Central Park’s Two Skating Rinks to Close for the Season after Sunday As Trump Contract Expires


Wollman Rink on Saturday.

Central Park’s Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink will close after Sunday’s skating sessions, according to the Trump Organization, which operates both rinks.

The organization’s contract was expected to end in April, but Mayor de Blasio decided to terminate it early after the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6. The contract was set to end on Feb. 26, but the Trump Organization will close up shop after the weekend. The skating season tends to run until early April.

“Despite our appeals to the City to allow us to continue operations through the duration of the skating season — which would not only save the jobs of nearly 250 individuals who work or otherwise provide services Wollman and Lasker Rinks, but also allow us to continue to provide the numerous public skating sessions and skating and hockey programs that we host on a daily basis — the City rejected our efforts,” the Trump Organization told The Post in a statement.

A parks department source, however, said that the city only learned of the Trump Organization’s decision on Friday after the close of business.

The department has already put out requests for proposals for a new concessionaire. Responses are due next month. Parks spokesperson Crystal Howard wrote that “We are working diligently through our competitive RFP process to secure new operators for these great amenities so not to impact the respective seasons.”

Rink users were sent the following email from the operators.

Wollman, which is in the low-60’s towards the East side of the park, was bustling on Saturday morning. Rink users have created a petition to try to get the city to keep Wollman open through the season. As of early Saturday afternoon, it had 1,731 signatures. A small notice near the entrance to the rink directed people to go to the petition.

NEWS | 74 comments | permalink
    1. nemo paradise says:

      Now Wollman Rink can return to the glory it enoyed before Trump ruined it, and our children no longer need skate in suffering under the grim specter of the Great Satan.

      In fact, after 2/26, they won’t be skating at all. Another glorious victory for the people!

      • AC says:

        You obviously are not familiar with NY History. When the City of New York managed the rink, it fell into terrible disrepair, and then couldn’t fix it. It took a private citizen to fix it and have it operating – completed in less than 5 months, what the City couldn’t do in two plus years. Expect the rink to fall apart in the future, except this time it will cost you more to skate. Don’t believe me? Look at out Subway system.

        • Kayson212 says:

          Pretty sure Nemo is being sarcastic, AC. But perhaps we’re all too outraged to get it.

          Mayor de Blasio’s petty political posturing hurts the very people he claims to champion: people of color who staff Lasker Rink, and the Harlem youth hockey teams that use it. Way to score cheap points off someone else’s pain.

          • Tam says:

            While I am no fan of Trump and support ending the contract – doing so early is a petty move and a major disservice to the employees and those that wanted some fresh air, exercise and joy from skating for the last weeks it was open.

            Most of us hate Trump. All of us hate DeBlasio.

        • Liz says:

          Private citizen=Trump. Give the guy the credit he’s due.

      • Upper West Side Parent says:

        Can you elaborate how Trump ruined the rink? I don’t like the man either but I’ve spent a lot of time with my kids at those rinks for skating and hockey and it’s false to say his name ruined the rinks. I’m fine with canceling the contracts but let the kids finish the season.

        • Realist says:

          You aren’t reading it right kids. NYC shut Trump down in April. The decision to shut now is Trump’s. A vindictive creature to the end.

          • nemo paradise says:

            From the article:

            “Mayor de Blasio, acting through the City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation has terminated our contract to operate Wollman and Lasker rinks effective as of this Friday, Feb. 21st, 2021.”

            De Blasio’s decision, not Trump’s Kindly retract your falsehood.

            • Realist says:

              Ah Nemo, those are Trump’s words you are using to assert correctness. As usual they are lies. Check the actual wording of the termination, not his press release.

          • Upper West Side Parent says:

            Ummm, wrong. Contract was set to expire by the terms in April. The City set the termination date as of February 26th. While many of us can’t stand Trump, let’s at least stick to the facts so we keep some semblance of credibility….

      • Jocelyn says:

        As a student who has skated at Wollman for over 10 years this comment is horrifying. The coaching, learn to skate program, and environment at Wollman rink is where I grew up and is a part of what shaped me. Forgetting politics that rink ran because of the amazing staff and funding of the Trump organization. Trump restored the rink in a time when it needed major renovation. This is no “glorious victory for the people” it is another loss for the city not to mention, a COVID safe activity.

        • Nevets K says:

          I think the comment at the top by Nemo
          Paradise was intended to be sarcastic. “Glorious victory by the people” is of course a reference to numerous failed Communist Party schemes.
          Still and all – and the facts are not in yet – the early closing of the rinks by the “Trump Organization” seems unforced and vindictive, a sucker punch to DiBlasio and to the city and people of New York.
          We shall see.

      • sal says:

        Really everyone, Nemo’s comment was heavily sarcastic and ironic. Don’t read it at face value. Goodness gracious!

    2. LK says:

      That’s nice – shutdown something that works and lock kids out of the few remaining activities during covid. It’s good to be a mayor when you don’t care about your people.

    3. jean mcdaniel says:

      Giving notice after business hours on a Friday is an old trick used to cause the maximum amount of trouble and disruption to an opponent. New York has rejected the former guy and this is only the beginning of the antics of a petty, petulant, vindictive man child.

      • UWSer says:

        “…this is only the beginning of the antics of a petty, petulant, vindictive man child…”

        I can’t tell if you are speaking of DeBlasio or Trump! Frankly it applies to both.

    4. Carl Tait says:

      Your headline is very misleading: “… as Trump Contract Expires.” The contract doesn’t expire until April; de Blasio has chosen to terminate it early. Refusing to renew with the Trump Organization in April would have been fine and admirable. Shutting things down mid-season is just vindictive and spiteful, causing significant collateral damage to New Yorkers. We already have too few venues for outdoor winter recreation during a pandemic.

    5. klbazur says:

      Are you kidding me? Who comes up with these bone headed decisions??!! Congratulations Mayor DeBlasio et al, you’ve somehow managed to make the Trump people the good guys. Way to go. Kevin L Bazur

    6. Petticoat Malfunction says:

      The pettiness of politics. Yay, we sent Trump a message! Hope he learned his lesson! But as Cat Stevens sang, “where will the children play?”

    7. Tom says:

      250 people work at 2 ice rinks?? Seems… high.

    8. Lawrence Jahn says:

      At a time when we need resources like this for outdoor exercise and mental and physical health once again Mayor de Blasio acts like a petty incompetent failure who is derelict in his duties and responsibilities to the citizens to which he serves and instead caters to his ego and his hatred for the ex-president. New York City has never had such a terrible mayor in my lifetime or probably ever. He should be embarrassed and ashamed of himself but his ego won’t allow that type of strength of character to overcome him I’m quite confident.

    9. UWSConcerned says:

      This is politics at its worst. Outdoor skating is one of the limited fairly safe activities available to nyc children right now. Instead of just letting the contract expire in april and allowing people to have access to the rink for the remainder of the season, DeBlasio had to have his headlines. Speaking of headlines, the headline of this article is seriously misleading. The contract didn’t expire, it was terminated by DeBlasio.

    10. Upper West Side Parent says:

      As someone whose children are part of the skating and hockey programs at these rinks, I’d like to know who will reimburse me for the portion of the season now canceled that I paid for.

    11. Ted H says:

      The decision to close the rinks early was made unilaterally by Mayor DiBlasio. It is a political stunt. It helps no one, but it badly hurts the 3,500 kids enrolled in the skating programs at the two rinks at a time when there are so feew safe activities. Haven’t our kids lost enough during this pandemic?

    12. Peter Linder says:

      Fixing the rinks was just about the only thing the Trumps ever did right. The City ruined both before the Trump Organization stepped in to get them up and running within months. Don’t let political leanings get in the way of the facts. Let the contract run until the April termination so New Yorkers can skate. In case you haven’t heard, outdoor activities are at a premium these days.

    13. AL says:

      This is so terribly sad. Who does the mayor think is winning here? He is actually just punishing the people (and kids) of NYC and taking away one of the few glimmers of fun people have. It doesn’t hurt Trump – it only hurts us!

    14. Elliot says:

      There must be a sad and unpleasant story behind this to have come to such a nasty solution. This not only provides a beautiful winter perfect experience for NY skaters and onlookers, it also is one of the iconic images of NYC at it’s idealized best, as in EB White. Can’t help but wonder why a deal with a new contractor wasn’t done before the understandable and long anticipated firing.

    15. Jamie says:

      Shame on you de Blasio, putting politics before the good of the people. What is there to gain by shutting it down ahead of the end of the contract. Let us skate for a few more months in peace.

    16. Skater says:

      It’s not the end of ice skating fun. It’s indoor but Chelsea piers has skating rink. Just bike down there along riverside.
      https://www.chelseapiers.com/sr/

      • Boris says:

        Your suggestion and solution are not helpful and missing the point.

      • sal says:

        Chelsea Piers is indoors and the ice is very choppy. One of the great pleasures of Lasker is that it is outdoors and it’s maintained(or was) pretty well. Nothing better than skating around in the sunshine. Beating the winter blahs. I used to skate there right through mid March. So Sad!

      • Patricia N Ireland says:

        sign the petition for just THIS SEASON TO REMAIN OPEN PLEASE. FOR ALL – NOT JUST KIDS.

        https://www.change.org/p/mayor-bill-de-blasio-keep-central-park-ice-skating-open

      • Dorrie says:

        Right now Chelsea Piers does not have any public skating. At Wollman and Lasker rinks kids and adults can skate without signing up for lessons, but not at Chelsea Piers. DeBlasio should burn in hell for taking away one of the few available safe outdoor recreational activities

      • lynn says:

        I’ve been to Chelsea Piers and it’s not well organized, especially when groups of kids are involved. I’d actually have to say it was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had, and that was pre-Covid. I’d much rather have them outdoors taking skating lessons and playing hockey (especially now). Can Chelsea Piers safely accommodate all those kids who were booked at the two other rinks? I don’t think so. 🙁

      • SusieNYC says:

        Chelsea Piers is not open to the public due to covid and only has limited programs for skating lessons and hockey. Mayor DeBlasio has very poor judgement. Between closing the public schools, moving the homeless to the Lucerne and then shutting the skating rinks he has and is continuing to destroy whatever quality of life there is left for NYers during this difficult time. He should not be in a position to make decisions.

    17. Jim d says:

      You voted the guy in as mayor. What else did you expect? Live with it.

    18. NotImpressed says:

      I’m a Democrat.
      I despise Trump.
      But really, I can’t wait to see Cuomo and DeBlasio leave. Forever.

    19. Mom trying to keep her kids sane says:

      I can’t believe that another safe activity for kids is being eliminated now. Lasker was a saving grace for us- now it is gone. Winter is long, and seriously, the physical and mental health of our children is at stake. No more carefree mornings of skating for us. I want to cry.

    20. DerekUWS says:

      Did Trump hire a PR firm or something? These comments keep appearing on so many platforms… “petty politics” … “i hate trump but…” … “sign a petition to let Trump continue the contract ..,.”

      • Boris says:

        You’re referencing the exact behavior of mainstream media against Trump and conservatives. Just spin around the dial and you’ll hear the uniformity of all the repetitive opinion-based attacks.

      • Kim says:

        Sure seems like it eh?

    21. Donald loggins says:

      The mayor put his political correctness above the needs of 250 people who will loose their jobs and the thousands of children who will use the rinks over the next two months. Will the City hire those 250 people. Will the Mayor pay their rent now that they are unemployed or provide food for their children.

    22. G Kins says:

      You folks haven’t caught on yet have you? This is just an extension of the last 4 years. Attack Trump ad blame Trump regardless of who gets hurt.
      One would think you would have figured it out by now after all the riots, looting, fires and increased crime in New York.
      But please, don’t leave- stay where you are. You created the mess and we in Florida really don’t need you coming here to make the same mess.

    23. Susann says:

      A pure political stunt.

      For those who do not remember, construction of the Wolman rink floundered around until Trump stepped in and had things completed in months under budget. It has been a welcomed spot for years.

      Perhaps our esteemed Mayor might want to focus on reopening schools, better management of the CoVid crisis, and public safety in our subways and on our streets.

    24. Denise Guillet says:

      Um…the man incited an insurrection on the Capitol of the USA to illegally retain the Presidency! But yeah, let’s be outraged at pulling his criminal enterprise’s contract fo keep skating* rinks open. (And for those praising his efforts back in the 80s to rehabilitate the rink…he did it fast and under budget by stiffing the contractors who did the work.)

      • Cyrus Pavel says:

        Cute your source.

      • Kayson212 says:

        Um, no….When Trump rehabbed the ice rinks, he got contractors do it for free in exchange for promised publicity that never materialized (because he hogged it all).

        As to closing the rinks, you miss the point. Even if De Blasio’s intent was principled, it’s morally wrong to sacrifice others to a shiny display of virtue without their input. That’s why he’s a failed political leader.

      • joey says:

        So punishing NYC ice skaters is the appropriate response?

      • Tracey E Wasson says:

        The kids don’t care what happened 35 years ago (show something to prove what your saying) . TODAY DeBlasiois shutting down the parks to hurt Trump, but it only hurts the kids. Obviously your hatred of Trump clouds your thinking. The kids are what’s important not the petty politics behind the move. It’s the kids that suffer while people like you flap your gums about political BS. You must not have children that utilize the park or you would care.

    25. Tracey Galloway says:

      I can’t believe how short people’s memories are. The man incited an insurrection on the Capitol. He stiffed contractors. He is an absolute criminal on the order of crimes against humanity. But you are incensed that more tax dollars won’t be paid to him so your kids can skate? I wouldn’t let my kids skate there if they were the last rinks on earth. How do you explain your hypocrisy to your kids? What kind of kids are you raising? How do you live with yourselves?

    26. Carol A Cafazzo says:

      OMG People are having fun,kids are outdoors, laughing ,getting a chance to be kids.THAT NOT ALLOWED IN DEMOCRATIC STATES.Ya have to be locked up in thier homes.ITS ALL ABOUT THE POWER!!LET THE PEOPLE ENJOY SKATING TILL APRIL

    27. Sonia I Buonpane says:

      Mayor De Blasio. It’s good to feel like a king isn’t it? You can get all you want and take away the little the deprived have. My prayers to you and your privileged family.

    28. Flint says:

      Now it’ll end up in ruins, just because “orange man bad”. Democrats ruin everything they touch.

    29. Spence Halperin says:

      Yet another reason to regret having voted for this terrible mayor. If you’re going to end a contract for a beloved venue, have the good sense to have a continuity plan.

    30. lars says:

      Leaving here on Tuesday for Florida just in time to get out of this rat hole that Deblasio has created
      Feel story for all you stiffs stuck here

    31. Marylyn says:

      Nasty and Petty.
      A lose lose proposition

    32. Parker says:

      Good. Stop all of Trump’s businesses. Move out of NYC if you want to skate!

    33. Mark says:

      How to you punish New York’s more after all we have been through over the past year. I thought you were a mayor of the people. Now in see you are a dem version of Trump.

    34. babrarus says:

      So – hatred of Trump trumps benefit for children & grown ups.
      Really – short sighted and stupid.

    35. Joey says:

      Please tell me they’re not going to screw around with the TrumP Ferry Point Golf Links in The Bronx too.

    36. Steven says:

      The reality is that this is a significant brand marketing opportunity for the right private organization. I predict that in no time, a quality organization that actually has some integrity will take over this contract, and the rinks will continue on better than ever.

      I for one look forward to the day that “that former guy” is a distant memory.

      By the way, let’s get rid of that ugly illegal sign at 79th and the west side highway while we’re at it.

    37. Steven says:

      Of course the vindictive, morally bankrupt trump crime family will try to cause as much pain and disruption as possible on the way out.

      Is anyone surprised? Good riddance,.

      This is a major brand marketing opportunity for another company with some integrity. I predict this contact will be picked up and the rinks reopened by the end of next week.

      • Upper West Side Parent says:

        Please explain how the Trump Organization is being vindictive. Look, I hate the man as much as the many people on this board, but the contract was going to expire in April anyway. Our grand Mayor decided to engage in political theatre by terminating the contract next week. Again, not sure how this lays at anyone’s feet other than the Mayor.

    38. Jan says:

      Poo on De Blasio!
      Be gone!

    39. paulcons says:

      Did the city tell them to immediately shut it down? Contracts typically have cancellation clauses in them, what were the here? I highly doubt it was “vacate immediately on cancellation.”

    40. Michael Morelli says:

      I haven’t a problem with he termination of the concession contract. The wisdom of this Diblasio administration not to have a plan in it’s place, is typical of Diblasio’s leadership. I am sorry for this closure to happen. There are very capable concession companies to take over. It worked for the NYC Golf courses to have outside concession companies.
      Silly idea!!!! How about Skyrink to take the concession?

    41. Such a “cut your nose off to spite your face” action.Another winning move by DeBlasio. What happened in D. C. is not relevant to NYC or DeBlasio. Whether Trump’s involvement in the protests happened or not, it’s inconsequential to NYC. DeBlasio is trying to prove “he’s the man”, when he needs to MYOB & be concerned with only NYC. There’s no way he can run this rink without Trump; it was a city dump beforehand. Trump made it great. DeBlasio messes everything up, otherwise. When are NY’ers going to impeach him?

    42. Danielle Remp says:

      Cut Manhattan off to spite Mar-a-Lago.

    43. UWS Resident says:

      Definition of cutting off the nose to spite the face.

    44. Colleen Carey says:

      Please leave it open. My grandson’s love to skate & so few places to go to skate in the city. Look at this way one month longer would keep people working and kids something to do during the last month of cold weather.

    45. Rob G. says:

      What a petty, petulant move by de Blasio. He has taken a page right out of Trump’s own book. He could care less who his vindictiveness affects as long as he feels good about it.