What Are Some Facts About the Central Park Ice Skating Rink?

Wollman Rink in New York's Central Park opened in 1950 with $600,000 in funds donated to the city by philanthropist Kate Wollman. Until 1986, the 33,000-square-foot rink was operated by the city. Since then, it has been operated privately by companies owned by Donald Trump, and as of 2015, the official name of the rink is the Trump Skating Rink, although the name Wollman Rink is more prevalently used.

Trump acquired the rights to operate the rink after paying for renovations in 1986. At the time, the rink had been closed since 1980 and the reopening was nearly four years behind schedule.

Wollman paid for the city to create the rink as a memorial to her parents and four brothers. More than 300,000 skaters visited the rink during its first year of operation. Dating back to 1858, city residents skated on natural lakes and ponds in Central Park. However, by the time the Wollman Rink opened, skating had been banned on most of these features and some ponds had been drained. From the 1950s until 1980, the rink hosted summer music concerts.

Lasker Rink, located at the north end of Central Park, also originated with donations from Wollman and, as of 2015, is run by Trump's business interests. Lasker Rink operates as a pool during the summer months.