Skaters Rejoice: Wollman Rink Set to Reopen This Winter Under New Management
If you're struggling through the latest heatwave, we've got some cool news: Central Park's iconic Wollman Rink has a new operator for the 2021-22 winter season, which means New Yorkers will be able to twirl, glide, and play hockey on the rink, which ranks as one of our favorite outdoor ice skating spots annually.
Read on for details on the proposed deal, which promises to pour all profits back into the rink, preserving this NYC treasure for years to come.
Subscribe to our newsletters to get stories like this delivered directly to your inbox.
Following the well-publicized termination of its previous concessionaire, the Trump organization, the Parks Department opened a proposal process for a new operating partner. Wollman Park Partners, LLC, a consortium of companies including Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, Related Companies, and Equinox, put forth the winning bid.
The group's official community partners include the YMCA, Ice Hockey in Harlem, Figure Skating in Harlem, the Boys' Club of New York, and the Green City Force. Great Performances and Melba's Restaurant will provide food and beverages.
Community partner Melba's Restaurant promises a diverse food and beverage program for Wollman Rink.
Wollman Park Partners has been awarded a five-year contract, with an option for a six-month extension. Pending a community review, the contract is set to start this winter. Under its terms, Wolman Park Partners promises to reinvest its profits with the community partners and make capital improvements on-site, including improving the refrigeration and ice maintenance systems and upgrading the seating areas, entrances and exits, landscaping, and more.
Beyond handling day-to-day operations, the new vendors promise to focus programming on traditionally underserved communities, introducing skating to a new generation of New Yorkers.
Central Park's other ice skating rink, Lasker Rink, on the park's northern edge, is expected to be closed for a multi-year restoration project.