October 29, 2013 marked the start of the exciting construction phase for the new Denver Curling Center. Approximately 60 people turned out at the empty ”field of dreams” location where the building will begin to rise and take shape in 2014, symbolizing a new and glorious day for curling in Denver, Colorado and the USA. Club members, the Board of Directors, the public and various construction partner representatives eagerly dug shovels into the ground with the same enthusiasm as if sweeping a rock into the house for a perfect draw to the button. “Hurry, hurry, hurry hard” could be heard from various members as they happily tossed the freshly excavated dirt into the air. The ceremony was highlighted by energetic and entertaining speeches from Denver Curling Vice-President Matt Culbertson, President Pam Finch and the Building Committee Chair Scott Stevinson. The 4.7-acre site will also house the future Colorado State Patrol Museum and Learning Center, who have been extremely supportive of the curling center including participating in the ground breaking ceremonies. A second ground breaking was held 4 days later on November 2 for Denver Curling members who could not attend the first ground breaking, providing an opportunity for another 30 curlers to participate and view the building site first hand.
What Denver and this region of the USA lack in dedicated curling facilities, it certainly makes up with enthusiastic, keen and knowledgeable curlers. In addition to those that have learned the game locally, Denver is home to many Canadians, and former residence of those USA curling powerhouse states such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Illinois who curled for years before moving to Denver. In addition hundreds if not thousands of local residences have turned up for various public or corporate learn to curl and demonstration events over the last few years in Colorado. From Colorado Springs to Denver, from Fort Collins to Leadville at 10,152 feet the response is the same, everyone wants to try the sport and quickly fall in love with it. Without out a doubt the recognition as an Olympic sport has fueled both the awareness and the public desire to give it a try. Each one of these events underscores the next question participants have,” where do I join a league?” The answer is usually unsatisfactory at best as local arena clubs struggle to find ice time, competing for expensive prime time with organized hockey. Saying “how would you like to curl at 9:45PM on a Saturday night?” is a real bubble buster to that new found curler. The nearest dedicated curling facility is Bismarck North Dakota a mere 700 mile drive to the north-east. Newly established facilities in Portland (1200 miles north-west) and Phoenix (800 miles south-west) are the nearest western dedicated curling neighbors. Members of Denver Curling recently transported 1300 lbs (2 sets) of stones 400 miles south to Santa Fe New Mexico for a Curling Open house at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center. The eagerness and interest was tremendous, so they are planning another open house in April with the aim of offering full time curling in September 2014.
With the completion of the first dedicated facility in Denver things will change as Denver Curling will continue existing programs as well as expanding instructional, recreational and competitive curling programs for youth, adult, senior, wheelchair and adaptive curlers at reasonable hours. The Denver Curling is eagerly looking forward to opening the doors the new Center and becoming a preferred curling destination for local and world class curlers.
With some unexpected permitting delays and increased costs the construction is now anticipated to be completed by late summer 2014.
Nov. 5, 2013 - Breaking ground on home for curling - OurColoradonews.com