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Battery Park City Seeks New Ice Rink Operator

By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

BATTERY PARK CITY — An ice rink could be on the way back to Battery Park City this winter, after plans for a rink fell through last year.

The Battery Park City Authority released a request for proposals earlier this month seeking a new operator for the popular neighborhood rink. The authority will begin evaluating proposals next month and hopes to open the rink in October or November.

In response to community concerns that the rink would be unaffordable or would focus on moneymaking adult leagues, the authority told potential operators that they had to provide services for local residents, like teen or family nights.

"Skating at the rink should not be principally conceived of as a one-time or a touristic experience, but also as a beloved local amenity, used broadly by the whole residential community in Lower Manhattan, a new winter tradition for the Battery Park City neighborhood," the RFP said.

Mark Costello, a member of the Community Board 1 taskforce that helped draft the RFP, said he was glad the authority had taken the community's input into account.

"Now we'll cross our fingers," Costello said, in the hope that qualified operators would respond to the RFP.

Last year, the Battery Park City Authority started looking for a rink operator in August but failed to find one in time for winter. The company that ran the rink the year before backed out after just one season.

The new RFP offers the rink operator more flexibility than in the past, allowing the operator to pick one of three sites: the Battery Park City ballfields, where the original rink was, Rockefeller Park or Wagner Park.

The operators are also free to propose a fee they will pay to the authority for the right to run a rink.

The authority is holding a mandatory meeting for potential operators on June 24. Applications are due July 1.