RYE, N.Y. -- Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino signed two deals Tuesday that would turn over operations of Playland Amusement Park to Sustainable Playland Inc. and would allow the Children's Museum to move into the renovated bathhouse on the boardwalk.
The deal with SPI would see the non-profit take over operations of the park next year. The agreement is for 10 years, with an option to renew for another 10 years. SPI will invest $34 million in the park, and pay the county a $4 million fee.
"Through our new public-private partnership with Sustainable Playland and the Westchester Children's Museum, we are reinventing Playland with a vision that builds on tradition by keeping what we love, such as Kiddyland and the historic rides, replaces tax dollars with private capital and adds new attractions and experiences for visitors to enjoy on a year round basis," Astorino said. "This is a winning formula for saving Playland today and for future generations."
With the signing, SPI has 30 days to submit to Astorino, a Playland Improvement Plan, which will outline the changes the group plans to make to the park. The plan will then go to the county Board of Legislators for approval. If the plan is not approved by Dec. 31, SPI has the right to withdraw from the agreement. Under SPI's proposed plan, admission to the park would be free, with attractions grouped into separate zones that would each have separate fees. Zones include an aqua zone with a water park, an outdoor ball field, a renovated ice rink, a Great Lawn and an indoor multi-use facility that can be rented out for functions.
The lease that Astorino signed with the Children's Museum would see the museum open up in the renovated bathhouse in the next two years. Under the terms of the lease, the museum will invest $7 million in infrastructure improvements in exchange for a $1 a year rent for 10 years.
The museum will include experimental laboratories, interactive art exhibits, climbing structures and sculptural elements. The focus of the museum will be on the region's history, ecosystem and artistic traditions.