Trump Finished Renovating the Wollman Memorial Rink, Ahead of Schedule and Under Budget. The Profits Went to Homeless and AIDS Charities.

Link to article  |  Archive

New Yorkers thanked Donald J. Trump when he completed the scheduled and budget renovation of the Wollman Memorial Rink, where the city spent six years trying to produce ice for $12 million. But even the Trump Organisation, which controls a network of companies involved in immobilization and management, did not anticipate profitability.

Mr. Trump announced yesterday that if the city had not abandoned the project in Central Park, the wet spring morning would have been three months from the date of completion. Closing the ice-skating rink until autumn, Mr Trump said he had earned $500,000 in revenue for $1.5 million since its reopening in November. The money will go to several charities and will be used for public works projects. Trump’s president, Anthony B. Gliedman, who led the renovation project, said the profit was about $450,000 to $500,000.

Continue reading Advertisement Continue reading the main story, but Park Commissioner Henry J. Stern was more conservative when he said the profit was about $400,000, although neither the Trump Organization nor the Department of Parks and Recreation City had a final chart on the number of people using the rink. All three agreed that profit was a pleasant surprise. According to the Trump organization, $1 million has been spent on the skating rink since November. In addition to providing most of its benefits to charities and public work projects, the organization will reimburse the city for $50,000 for electricity as part of its agreement with the city.

The department of parks will also receive some of the money. The agency has already spent $200,000 on three charities in New York City, a public project and the rink’s electricity bill. The rest will be fully distributed by the city and Trump. The excited Mr. Trump said he hoped to even break or turn a modest $100,000 profit. “it’s so far beyond expectation.” The rink was “great success,” Mr. Stern agreed. Record admissions But Trump’s organization still has a lot to do with the city if they continue to run the rink. Mr Gliedman said that some key aspects of the proposed grant agreement, such as its duration and the fate of Lasker Rink in Central Park near 103rd Street, are far removed from both sides. Mr. Gliedman said the Trump Organization asked for a 10-year agreement and the city offered a 4-year agreement.

Mr Stern refused yesterday to talk about the negotiations. We have plenty to negotiate, “he said. Mr. Trump took over the project in June 1986 after two urban studies that found the renovation to be a failure. The city agreed that Mr. Trump would take over the project, and both agreed that all profits would go to projects and charities proposed by city officials, which Mr. Trump approved. The project was completed two and a half months ahead of schedule and cost about $750,000 less than the planned $3 million. Mr Stern said an unexpectedly high turnout made the profits in the winter.

He said about 225,000 people on March 24 bought tickets to the rink for $4.50. Mr. Gliedman said the Trump Organization believes another 25,000 people used the rink from March 24 to Monday. Stern said it was a record figure for the 37-year-old rink, where 134,000 people skated in 1980, its last year of operation before the renovation.

After the closing ceremony, attended by Trump Organization executives, city officials and skaters, Mr. Trump said that one of his favorite charities, the United Cerebral Palsy, would receive $25,000. The Homeless Partnership will receive $25,000 for the homeless overnight shelter and approximately $25,000 for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, which advises victims of AIDS and their families. Mr. Trump said the city would receive $75,000 to renovate a playground in each of the five districts and $50,000 for the Rink’s electric bills.