New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reversed what was seen as a petty move to close both of Central Park’s skating rinks managed by the Trump Organization after being slammed with criticism for hurting families in the city more than his political rival.
With the facilities set to close Sunday, City Hall Press Secretary Bill Neidhardt said in a last minute statement that the skating rinks will remain open. While backtracking on the earlier decision, the release still threw in a cheap shot at Trump.
“New York City kids deserve all the time on the ice they can get this year,” Neidhardt said, according to the New York Post. “The Wollman and Lasker rinks will stay open under current management for the few weeks left in this season.”
“But make no mistake,” the press secretary continued, “we will not be doing business with the Trump Organization going forward. Inciting an insurrection will never be forgotten or forgiven.”
Youth skating and hockey programs are hosted at the Trump-operated skating rinks, with low-income children and people with special needs also being served.
While watching her daughters skate, Lee Klausner spoke with the Post about who was really being harmed by the initial move to shutter the facilities six weeks earlier than when the contracts were already set to expire.
“The real people they’re hurting are the 2,500 children that have been benefiting from the skating program this season and 250 innocent employees who have been keeping this going for us,” Klausner said.
“So much has been taken away from us this year, and this was one thing that was kind of holding us all together,” Mya Henning told CBS New York. “It’s only, like, six weeks more that we’re asking for.”
Trump’s son, Eric Trump, took to Twitter to thank de Blasio for the reversal, telling the radical left mayor that he looks forward to doing so “in person.”
“Mr. Mayor – Thank You for keeping Wollman and Lasker Rinks open — you’ve just made countless NYC families (along w our 250 employees) incredibly happy. This is a bright moment for New York and please know we appreciate it. I look forward to saying “thanks” in person,” he tweeted.
.@NYCMayor Mr. Mayor – Thank You for keeping Wollman and Lasker Rinks open — you’ve just made countless NYC families (along w our 250 employees) incredibly happy. This is a bright moment for New York and please know we appreciate it. I look forward to saying “thanks” in person.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) February 21, 2021
As noted in the tweet, the rinks employ 250 people, who would have also been hurt by de Blasio’s rash move.
A MAGA hat-wearing Trump supporter was seen flying a Trump flag at the Central Park rink on Saturday, which didn’t go over well with staff.
As seen in the video below, the man would eventually be tackled and the flag taken away from him.
The mayor said last month he would terminate business contracts with the former president’s company after the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, tweeting, “New York City doesn’t do business with insurrectionists. We’re taking steps to TERMINATE agreements with the Trump Organization.”
Adding to the belief that it was a political move, a de Blasio spokesman arrogantly said at the time, “Trump has been impeached from operating the ice rink.”
Eric Trump had previously slammed de Blasio over the move to shut down the rinks.
“Instead of focusing on a dying city which everyone is leaving because of rising crime, high taxes, closed businesses and totally incompetent leadership,” he said, “the Mayor is painting signs in front of Trump Tower and trying to destroy the only outdoor activity available to children during a pandemic.”
The Trump Organization, a billion dollar business, took in about $17 million a year in profits from its contracts to run the skating rinks, as well as a carousel in Central Park and a golf course in the Bronx, according to ABC 7.
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