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Trump's Name Scrubbed From NYC Ice Rinks

Wollman Rink, Lasker Rink have been run by his organization since 1980s
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2019 1:32 PM CDT
In this Oct. 23, 1986, file photo, Donald Trump is photographed in New York's Central Park, in front of the Wollman Rink, which he offered to rebuild after the city's renovation effort had come to a standstill.   (AP Photo/Mario Suriani, File)
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(Newser) – For years, skaters at a pair of ice rinks in Manhattan's Central Park have been surrounded by the Trump name. Now, no longer. The official names of the New York rinks are Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink, but Donald Trump started running them in the 1980s, at which point his name was displayed "as prominently—or more prominently—than the official names," the Washington Post reports. But now, the boards around each rink no longer read "TRUMP" in large letters. A white tarp hides his name at the desk where skates can be rented. And, while a welcome sign at one rink does still technically bear his name, it's simply in small lettering where it reads at the bottom, "Operated by the Trump Organization." "It's a complete rebranding," says a member of watchdog group NYC Park Advocates. "They've taken [the name] off everything. Off the uniforms, everything."

The Trump Organization runs the rinks under a concession from the city of New York, and a city spokesperson says that in late August, the organization informed the city of its plans without giving a reason. Both rinks opened for the season Sunday, the New York Daily News reports. One anonymous employee tells the Post, "It was hurting business. A lot of the schools, you know, liberal private schools up here, come to parties up here. That was a big income earner up here Monday and Tuesday night." The New York Post reported in 2017 that a private school's annual party at one of the rinks was canceled after parents refused to send their kids. While the Trump name has been removed from other NYC buildings, those are owned by other people who'd simply been paying to license Trump's name. This is the first known instance of the Trump Organization itself voluntarily removing the name. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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