Our Vision, An Overview.
CAI (Central Amusement International, LLC) is pleased to propose a plan for managing Playland and enriching the Playland experience. CAI is prepared to make a substantial investment in the maintenance and restoration of Playland and will be pleased to join a partnership with Westchester County and the local community in sustaining and restoring a healthy, active, fun Playland.
PLAYLAND – A LOCAL AND NATIONAL TREASURE
Playland was built in 1928 to provide family entertainment as replacement for a collection of bawdy houses and ramshackle attractions that located themselves along the Rye shoreline. It was truly a miracle on the Long Island Sound.
Some 1,000 workers demolished the old attractions, cleared a marshland and other vacant land, transforming the area within one year. The park with most of its attractions was built between Labor Day 1927 and May 1928!
Creating Playland was a rather interesting decision for the Westchester County government. Up until very recently, Playland was the only government owned and operated amusement park in the United States. Playland claims the rights to many firsts.
- First amusement park designed for automobile access
- First completely planned and designed amusement park.
- First amusement park to have music electronically broadcast throughout.
- Playland is the first amusement park to have a theme, the art deco architectural style.
- It is the art deco theme that has won Playland the distinction of being the first amusement park to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Seven of its rides, still delighting park patrons today, are also listed individually onthe National Register.
Playland is a gem from every perspective. It holds a significant place in the history of America’s amusement parks. It is architecturally significant. Playland set a national example for governments in their evaluation of community needs for recreation and entertainment. However all such achievements, although unique and outstanding, pale in comparison to its human impact.
For the past 83 years Playland has become a most important part of individual family history for literally millions of families! Playland is literally passed down from older to younger generations. Growing tall enough for a first ride on the Dragon Coaster is a well-known rite of passage. Indeed it is near impossible to find a family in the Westchester / New York City area that does not have wonderful memories of being together at Playland. The park is known fondly across the country and is literally woven into the fabric of its local community as well as the nation.
The people of CAI are not just amusement park professionals but amusement park lovers as well. As such we are respectful of industry history and understand its mission to bring magic to the families who enjoy our parks. We will consider it an honor if we are chosen to be stewards of Playland, one of America’s most important parks.
TRADITIONAL AND NEW ATTRACTIONS TOGETHER TRANSCEND PLAYLAND INTO AN ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX
The CAI vision for Playland is that of an Entertainment Complex to be enjoyed by families of all ages and compositions. At its core is the amusement park with traditional elements such as the Ice Casino, the Beach, Boardwalk, and Pier. Mini Golf, to be updated to Adventure Golf, will continue to play traditionally important roles. The pool shall be converted into a zero depth entry water playground. CAI is also interested to establish a Children’s educational play area and program Center in the South Bathhouse for year round enjoyment. The establishment of the Westchester Children’s Museum in the North Bathhouse is a new and exciting element in Playland. It too offers a year round attraction which is most compatible for programming and ticketing with the Amusement Park, Children’s Center and Ice Casino.
The addition of the Children’s Museum and the CAI Children’s Center provide strong anchors to the Amusement Park and Ice Casino to make Playland a local destination on a year round basis. In fact, for the first time, there will be continuous Entertainment opportunities on the Boardwalk from the South Bathhouse to the North Bathhouse to Mini Golf to the Ice Casino. All of these facilities in one location together with the amusement park offer numerous opportunities for joint educational programs which are entertaining and fun, often with the excitement of the amusement park. CAI is committed to this program and to the inclusion of schools, camps, church and community organizations to broaden its availability and appeal to children.
PLAYLAND TO REMAIN A FAMILY AMUSEMENT PARK
CAI proposes to operate Playland and believes that it must remain as originally envisioned and designed; a family amusement park. We believe that its mission and tradition must not only be followed but respected as well. To that end, CAI will pursue policies to preserve the park’s historical aspects and art deco design. The seven historic rides shall be preserved, and cared for to ensure their appearance and mechanical condition are maintained to high quality standards. The other rides shall be maintained in the same quality fashion and also replaced with new more exciting rides each year to maintain a very strong level of interest and excitement.
CAI makes these commitments seriously and supports them with programmed financial investments. An initial investment shall be made to preserve historic structures and to generally improve and freshen up the park and its grounds. In each subsequent year CAI will devote a portion of park revenues to infrastructure and historic preservation needs.
CAI is committed to the core mission of Playland as a family amusement park. Its policies shall be geared toward making the park a premier place for families to be entertained. This effort shall be reflected in its affordable ticketing prices, rides, in-park and on-stage entertainment, concerts, fireworks, events and food. Our goal is to attract and entertain the entire family from the youngest child, to tweens, to teens, to parents, and grandparents.
CAI proposes the construction of an Interactive Water Play Ground to update the existing pool area.
These types of attractions are designed for families with children. As always safety was a consideration in our choice of this attraction with zero depth entry and a maximum depth of 12 inches of water. These structures are innovative attractions, designed to stimulate the imagination and create exciting hands on adventures for everyone. We also believe that this will be the perfect complement to the beach, creating exciting possibilities for those wishing to escape the summer heat.
NEW ADVENTURE GOLF
CAI proposes to manage and improve the Mini Golf on the Boardwalk. Mini Golf has been a popular Playland staple enjoyed by amusement park guests as well as local residents. The course is very old and lacks any of the modern elements found in today’s more interesting courses. CAI will update mini golf on its existing footprint. The new more challenging and entertaining course should enjoy an extended season of approximately seven months.
The beach is enjoyed by thousands of people each year and is generally viewed as a sunbathers’ haven. CAI proposes to operate the Beach with the same care and diligence as employed by the Westchester County Department of Parks Recreation and Conservation. Westchester County requirements regarding lifeguards, safety and beach care would be strictly adhered to.
CAI proposes to operate the Ice Casino. Located in a historic structure, the Ice Casino is unique with three rinks, one specifically for young children. We recognize the importance of the Ice Casino to the local community. It is home to the Manhattanville College Hockey team and hosts games for local high schools and hockey organizations. It is also a source of public skating, skating lessons and children’s birthday parties. CAI intends to operate the Ice Casino with the same basic programming while working to create new events and programmatic offerings. CAI will undertake a program to provide some cosmetic improvements to the inside of the building. This improvement will involve painting and general spruce up of the snack bar / game room areas as well as restrooms and other minor repairs.
PARTNERSHIP WITH STAKEHOLDERS
CAI looks forward to operating and improving the facilities at Playland Park. While we analyze and make plans we are ever mindful of the stakeholders involved. Playland is a public park. As such it has been cared for by the County of Westchester and supported by its taxpayers. Playland means a great deal to Westchester citizens form all ages and walks of life. Therefore the primary stakeholders are the people of Westchester.
CAI respects the hard work and diligent stewardship of Westchester County through its elected officials and Parks Department to preserve Playland for so many generations. If chosen to manage Playland we will seek a strong partnership with the Westchester County government in recognition of their experience and the fact that they bear the ultimate responsibility and authority as Playland will remain its property. We pledge to be responsive to issues of concern and to be supportive of County efforts to improve the park and the overall quality of life in Westchester.
CAI is aware of Playland’s close proximity to residential areas of Rye and intends to be a good neighbor. It is our intention to be accessible and actively participate with local leaders in Rye to contribute to the excellent quality of life enjoyed within its communities. To that end we seek a relationship with its city government and community institutions. CAI intends to be supportive of community events and a willing sponsor whenever possible.
CAI will also seek the guidance of our park patrons to constantly improve and move the Playland Entertainment Center forward. We will do so through an interactive means of communication in public meetings held at the park as well as through attendance at various county and local government and community gatherings. We will be open to exploring other avenues as well. It will be our priority to provide the best in edutainment for our guests and to be a model corporate citizen.