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.
CONGRATULATIONS to the team at Keene Ice for the unanimous vote of the Keene City Council to proceed with executing the development and operations agreements between the City of Keene and the Keene Ice organization! This is a huge step forward and means that if the fund-raising all works out we should see a brand new ice arena here in Keene opening as soon as next September – awesome news for those of us who love winter sports!
I was there at the meeting and was delighted to hear Councilor Mitch Greenwald mention during his report about the previous week’s Finance Committee meeting something along the lines of:
“…there was even a guy there from a curling organization… that’s something even we could do [pointing to another councilor] given that we can’t skate…”
Curling is a sport that is accessible to all ages… young, old, and everywhere in between. And while you obviously may play better if you are in athletic condition, you certainly don’t need to be. I’ve played on teams with people of all ages and physical conditions. If you can’t bend your knees you can deliver rocks with a special stick. There are even leagues of wheelchair curlers. Pretty much anyone can play curling!
That’s why we want to bring a dedicated curling facility to the Keene region – to provide another winter sport option and to make Keene a true center for winter sports activity!
WILL YOU JOIN WITH US and help us spread the word about bringing curling to the Monadnock region?
P.S. And yes, we are talking to the Keene Ice folks because there does appear to be a place in their plans where they might be able to add a couple of sheets of curling ice! Stay tuned……..
Congratulations to Keene Ice! In a completely packed Keene City Council Chambers tonight (including out into the hallway), the Keene City Council finance and operations committee voted unanimously to approve the two agreements between the City of Keene and Keene Ice. The agreements now go to the full Keene City Council next Thursday for approval… but tonight was the big step to get this approval from the finance committee!
Congrats! We as a city are now that much closer to having a year-round ice rink right here in Keene.
And… in looking at the drawings… there seems to be this “open storage space” behind the bleachers that looks like it could be enough room to hold some curling sheets! A regulation curling sheet is about 150 feet long and 15-ish feet wide. I don’t know the scale of the drawings… but it looks like that storage space is maybe 40-ish feet wide by 200 feet long, so probably only enough room for 2 sheets. I know we said in our FAQ that we’re really looking for 3-4 sheets to be able to bring in the large bonspiels and a large number of members… BUT… that could be interesting! I think we need to follow up with Keene Ice and see what possibilities might exist there…