CHASKA, Minn – When you think of curling venues in the Twin Cities, only a few spots come to mind. Places like Blaine, St. Paul, Burnsville.
‘We looked and there was absolutely nothing on the southwest side,” says Chaska Mayor Mark Windschitl.
Which was the idea behind the Chaska Curling Center. It opened in November, despite some friction with the original idea.
“There were definitely challenges,” said Windschitl. “And I still think some people feel that way.”
The area has embraced the sport, which has a mass appeal.
“Anybody can do it,” says Andrew Wolf of Shakopee. “It's not guy specific it's not girl specific. It's not young or old. Anyone can do it.”
The majority of members at the Chaska Curling Club are novices. Which made having an experience club manager that much more important. And you can't get much more experienced than a two-time Olympian like Jeff Isaacson.
“I live it every day,” says Isaacson. “It's great. I am not competing as much and I am focusing on educating new people.”
Chaska is anticipated 150 memberships the first year. In the first three months, they passed the 900 mark.
“Never in our wildest dreams did we think we'd see this kind of activity here,” says Windschitl.
“People see it on TV,” says Isaacson. “And it looks like something that they can do and that they can relate to.”
Which they certainly have in Chaska. Where the only thing growing faster than curling memberships, are dreams of where the sport can take them.
“That’s right I am gunning for it,” says Wolf. “First the university of Minnesota curling club. Then Olympics is next.”