Since becoming president, many New Yorkers have sent Trump a message that he's not exactly welcome around these parts. There have been steady protests of his administration (and anyone associated with him), boycotts of companies owned by people who support him, and legal battles over his tax returns. His businesses have suffered, and he's seen his name removed from multiple properties around the city, including condominiums on the Upper West Side and a hotel in SoHo.
Altogether, Trump's name has been removed from three hotels and six Manhattan residential buildings since he took office. But all of those were privately-owned buildings whose owners had paid to license the Trump name. Now, Trump's own organization has decided to distance some of its businesses from his name: the two ice rinks he operates in Central Park.
The Washington Post reports that Trump's name has been virtually scrubbed from the rinks, including Wollman Rink in the southern section of the park, by the Trump Organization. The Post notes that they have "not identified any other instances in which the Trump Organization voluntarily removed so much Trump-branded signage from any property."
“The Trump organization notified us in late August that they planned to change the on-rink branding,” Crystal Howard, a Parks Department spokesperson, said in a statement. The Trump name has been taken entirely off the boards surround the rink (its logos now say, “Wollman Rink NYC Central Park”), the skate-rental desks, and the employee uniforms. It's still on the Zamboni, though it's believed that will be coming off soon, and the Times adds it's buried in small type at the bottom of a sign listing the rink’s hours and fees.
Amidst criticism over the name, the Trump Organization had been adamant about not removing it from their various local businesses since he came into office. “There is no connection to politics and usership at our facilities here in N.Y.C,” Ronald C. Lieberman, an executive vice president with the Trump Organization, told the Times last year in response to reports that Trump's name was hurting the concessions. But annual revenue at the rinks has dropped during that time, and there have been public incidents such as when a Wollman Rink party for Dalton School students was reportedly canceled because of its association with Trump.
Another reason why the Trump Organization might want to distance themselves from the Trump name now: their contract to operate the rinks is set to expire in early 2021. And with the northern rink getting a $110M makeover, there may be some new major competition to operate it. “They don’t want the public to associate the Trump name with these properties,” city councilman Mark Levin told the Times. “They know that there would be too much public pressure against renewal.”