Curling club wants home of its own
WILLMAR -- The popularity of the winter sport of curling is growing locally and worldwide and Kandiyohi County is a prime location for a dedicated curling facility, according to representatives from the Willmar-based group that wants to build a s...
WILLMAR –– The popularity of the winter sport of curling is growing locally and worldwide and Kandiyohi County is a prime location for a dedicated curling facility, according to representatives from the Willmar-based group that wants to build a stand-alone curling club.
The group is asking the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission for help in finding a location for a building and advice for putting together a financial package for the project, which is estimated to cost around $1.5 million.
There are about 125 members in the Willmar Curling Club, which has won praise for hosting a past tournament and will be hosting another this year that will bring families to town, said Troy Gorans, vice president of the curling club, during a presentation Thursday to the EDC Operations Board.
The club currently shares ice space with the Willmar Blue Line Club at the Civic Center.
Because there’s a growing demand for more curling time - and because curling ice needs to be kept smooth and not pitted from hockey skates - there’s a desire to have a separate space, said Randy Czarnetzki, a member of the club’s board of directors.
Czarnetzki said having a clubhouse would increase membership and generate economic development by bringing new people to the county.
Gorans said there are curling facilities in northern Minnesota and in the Twin Cities but there is a “huge hole” in west central Minnesota.
Dedicated curling facilities are a “scarce resource” and having one in Kandiyohi County could be “another thing that makes our area unique,” he said.
The building would be used for curling for half the year and could be open for other community events the rest of the year, he said.
The club has been talking with the city of Spicer about a possible site.
Gorans said he’s not “overly concerned where our home is” as long as it’s not an expensive site and is close to hotels and restaurants to accommodate curling tournament participants and fans.