Posted on July 24, 2021 at 10:32 am by Carol Tannenhauser
By Carol Tannenhauser
It was by no means an excellent deal to skate at Wollman Rink, the long-lasting ice rink on the south finish of Central Park. When the Trump group led him – earlier than he was wrested from the previous president’s firm due to his alleged position within the January 6 insurgency – it price a household of two adults and two children, $ 100 for admission and to hire skates and lockers on a weekend – and that does not embody meals or drink.
In November, when the rink reopens, hopefully, it should get much more costly. Some costs at Wollman Rink are anticipated to rise underneath the brand new concessionaire chosen to renovate and function it for the subsequent 5 years, in response to a doc compiled by the workplace of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. This hypothetical household of 4 will now pay $ 116.
Wollman Park Companions, LLC (WPP) is the entity that received the Wollman contract on July 6. It’s made up of The Associated Firms, Harris Blitzer Sports activities & Leisure (a New Jersey-based company that owns the New Jersey Devils and Philadephia Flyers) and Equinox, partly owned by Associated. A WPP spokesperson argues that the value will increase are restricted to adults and pays for costly renovations and decreased or free admission for first responders, nonprofits and low-income teams.
“It is a non-profit endeavor with the objective of upgrading the Wollman Rink and making it accessible to all of New York in a means that has by no means been earlier than,” mentioned a door. – speech of WPP. “The ice rink requires important investments to modernize and modernize. Now we have maintained the identical charges for kids and seniors, whereas introducing new reductions for first responders and our group companions. Now we have proposed a small enhance in grownup admission, which is able to then enable us to supply free or low-cost programming to non-profit teams and younger individuals who would in any other case not have been in a position to entry the ability. . It is about making a pricing construction that ensures accessibility, permits for long-standing website upgrades, and serves New Yorkers of all walks of life.
Under are value comparisons between the Trump-managed rink and what WPP has to supply. (We apologize for the poor high quality of the copy.) It reveals different value will increase, together with for skate and locker leases and teams. Testifying in a public listening to earlier than the Franchise and Concessions Overview Committee (FCRC) on July 21, Brewer mentioned, “I do not think about these costs inexpensive.”
Along with the skating charges, Controller Scott Stringer questioned the potential price of food and drinks underneath the WPP in a letter to the FCRC.
“The deal doesn’t enable the Metropolis or the general public to know the total price of a go to to this location, akin to the price of food and drinks,” he wrote. “A pattern menu was included of their proposal however was not included on this settlement. If costs are usually not included on this settlement, the Metropolis can’t maintain the contractor liable for the five-year contract, making it crucial that truthful and cheap costs are frozen earlier than the contract is finalized.
Brewer additionally requested for clarification on the proportion of hours that shall be spent on personal occasions and “buyouts,” which might limit the usage of the rink to the general public. She confused “the significance of limiting the variety of occasions that may deny the general public entry to this new house”, and referred to as for “a strict cap on these kinds of large-scale occasions”. Wollman Rink is a public good and may stay accessible to the general public, so this cover on public restrictions is a necessity, ”she mentioned.
Brewer mentioned up entrance that his selection of concessionaire was Central Park Conservancy. “For many years, Central Park Conservancy has been the steward of Central Park, dealing with all upkeep and working wants and has the expertise and historical past to be Wollman Rink’s high operator,” she declared. She cited WPP’s lack of expertise, mentioning that it had solely been fashioned on June 9, 2021 and “most likely couldn’t have operational expertise of any variety.”
Brewer has requested the Central Park Conservatory to take management of Wollman Rink in 5 years after the WPP contract expires.
The contract was awarded to WPP by the New York Metropolis Division of Parks and Recreation, which supported their selection.
“The excellent qualities of Wollman Park Companions embody their dedication to group companions, programming and capital enhancements for the quick future because the operator of Wollman Rink, promising to not make a revenue and as an alternative put money into the park and the group, ”mentioned a spokesperson for WPP. “We’ll work with Wollman Park Companions all through the time period of their settlement to make sure the dealership is accessible and inexpensive.”