By Brendan Krisel
NEW YORK, NY — New York City has no love for President Donald Trump. New Yorkers showed their disdain for Trump in 2016 when more than two million residents voted against him in the presidential election, and new reports suggest that New Yorkers are staying away from anything connected to Trump.
Profits and visits at Trump-branded city concessions have dropped or flatlined since the president's campaign for the presidency in 2016, the New York Times first reported. The Trump Organization, Trump's real estate business, has four contracts with the city to operate Wollman and Lasker rinks in Central Park, the Central Park Carousel and the Ferry Point Landing golf course in the Bronx.
Revenues at the Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink in Central Park have plummeted as much as five percent in the years following Trump's election, the Times reported. The Central Park Carousel logged a profit of a little more than $30,000 in 2017 compared to $188,000 in 2015, according to the report.
The numbers don't lie, and the anecdotal evidence may be worse. Tour guides told the Times that visitors have even come to blows over their views on Trump, and now have to warn groups before visiting Trump-linked concessions.
The Trump Organization denied to the Times that the drop in profits is tied to politics.
"There is no connection to politics and usership at our facilities here in NYC," Ronald C. Lieberman, a Trump Organization executive, told the Times.
The drop in profits at Trump-branded concession may embolden a push for the city to sever ties with the president's company. City Councilman Mark Levine has argued that the city has legal precedent to terminate its contracts with the Trump Organization following Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen's recent guilty plea to eight felony counts stemming from hush money payments.
Levine — who represents parts of the Upper West Side, Harlem and Washington Heights — said that Cohen's plea deal represents "evidence that the Trump Organization has been deeply entangled in a criminal conspiracy."
In 2011, the Parks Department terminated the contract of a company called East Coast Golf, Inc. — which operated a golf course in Marine Park, Brooklyn — due to links to organized crime, Levine said. Levine, a former chair of the council's parks and recreation committee, called on the city to terminated Trump's contracts in 2015 due to the President's vitriolic rhetoric on the campaign trail, but there was no legal precedent to do so.