New York City

Central Park Ice Rinks Close Season Early After NYC Cuts Trump Contract

The Wollman and Lasker Rinks will close Sunday, more than a month before the end of the typical winter skating season

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Two ice rinks will close their season early in Central Park following the decision by New York City leaders to terminate contracts with the rinks' management company: The Trump Organization.

New York City owns both rinks -- Wollman and Lasker Rinks -- and announced it would end its contract with The Trump Organization after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The NY Post first reported both rinks will close up shop on Sunday instead of operating into April as expected.

The Trump Organization is appealing the move but, in the meantime, is preparing to clear out the rinks. The owners say a request to keep the rinks open through the end of the season was denied by the City. The early closure, they say, ends jobs for almost 250 people as well as a number of public skating programs.

The City has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Parents were frustrated and sadden by the news the skating season would be cut short. Abar Salam, who brought her daughter to the rink on Saturday, was shocked by the news.

"We've been here for five years and we count on this program, not only does she love the sport, but also for emotional health and well being," she said.

Malik Garvin is the program director for Ice Hockey in Harlem, a program offering free hockey to kids between the ages of 5 and 10. Garvin says he heard the news around 5 p.m. Friday on his way to the rink for practice.

"They come out here, they work hard, they're dedicated. To have that taken away from them is completely unfair," Garvin said Saturday.

Eric Trump released a statement calling Mayor Bill de Blasio's decision a political stunt that only hurts New Yorkers.

He said de Blasio is "trying to destroy the only outdoor activity available to children during a pandemic. When does this nonsense stop. What are the priorities of our city?"

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