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To Drum Up Weekday Business, Rye Town Park Offers $2 Parking, Beach Discount Coupons

The Rye Town Park Commission will begin offering $2 discount coupons to help increase weekday attendance to the beach.

For the first time ever, Rye Town Park (RTP) will offer $2 discount coupons to adults beginning this Friday. The vouchers will be good for both beach and parking admission on upcoming weekdays.

The discount vouchers, representing a bid to boost sagging weekday attendance figures, will be distributed to park and beach goers Fridays through Sundays and will be good for use Mondays through Thursdays.

Season permits and parking discounts are issued to both residents and non-residents, but non-permit use on weekdays includes an $8 per vehicle parking fee and $7 beach access fee for adults. Those rates are increased to $9 and $10 respectively on weekends.

For non-residents, the weekday parking rate is $10 and $9 for beach access. On weekends, that rate jumps to $15 and $10 for adults.

The decision to offer the discounts came during a special 7:30 a.m. meeting Tuesday of the Rye Town Park Commission (RTPC) at Rye Town Hall. The meeting's purpose was to consider special promotion rate options for the 2011 season.

The session came in response to a suggestion from Rye City Mayor Doug French to offer the discount coupons as a way of stimulating disappointing weekday attendance figures.

Mayor French made the suggestion at the last RTPC meeting on July 19, but time ran out before it could be put to a vote.

RTPC President and Rye Town Supervisor Joseph Carvin then proposed the morning meeting where the promotional rate options were discussed and voted upon.

The move was approved by a 5-0 vote. Those voting in favor included Carvin, Mayors French and Joan Feinstein, and Commissioners Benedict Salanitro of Rye Brook and Joseph Sack of Rye.

Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla was absent from both meetings.

Carvin said the discounts came in the wake of disappointing weekday attendance figures to date . He said running RTP amounts is a weather-related business. Park and beach attendance, he explained, has been down because it has been either too hot, too cold or too rainy.

“Last weekend was a disaster, and we have to do something about the attendance,” said Carvin. He praised Mayor French for coming up with the discount coupon idea.

Estimated RTP losses to date are well over the $100,000 lost last year and could increase to as much as $200,000 this year.

RTPC will spend $750 to print 20,000 discount vouchers to be ready for distribution by Friday. Adult drivers entering the RTP parking lot Fridays through Sundays will receive a single $2 discount voucher good for future weekday parking discounts.

Every paying adult entering the beach on weekends will receive a $2 discount coupon good for use on those weekdays as well.

Facsimiles of those vouchers will be distributed to various media outlets to promote the discount program.

Mayor French estimated that the move could boost the average weekday attendance of 300 beach and parking lot users by as much as 10 percent, which would more than pay for the cost of printing the vouchers by peak season's end around Labor Day.

The discount program could also help bring more resident and non-resident patrons back to RTP on weekdays.

Other items under discussion included preparing a new RFP (Request for Proposals) for automatic parking gates to go into effect by the start of next season. Also discussed was the possible creation of a formal committee to set up an RFP for a RTP public-private partnership, which could help come up with ways to help pay for an estimated $14 million needed for infrastructure improvements.

Tim Kirby July 27, 2011 at 11:59 AM
No, it is still too expensive, even for residents. My family doesn't go enough to warrant a season pass and we would rarely go for a full day. The cost to go for a few hours is just not worth it. If we do go to the beach for a full day, Jones Beach is still cheaper, even with gas and tolls. Plus, Jones Beach has a lot less restrictions on what you can and can’t do (ball playing, frisbee) and is therefore much more fun. Once I sneezed at Rye Beach and a lifeguard blew a whistle at me. Evidently, the sneezing area was on the other side of the beach.
RyeDad July 27, 2011 at 12:54 PM
No. Mayor French has personally ruined the Rye Town Park experience for many residents of Rye with the exception of a few of his friends of his who live near Rye Town Park. French has made it his personal crusade to have Rye Town Park make money. It is now losing more money than when Otis was Mayor. This doesn't reflect very well on French, his overall agenda and his ability to lead Rye. Andy Ball for Mayor in 2013.
Paul Tillotson July 27, 2011 at 01:05 PM
The Park is vastly overstaffed. Do the obvious & cut overhead in line with demand to reduce the loss NOW. Rye City Taxpayer
Garnet Graduate July 28, 2011 at 03:26 PM
The Commission and RTP Staff still don't get it. Non resident Park vistors have discovered Playland's pool parking lot for $5.00, picnicing under the Park's northside trees on popular Friday and Wednesday evening fireworks so the Park receives no revenue on 25+ cars. Even the Monday evening volleyball players have discovered the Lot and are walking to RTP south entrance This disco program is a bandaid and bleeding will continue for the balance of the year.

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