McCarren skating rink could double in size

The McCARREN Park Pool could soon become the borough’s hottest venue during the year’s coldest months.

There are plans afoot to double the size of the newly opened ice skating rink, make skaters into daters and maybe even add a frozen chute for sledding, city records show.

All of this because city officials chose a creative plan by a nonprofit organization to run the Greenpoint rink, rather than a rival operator that promised to pay more money in the short term.

Under a 12-year deal, the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn will pay the city $1,000 this year, $2,000 in 2014 year and $3,000 the following year, or 10% of gross receipts, if that sum is greater. The payments balloon to $17,000 by the 12th year.

A competing bidder, IceRinkEvents, offered to pay the city $5,000 each of the first four years but only guaranteed $12,000 in the final year. That group’s plan also called for allowing a vendor to sell booze next to the rink and for midnight skating.

“Both proposals were strong, and both organizations have experience setting up temporary ice rinks,” said parks spokeswoman Meghan Lalor.

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The city selected the Alliance plan because it offered more public programming hours (eight per week), a partnership with local restaurants and a higher guaranteed fee, Lalor added.

And the group’s proposed $8 general admission fee and $5 skate rentals were slightly lower, records show.

The narrow, 60-foot-wide rink on the pool’s deck — which opened two weeks back and drew more than 5,000 skaters in the first nine days — could eventually be extended over the massive pool if crowds grow big enough.

Plans are afoot to double the size of the newly opened ice skating rink, make skaters into daters and maybe even add a frozen chute for sledding, city records show.

Debbie Egan-Chin/New York Daily News

Plans are afoot to double the size of the newly opened ice skating rink, make skaters into daters and maybe even add a frozen chute for sledding, city records show.

The alliance also hopes to create an “ice slide” for sledding on a piece of the McCarren Park space.

“North Brooklyn does not have any hills for sledding,” the group wrote in its contract proposal, which listed an array of planned events such as “speed date and skate” parties and contests for snowman and snow-castle building.

The Parks Department appears open to the long-term plans.

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“If those are ideas they are interested in pursuing, we would be glad to speak with them further about that possibility,” Lalor said.

It all sounds good, but unless it attracts brimming crowds, the much-anticipated ice skating rink will only stay open through early January.

The alliance says it expects 20,000 skaters this year, with the number of skaters rising by 3% each year until it hits 28,515 in 2024.

“As this is the rink’s inaugural year we want to continue to gauge attendance numbers and keep gathering feedback before we consider adding additional programs,” said Ed Janoff, the alliance’s executive director.

The alliance does not expect to turn a profit over the first three years, but projects that by the time the contract ends, in 2024, the rink will be generating $170,553 per year. Most of that revenue will come from admission fees, skate rentals, private lessons and group parties, records show.

The alliance plans to use that money to help fund other park attactions in northern Brooklyn.

rblau@nydailynews.com

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