A new deal would end a lengthy fight over management of the Westchester County owned amusement park.
By Mark Lungariello
Rockland/Westchester Journal News
Dec. 18, 2020
Westchester County and Standard Amusements have reached a settlement over management of county owned Playland amusement park, potentially ending a bitter legal dispute.
Standard was given a 30-year management contract for the park in 2016, but it never took over before the county tried to get out of the deal last year.
The company sued in bankruptcy court to maintain the deal and both sides traded jabs and accusations in public comments and the court proceeding.
The settlement comes with a new agreement that will need approval by the county legislature.
If all goes to plan, Standard would take over day-to-day operations of the park on Dec. 1, 2021.
The plan calls for a $35 million in new investment from Standard, and $15 million of that must be in its bank account with the company’s name by the day the new deal is official.
Of the total $2.25 million is earmarked for the demolition and reconstruction of the Tiki Bar on park grounds. The Tiki Bar was not part of Standard’s original agreement to run the park but it would become part of the deal once the current operator’s contract expires.
As part of the settlement, the administration of County Executive George Latimer agrees to try to have the agreement get through the legislature and county Board of Acquisition and Contract within 45 days.
Latimer, a Democrat who took office in 2018, had sought to get out of a 30-year management contract with Standard who was to take over day-to-day operations of the park in a deal reached with his predecessor, Republican Rob Astorino.
Standard declared bankruptcy in an effort to preserve its management deal.
This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.
Mark Lungariello covers government and politics. Follow him on Facebook @lungariello and Twitter @marklungariello.