Eric Trump has slammed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as ‘incompetent’ for shutting down the Central Park skating rinks managed by the Trump Organization a month before the season was due to end.
The two Central Park rinks, Wollman and Lasker, will shutter after Sunday despite the Trump Organization’s request to finish out the rest of the skating season per its city contract.
De Blasio announced last month that he was terminating all of the Trump Organization’s concession contracts with the city to punish Donald Trump for the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
‘This is purely a political stunt that only hurts New Yorkers,’ Eric Trump told DailyMail.com in a statement.
People skate at the Wollman Rink in Central Park during the winter storm on Friday in New York City. The rink will shut down after Sunday after the city severed the Trump Org’s contract
The smaller Lansky Rink at the northern end of the park will also shut down a month early
‘Instead of focusing on a dying city which everyone is leaving because of rising crime, high taxes, closed businesses and totally incompetent leadership, the Mayor is painting signs in front of Trump Tower and trying to destroy the only outdoor activity available to children during a pandemic,’ he said.
The imminent closure of the two Central Park rinks was first reported by the New York Post, and a source familiar with the matter confirmed it to DailyMail.com.
The early closure of the skating rinks will cut short several community programs, including a free hockey program for 300 children in Harlem, and a skating school that offers lessons to thousands of kids.
As well, season pass holders, who pay in advance to enjoy the rink during public skate sessions, will see their privileges curtailed early.
‘When does this nonsense stop. What are the priorities of our city?’ said Eric Trump.
‘This leaves another 250 incredible people out of work in New York, a city with soaring unemployment. Why – to try and get back at a person who sits on a different side of the political aisle who now lives in Florida,’ he added.
‘This is purely a political stunt that only hurts New Yorkers,’ Eric Trump said of the rink closures
‘Let’s cancel kids hockey programs, skating schools and shut them down 6 weeks early… that will show Trump,’ said Eric Trump.
De Blasio said last month that the Trump Organization earns about $17 million a year in profits from its contracts to run the skating rinks and a carousel in Central Park, as well as a golf course in the Bronx.
The city can legally terminate a contract if the leadership of a company is engaged in criminal activity, the Democrat said.
‘Inciting an insurrection – let’s be very clear, let’s say the words again – inciting an insurrection against the United States government clearly constitutes criminal activity,’ he said.
Donald Trump was acquitted this month, largely along party lines, in a Senate trial on an impeachment charge of incitement of insurrection.
A Trump Organization spokesperson had argued that the city can’t cancel the contracts.
De Blasio announced last month that he was terminating all of the Trump Organization’s concession contracts with the city to punish Donald Trump for the Capitol riot
‘The City of New York has no legal right to end our contracts and if they elect to proceed, they will owe The Trump Organization over $30 million dollars,’ the spokesperson said last month.
‘This is nothing more than political discrimination, an attempt to infringe on the First Amendment and we plan to fight vigorously.’
The Wollman Rink first opened in 1950, and is normally open from October to early April. The smaller Lasker Rink has operated at the northern end of the park since 1966.
The Trump Organization and its subsidiary Wollman Rink Operations LLC have held the concession to operate the two rinks since 1987.
In 2019, Trump’s name was removed from most signs and logos at both skating rinks.
The New York City Parks Department is currently soliciting proposals from vendors who wish to take over the operation of the rinks next season.