Ice rink stalled, opening delayed at least two months



The ice skating rink that was supposed to open next month in Van Cortlandt Park will not be completed on time. 

The Department of Parks and Recreation has yet to approve the proposal and would not comment as to why. Only once Parks approves it can the project go to the city’s Franchise and Concessions Review Committee. 

But according to Parks spokesperson Zachary Feder, that will not happen in time for the rink to be presented at the FCRC’s Nov. 7 public hearing. The earliest the proposal can come before the FCRC is Dec. 12 and construction can begin after that.

Ron Kraut of Ice Rink Events — the only company confirmed by The Press that is still in the running for the project — said the temporary rink could be completed within two or three weeks of approval, depending on installation issues. This means the earliest possible opening for the rink would be late December.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg first announced the project — supported by the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy — to the public in his State of the City address in January. The plan came before CB 8 in March and has been discussed at several meetings since.

Some board members and local pols — including Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Councilman Oliver Koppell, who have long been at odds with Conservancy chair and one-time city council candidate Tony Cassino — have expressed their concern over the transparency of the project. 

The seasonal ice skating rink is to be located in Van Cortlandt Park near West 242nd Street and Broadway atop two currently closed tennis courts, with concessions trailers on two adjacent handball courts. Ice Rink Events has run the temporary rink at Bryant Park since 2005 and Mr. Kraut told The Riverdale Press in May that his company presented the idea to members of the non-profit organization, the Van Cortlandt Conservancy, more than a year before. 

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