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Two popular ice rinks in New York City’s Central Park will stay open through the end of the winter season after city officials decided to let the Trump Organization finish out its contract.
Sunday was supposed to be the last day of operations for both rinks — Wollman and Lasker — after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City would end current contracts with the Trump Organization. The company previously had a contract to run both ice rinks as well as the carousel in the park and a golf course in the Bronx.
“New York City kids deserve all the time on the ice they can get this year. The Wollman and Lasker rinks will stay open under current management for the few weeks left in this season,” Bill Neidhardt, press secretary for the mayor, said late Sunday.
“But make no mistake, we will not be doing business with the Trump Organization going forward. Inciting an insurrection will never be forgotten or forgiven,” he added.
Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization, thanked the mayor in a tweet Sunday, saying that he looked forward to thanking de Blasio in person.
The Trump Organization made a public appeal of the mayor’s decision, pleading that an early season closure would leave people out of jobs and end a number of public skating programs.
Parents were frustrated and sadden by the news Saturday when they heard 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.