Rye Playland Rescued By Local Businessman

After years of uncertainty, county legislators approved a deal this Monday that will save beloved but beleaguered family landmark Rye Playland, which opens on Saturday. And just as important to many, it will ensure that Westchester still maintains ownership of the park.

Standard Amusements LLC, a private investment group run by Harrison-based hedge-funder Nicholas Singer, has agreed to a $30 million investment in Playland, and will also manage its operations. The county, in turn, estimates $32 million of taxpayer money will be dedicated to the project, which aims to renovate existing rides and buildings, improve concessions, and restore the shoreline with new restaurants and attractions. 

While there aren’t too many details on what those upgrades might look like (though here’s a possible hint), county residents can rest assured that the partnership should prove profitable. Westchester will receive 8 percent of Playland’s net annual income over the 30-year-deal’s first decade (once Standard’s original investments are covered), 10 percent over each of the ensuing 10 years, and then 12 percent across years 21-30.

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The Business Council of Westchester, which included Singer among its Rising Star Class of 2015, backed the move as a “win-win for the county and management company.” In his own statement, Singer beamed that, “To have the opportunity to take a place that meant so much to me and restore it is really a dream come true.” And taken in concert with the adjacent, newly opened Westchester Children’s Museum bringing patrons in droves, Westchester’s most venerated boardwalk appears peerless once again.

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