Congratulations to the great folks over at Keene Ice on the start of their construction on Marlboro Street here in Keene! It’s been great going for morning runs over the past couple of months and watching the construction evolve. They’ve been posting some photos and comments over to their page on Facebook and it’s been fun to see.
People have asked me about whether we’d be able to have any curling at the new Keene Ice arena. Given the fact that there is an extremely heavy demand for ice time for hockey leagues, figure skating and other ice activities, especially in light of the fact that Cheshire Ice Arena (our one other ice arena in the area) will not open next year, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll be able to figure out a way to do much in the way of curling at the Keene Ice arena.
I wrote last year about the challenges of scheduling in getting a curling club going at an ice arena and that really remains the biggest challenge. I spoke with one of the Keene Ice folks earlier this year and the reality is that getting more than just a couple of hours at odd times is not likely to happen. I think it’s awesome for them that they have so much demand!
And, as someone who enjoys ice skating, I’m very much looking forward to skating at the new arena!
I wouldn’t rule out entirely doing something at the Keene Ice arena… even if it were just some demonstrations and “learn to curl” sessions at some point in time… but our focus continues to be on how we can identify a place for some dedicated curling ice that could let us grow the kind of curling club and curling community that we’d like to see.
If you’re interested, please do join with us and let us know your interested!
And if you get a chance to drive by the Keene Ice facility on Marlboro Street, do check it out – it’s great to see! Let’s make Keene a winter sports destination!
P.S. And yes, in addition to the scheduling, curling ice is also different from skating ice… although there are many ice arenas that work hard to get their ice closer to what you can get at a dedicated curling club.