County government withdraws funding
Playland Park in Rye, New York, has decided to drop ride tickets in favour of a new pay-one-price admission structure for 2009. The only amusement park in America owned by a county government, Playland was until now funded in part by tax dollars, but “Westchester (County) property taxpayers will no longer subsidise the amusement park,” declares county executive Andy Spano.
There will now be an entrance fee of $25 for Westchester residents and $30 for non-residents, allowing unlimited use of the rides all day. A further reduction will be offered to both residents and non-residents who come at twilight. The fee for residents also includes miniature golf and entrance to the beach. Non-riders wanting to walk, watch the park’s entertainment or to chaperone others will pay an entrance fee of $3 for residents and $5 for non-residents.
In 2005, a card system was implemented in place of tickets so that revenues could be better monitored. In 2007 and 2008, the county changed its financial relationships with owners of the rides, buying rather than leasing some of the attractions to generate more revenue to the county.
Dating back to 1923, Playland boasts National Historic Landmark status. The facility will remain under the control of the county’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation. “We are not privatising the park,” insists Spano. “We are saving tax dollars as we continue to make sure Playland is affordable and family-friendly.”