It looks like one of the most exciting suburbs in America is about to get its very own curling rink. Since November 2013, the Coyotes Curling Club has been enlisting the help of its members and other curling enthusiasts to construct a 30,000-square-foot facility dedicated solely to the winter sport.
While previously set deadlines have come and gone, the club's vice president, Darryl Horsman, feels confident in the project's newest estimated finish date of Saturday, February 22.
With only a week to go before laying down the ice, Horsman talked with Jackalope Ranch about the project's beginnings and what the club has planned when the rink is finished. Being a native of Canada, Horsman learned the sport of curling long before coming to Arizona. "In Canada, you have a choice to be hockey player or curler, and I wasn't that good on skates, so I picked up a broom," Horsman says.
Not long after moving to the Southwest, Horseman found out he wasn't alone in his love of the sport, and by 2003, the Coyotes Curling Club was formed. In the past decade, the club has collectively taught more than 4,000 people how to curl, but it hasn't exactly been easy.
Leading up to the construction of this curling rink at 2202 West Medtronic Way in Tempe, Horsman and his club have taught and competed at the Ice Den, a facility dominated by sports like hockey and figure skating, leaving the curlers little time and space to work with: one day a week for two hours.
And not all ice rinks are created equal. "[Ice Den] is good for hockey, but for curling you need really flat, smooth ice. And as soon as we get this [Tempe curling rink] built, we're going to be a mecca for curlers in the southwest United States"
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Although the soft opening is currently set for February 22, tentatively followed by a grand opening the week after, Horseman says that interested locals are welcome to stop by and see the club's work in action.
"We're open to the public. So if people are interested, they can come down and check out our progress and see how we're coming along, see the vision. We've got a lot of artist renderings . . . It's actually a pretty neat process to see a curling rink being built. A lot people just look at the Olympics or a tournament and go, 'Oh, it's cool,' they don't realize all the science behind it."