Central Park's Wollman Rink Promises to be an 'Accessible Cultural Hub' to All Skaters in Reopening
Central Park's famous ice skating rink is officially reopened.
Wollman Rink, now being run by a coalition of New York businesses and organizations, including Equinox, the YMCA, and The Boys' Club of New York, welcomed skaters back last week with a plethora of new offerings including a cafe and more. (Since 1986, the rink had been owned and operated by the Trump Organization.)
The rink has also committed to "reinvesting in the community and the city" and operators will not be seeking or accepting any of the profit that comes from running Wollman Rink NYC, according to a press release. Any proceeds from the rink will be reinvested right back into it, with a priority on creating a sustainable and inclusive environment.
The rink will also have a new cafe, by Chef Melba Wilson of Melba's Restaurant in Harlem, with options including eggplant and chickpea chili, chipotle turkey paninis, a variety of pizzas, and of course, hot cocoa.
In addition, the new operators (Wollman Park Partners or WPP) will seek to introduce skating to a more diverse audience, including children and families from underserved and marginalized communities.
"For decades the Wollman Rink has provided New Yorkers and visitors alike with a spectacular setting for winter fun," Council Member Helen Rosenthal (Manhattan, District 6) said, according to the press release. "Ice skating has been integral to Central Park since the mid 19th century — it's wonderful that the rink is now being led with a civic spirit and will be welcoming to all."
Wollman Rink officially opened to the public on Dec. 21, 1950 (and was named after philanthropist Kate Wollman). But people had been coming to central park to skate on the frozen ice since the 1850s.
Now, the tradition continues — and many New Yorkers will be able to access the rink for the first time, thanks to reduced entrance prices for low-income families.
"Wollman Rink NYC is the crown jewel of Central Park, and we have a unique opportunity to make it more than just a skating rink, but one that's an inclusive, accessible cultural hub for everyone to enjoy, regardless of background," Stefanie Tomlin, the new general manager of the rink, said in a statement.
Entrance to the rink is priced from $5 to $23, depending on age and date of visit. To purchase a timed ticket, visit the Wollman Rink website.