The Pond At Bryant Park Celebrates Fourth Season Of NYC’s Only Free Admission Ice Skating Rink

This year, many New Yorkers and visitors to New York are looking for affordable ways to celebrate the holiday season. The Pond at Bryant Park, made possible by Citi is Manhattan’s ONLY free admission ice skating rink.
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Oct. 27, 2008 - PRLog -- NEW YORK – This winter, Bryant Park will once again become an epicenter of holiday excitement in Manhattan with the return of The Pond at Bryant Park, made possible by Citi.  The Pond is the first and only free-admission skating rink in New York City.  Today, the three-month winter wonderland will kick off its fourth season with an hour-long entertainment variety program.  The free to the public show begins at 12:30 p.m. at the rink and is designed to appeal to people of all backgrounds and ages.  

Today through Jan. 25, 2009, everyone is welcome to enjoy free skating at The Pond.  For those without skates, rentals are available for $12.00 per pair, along with a 10 percent discount for those using a Citi or Citibank card.  The 2007-2008 season of The Pond at Bryant Park attracted more than 2.8 million visitors and 238,300 skaters.  The Pond was featured in widespread media attention and hosted more than 500 events.

At today’s grand opening celebration, guests will enjoy an appearance from Olympic Silver Medalist Nancy Kerrigan, performances by two-time bronze medalist Michael Weiss of “Smucker’s Stars On Ice” and Connecticut synchronized skating champions and world bronze medalists, The Haydenettes.    

Kicking off the holiday festivities with special remarks will be Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President; Parks Commissioner for Manhattan, William T. Castro; Sports Commissioner Kenneth Podziba; and Eric Eve, Citi Senior Vice President of Global Community Relations, the presenting sponsor of The Pond at Bryant Park.  

“This year, the Pond at Bryant Park will feature a full season of festive activities and attractions that we are delighted to present as Citi’s gift to the City,” said Eric Eve, Senior Vice President of Global Community Relations at Citi.  “As one of New York City’s most steadfast corporate citizens, with a presence here since 1812, we wish all New Yorkers and visitors alike a wonderful and fulfilling holiday season.”

“We are pleased and proud to offer free ice skating to the people of New York for the fourth year in a row,” said Dan Biederman, President of Bryant Park Corporation. “The Pond at Bryant Park is the jewel of Manhattan’s holiday scene, thanks to the generosity of Citi.  It’s beloved by office workers, tourists, day-trippers, couples on dates, and families. We invite them all to come and enjoy New York’s best ice skating rink.”

Elements of the Bryant Park holiday experience are supported by the Canadian Tourism Commission, presenters of Celsius: A Canadian-themed, bistro-style restaurant operated by the team behind Buddha Bar; “Smucker’s Stars on Ice”; and media sponsors Clear Channel, WCBS-TV, Time Out New York and Metro newspaper; with special thanks to Bryant Park Corporation and New York City Department of Parks and Recreations for their support.

Season highlights include:
•   The PondThe Pond at Bryant Park is a 100 foot by 170 foot ice-skating rink (17,000-square-foot surface) with 360 degree viewing access, installed on the Bryant Park lawn, with maximum occupancy of 500 persons.  

Admission to skate is free.  Stocked with 1,350 pairs of Risport skates, The Pond offers rentals for $12.00.  Lockers are free, with locks available for purchase at $9.00.  Bag check services are also available, $7.00 for medium storage, $10 for large.  All prices include tax.

The Pond has a staff of professional coaches ready to help skaters of all levels.  Private, semi-private and group lessons are available for a fee with reservations.  Beginning Nov. 1 and during select Saturday and Sunday hours, skating coaches will be on the ice offering their services courtesy of Citi.

Holiday Shops at Bryant Park (Nov. 22 through Dec. 28; Mon.-Fri., 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., Sat., 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and Sun., 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.)—Now in its seventh year, this bustling outdoor European-style market has evolved into Manhattan’s most upscale and charming holiday shop locale.  This year it will feature more than 120 specialty vendors including artisans, boutiques, designers, food merchants and gift shops from across the globe. A competitive juried selection process for all vendors ensures the highest quality merchandise throughout.

New this year:  The market redesign initiated over the last two seasons concludes this year with all shops in new kiosks, created by Bryant Park Corporation’s industrial designer, featuring green aluminum frames and floor-to-ceiling Plexiglas windows, which visually complement the park and accentuate the holiday ambiance.  

New this year:  A gift wrapping station will be provided by Citi and Martha Stewart Living.  Gift wrap of items purchased at The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park will be complimentary for anyone using a Citi credit or debit card.  Non-Citi cardholders may provide a $3.00 charitable donation in exchange for gift wrapping services.  The gift wrap station will operate Dec. 4-24, 2008 (dates subject to change).

•   The Holiday Tree at Bryant Park (Tree Lighting Dec. 2)The live, 50-foot tall Holiday Tree at Bryant Park is sponsored by Canadian Tourism Commission.  The annual tree lighting at The Pond is quickly becoming a New York City holiday tradition.

This year’s tree lighting ceremony will air live on WCBS-TV on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 pm.  The tree will be adorned with more than 3,000 designer ornaments.

Celsius: A Canadian LoungePresented by the Canadian Tourism Commission and operated by the team behind Buddha Bar, Celsius sits at the northeast corner of The Pond and offers spectacular views of Bryant Park and the surrounding buildings.  It will include a spacious indoor lounge and heat-lamp enhanced terrace cafe. The first floor cafe and bar menu features bistro-style comfort food with a Canadian accent, hot and cold beverages and themed cocktails.

New this year:  A first of its kind, Celsius will be a two-story “permanent temporary” 7,000-square-foot structure that will be removed at the end of the season.

New this year:  The new upper level of Celsius is available for private corporate holiday events and private parties.

•   The Skating PavilionA 10,000-square-foot indoor facility with an 800 person capacity, The Skating Pavilion houses the ticket center, skate rentals, The Pond Party Room, lockers, Ice Bites Café, tables and seating with views of the ice, first aid center and baggage check area.  

New this year:  The pavilion will also feature The Pond Shop (selling Pond-themed t-shirts, mugs and other gifts), a skate sharpening station and a souvenir photographer.

For more information on The Pond at Bryant Park, made possible by Citi, as well as advance reservations, visit: or call 866.221.5157.  For information on group, not-for-profit and school visits to The Pond, call 212.661.6640.

Upsilon Ventures, LLC, is a project development, marketing and production firm specializing in private-public partnerships and the utilization of public spaces and real estate for innovative attractions, concessions, and temporary retail events. Providing complete turnkey service, Upsilon Ventures, LLC manages critical elements ranging from project creation through implementation and operations. Upsilon Ventures, LLC produces, develops and operates Seaport Ice and The Pond at Bryant Park ice skating rink facilities, as well as The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park, an open-air boutique holiday marketplace.

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The Pond at Bryant Park is NYC's only admission-free ice skating rink. Located in the heart of Manhattan, The Pond is a winter wonderland consisting of the rink, a bistro-style restaurant Celsius, and a European-style holiday bazaar.
Source:Quinn & Co. PR
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Phone:212-868-1900 ext 239
Tags:Nyc, Leisure, Free, Family, Parks, Citi, Ice Skating, Weekend, Lifestyle
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