Against a background of Westchester County canceling Standard Amusements’ contract to operate Playland and allegations of safety issues that prompted County Executive George Latimer to invite reporters to accompany and photograph state and local inspectors as they made preopening inspections, the amusement park set a seven-year opening day attendance record on May 11.
A total of 8,228 people were admitted to the park in Rye, the highest number recorded on opening day in seven years. The weather was picture-perfect, with clear skies and warm temperatures.
County Executive George Latimer said, “This attendance record shows just how important refreshed marketing, creativity and drive are when promoting an amusement park. The workers at Playland did a fantastic job readying the park – it was spotless and colorful and adorned with our new mascot Coaster.”
A few days before the season opener, Latimer announced a series of new events and promotions for the park’s 2019 season and committed the county to operating the park with new interest and enthusiasm.
“Hearing the roar of the Dragon Coaster coupled with laughter under the warm sunshine was the perfect Saturday at Playland Park. I am excited to see attendance continue to climb as we roll out more of our promotional events at Playland this season,” Latimer said.
The county’s Parks, Recreation and Conservation Commissioner Kathy O’Connor said, “Playland is different this season – you can feel the energy and excitement – and we are looking forward to rolling out all of our new programs and initiatives.”
Peter Tartaglia, the deputy parks commissioner, added, “People are excited to come out to Playland in a way that has been missing for years. There is an excitement and a buzz, people see us more on television and on social media.”
Playland has been operating since 1928. The new events for 2019 include a collaboration with ArtsWestchester and the Westchester Parks Foundation for a public art display, the first new television commercial for the park in 10 years and 11 music concerts.
Latimer said, “This administration is committed to Playland. We plan to run this park with a level of energy and vitality that has been missing. This is a county park for county people.”