Playland Park changes admission pricing

November 12, 2008 5:30:04 PM PST
Playland Park, the landmark 1920s amusement park owned and long subsidized by Westchester County, is switching to a "pay-one-price" admission system, officials said Wednesday. Starting next year, county residents will pay $25 to get into the amusement section of the park in Rye and go on the rides all day; nonresidents will pay $30. A $5 discount will apply at twilight.

Admission has been free in recent years, with patrons paying only for rides.

Playland, which had 840,000 visitors last year, is a National Historic Landmark and the only county-owned amusement park in the country. It opened in 1928 and was featured in the 1988 Tom Hanks film "Big."

Budget-cutters have been eyeing the county's subsidy for years.

Spano says the new policy should eliminate the subsidy - more than $3 million this year - and offset some property taxes.

"We are not privatizing the park," he said. "We are saving tax dollars as we continue to make sure Playland is affordable and family-friendly."

Parks Commissioner Joseph Stout says the new fees "are very reasonable in this marketplace." He says a family of four that might have paid $147 this year for parking and rides will pay $105 next year if they're from Westchester, $125 if not.

"People who spend many hours at the park on rides will save money," Spano said.

Those who don't want to go on the rides can get in for $3.

Children under 36 inches tall will be free. Parking will be $1 or $2 less than this year.

Residents will also get free miniature golf and beach access, while nonresidents will have to pay extra.

Spano said 65 percent of park-goers are nonresidents.

Some areas of the park outside the amusement area will remain free, including the boardwalk, the boathouse and picnic areas, Spano said.

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On the Net: www.ryeplayland.org/

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