we need to market Playland? Many of the patrons already come from outside Westchester and the losses are subsidized by Westchester taxpayers. It’s the only amusement park left in the country owned by a municipality. Political people want to keep it. Can you guess why?

  3. Great idea! Much better than paying Biederman and Associates $80,000+ for four months work. Playland’s marketing budget has not been increased for over 15 years. Playland costs $6.42 per family and increases county economy by over $16 million. It doesn’t lose money at all, and this year – it’s booming! All those people from outside Westchester spending their money in our park and our towns. Double pay-back because it’s a public amenity and public amenities are not supposed to make profits.

  4. Memo to Sylvia: plenty of everyday people like and support Playland. Nothing to do w politics. YOU don’t support it but you’re not the only taxpayer in the county. I pay taxes too and I don’t get to pick and choose which part of my taxes goes to things I don’t like.

  5. Charmian Neary on

    Sylvia, I want to keep Playland because I live here in Rye and Playland and Rye Town Park are the reason we moved here. We had a home in a nice neighborhood in the Bronx, but we came to Oakland Beach one Labor Day weekend and I saw the amusement park and I couldn’t believe it was right there! I turned to my husband and said, I want to live here. 12 years later I still enjoy the fireworks.

    This is a true story. I think we’re blessed to have a landmark Art Deco era park right here on our shore. The subsidy you speak of is about 6-7 dollars per homeowner but really, Sylvia, aren’t all parks subsidized? Like bus service and baseball fields etc., they’re amenities which contribute to making a community more livable.

    Playland does bring money into Westchester too, and if more people attend the cost per person (the subsidy) goes down. So marketing is a good idea.

    I lived in Riverdale, and I’d heard of Playland, but I never really visited till my husband brought me. He grew up in the Bronx and took the bus to Playland as a kid.
    I had my own memories of StoryTown and FrontierTown in Lake George. Those are all gone now.

    Just so you know, the people working hardest to Save Playland were not political at all. I am, but it was not my effort until recently. The people working hardest were amusement park aficionados and people who had memories from their own childhoods. They had to get up to speed very quickly because they were up against some VERY political people, people with a lot of money, but no, they were not political.

    This is my real name if you want to ask anything else about the SAVE PLAYLAND effort. We’re pretty much an open book and we have a group on facebook you’re welcome to join or just visit our wall.

    Enjoy your summer.

  6. To Carmian

    It’s nice that people have nostalgic and pleasant memories of Playland however it is being sustained with political corruption. The politicos want to keep Playland alive because it is a source of contract gratuities, campaign donations and free admission for political cronies and their friends and families at the expense of taxpayers. It is managed by clubhouse politicians rather than industry professionals and it lacks controls on tickets and on other resources such as warehouse parts and tool inventories. The resulting expenses for mismanagement are borne by the taxpayers. The most recent initiative for political benefit was to try to outsource to a Connecticut based real estate company that had no experience whatsoever in this industry. Why? Guess why! I am willing to pay taxes for institutions like parks but I am not willing to pay taxes for corruption, no matter how nostalgic. Action needs to be taken to establish controls and manage Playland in a professional way using industry professionals. Legislators need to find a way to establish controls and ensure that Playland revenue and resources are protected from political interests.