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Trump name removed from ice rinks in New York’s Central Park

No reason has been given for the decision even though Donald Trump has run both rinks since the 1980s and is contracted to do so until 2021.

Skaters take to the ice at Wollman Rink in New York’s Central Park (Mark Lennihan/PA)
Skaters take to the ice at Wollman Rink in New York’s Central Park (Mark Lennihan/PA)

By Karen Matthews, Associated Press

Skaters in New York’s Central Park may notice President Donald Trump’s name is missing from its two ice rinks this winter.

The Trump Organisation still operates the rinks but has removed the Trump name from the outer boards, the skate rental counters and elsewhere.

“Unsolicited, the Trump organisation notified us in late August that they planned to change the on-rink branding,” Crystal Howard, a city Parks Department spokeswoman, said in a prepared statement Wednesday.

No reason was given, she said.

The Washington Post first reported the new look at Wollman Rink near the southern edge of the park and Lasker Rink to the north.

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The NHL hockey team Calgary Flames, in 2017, practicing on Lasker Rink in New York’s Central Park with the Trump branding visible (Craig Ruttle/AP)

Mr Trump has run the two rinks since the 1980s under a contract with the city that is up for renewal in 2021.

For years, the Trump name in bright red capital letters marked the outer boards at Wollman Rink, and signs at the skate rental and refreshment counters bore the name, as well.

But the Mr Trump name was almost entirely gone as skating season started at Wollman this week.

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President Donald Trump (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

The board surrounding the rink said Central Park Wollman Rink with no mention of Trump on Tuesday, and the red Trump sign at the skate rental counter had been covered up except for the T.

Trump Organisation representatives did not respond to a request for comment on the change.

Geoffrey Croft, the founder of NYC Park Advocates, an organisation that supports public parks, said he believes the Republican president’s name was hurting business at the rinks.

“The Trump Organisation finally got the message,” Mr Croft said.

“The public is increasingly uncomfortable with using a business associated with him.”

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Air Force One takes off from Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire (Andrew Milligan/PA)

City figures show that revenue at the rinks have dropped since Mr Trump took office.

The rinks generated 9.3 million US dollars in the operating year that ended September 30 2016, shortly before Mr Trump’s election.

Annual revenue dropped to 8.7 million US dollars in the operating year that ended on September 30 2018.

The Trump Organisation has acknowledged some hits to its business since Mr Trump took office two years ago but has said many of its properties are doing just fine.

PA

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