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West Side Rag ”Wollman Rink announces reopening date, as“ partner ”talks about food and a more inclusive mission

By on October 14, 2021 0


Posted on October 14, 2021 at 5:26 p.m. by Carol Tannenhauser

An updated render of the ice rink, which will open next month.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Wollman Rink, the multi-story rink at the south end of Central Park, is scheduled to reopen on Nov. 14, a spokesperson for the rink’s new dealership told WSR. “The opening day will offer a ‘free skate’ to the public,” he revealed.

Wollman will no longer be exploited by The Trump Organization, which lost the contract following Donald Trump’s alleged incitement to the Jan.6 insurgency. In July, a group called the Wollman Park Partners LLC (WPP) won a new contract in a bidding process, edging out the Central Park Conservancy, which some, including Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, believed was of a better choice. WPP is a joint venture between Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, and the related companies and Equinox.

It doesn’t get more corporate than that, but WPP emphasizes that it is a non-profit, in the sense that “it does not seek or accept any profit from the exploitation of Wollman Rink.” Any net proceeds generated during the term of the concession will be reinvested in the facility and through community partners providing services to Wollman Rink, ”said a statement.


Liz Neumark, founder of the catering company, Great performance, is called “the food and drink partner”. She will organize these key items for the ice rink cafe. For those who express concern, yes, there will be burgers ($ 6), grilled cheese ($ 4), “high quality” hot dogs ($ 3), vegan hot dogs ($ 3.50). $) and tacos ($ 4). “We would be killed if we weren’t affordable,” she said in a telephone interview. “Chicken nuggets aren’t on the menu yet, but they will be. Neumark said she “would deliberately source from small local businesses, owned by women and minorities.” Culinary offerings will be updated over time, she added.

“My mission is to serve delicious and affordable food, and to use Wollman as a platform for small businesses that are generally excluded from large-scale concessions,” Neumark explained. “WPP has made diversity and inclusion one of its main pillars and that is why I am delighted to be part of it. Another reason could be that she grew up on the Upper West Side, skating with her two sisters at Wollman Rink on winter weekends. “We will be offering a wide variety of local vendors and businesses from all five boroughs to ensure a true representation of New York City’s incredible array of delicious food and drink,” she concluded. One of the vendors will be community partner Melba’s restaurant in Harlem.

“We would be killed if we weren’t affordable! “

Other community partners include the YMCA, Ice Hockey in Harlem, Figure Skating in Harlem, The Boys’ Club of New York and Green City Force. Clients of these nonprofits will have free access to introductory programs and ice time. “We are fine-tuning our programming to be inclusive and accessible to all, and finalizing a few ideas, which could include a pay-per-view model on Tuesday afternoon and an after-school special on Wednesday that combines admission + skates + hot chocolate, ”the spokesperson said. noted.

What about the regular price of admission, skate and locker rental? Here they are for the 2021-22 season. (Pardon the introduction. We copied and pasted the WPP contract.)

WPP also announced that the concession deal has been finalized, but that seems questionable as they said redevelopment and construction is already underway. The contract is for five years. They appointed Stefanie Tomlin as the new vice president and general manager of the rink to oversee operations and guide long-term strategic growth. Tomlin joins over ten years of extensive experience. Most recently, she was General Manager of the Kings Theater in Brooklyn.

“The second I learned of WPP’s plans for Wollman Rink, I knew I had to get involved in supporting one of the city’s most historic destinations,” she said.

WPP is recruiting for several positions. Interested candidates can apply here.


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