|Potential Economic Impact of Hosting National Curling Events
The Austin Curling Center @ Sunset Valley
The Austin Curling Center (ACC) is in the permitting stages for a state of the art curling facility
on Brodie Lane at Sunset Valley.
- The highlights of the facility include:
- An Olympic quality dedicated-ice curling facility
- A bar and restaurant to serve patrons during recreational events
- An environmentally friendly facility with solar power and rainwater harvesting.
Curling is an Olympic sport which has grown rapidly in popularity. Curling in the U.S. exists at over 165
clubs in 40 states. There are three curling clubs in Texas alone.
The requested variance will allow for a four sheet dedicated-ice facility. This facility will qualify to host any
of 8 annual National Championships. USA Curling states that the ACC facility is, “the only dedicated ice
facility in a temperate climate … will likely be a sought after venue”.
Jeannie Borland, the VP of Senior Woman’s Nationals has stated, “Senior ladies love to shop, attend
special events and sight-see, and have money to spend. We would all be excited to travel to Texas for
curling.” This is a case of build-it and they will come!
Any of these 8 national events may generate up to $1 million and 1000 hotel nights for the region’s
economy. The only other new dedicated-ice facility built in the last 30 years - Potomac, MD, hosted most of
these national events within the first few years.
We are certain that this facility will have positive economic impacts to local businesses. It will also make
Sunset Valley a curling destination for both domestic and international travelers.
Design by davidbowersdesign.com
|The Austin Curling Center would like to welcome Kim Nawyn from USA Curling
to Austin and Sunset Valley.
We appreciate the support of USA Curling.
Kim will speak on our behalf at the
November 27th, 6pm meeting of the Sunset Valley City Council.
Her statement is below.
We are asking Sunset Valley for a variance from the 18% maximum impervious cover.
The request for ~22% will allow us to build a 4th sheet.
This sheet will qualify us to host Nationals and Olympic Trials.
Come on out and show your support!
|Austin Curling Center LLC
Growth & Development Manager
5525 Clem's Way, Stevens Point, WI 54482
November 19, 2012
TO: Sunset Valley Council
FROM: Kim Nawyn, Growth & Development Manager, USA Curling
cc: Dennis and Anita Dunn, Austin Curling Center
Rick Patzke, Chief Operating Officer, USA Curling
James Pleasants, President, United States Curling Association
RE: Potential Impact of Hosting Curling Events
Prior to the reinstatement of curling as an Olympic sport in 1998, curling had been a niche sport in
the United States confined primarily to the Midwest and Northeast. Due to nationwide exposure
through Olympic television coverage, curling has been expanding rapidly. In the past 10 years, the
number of curlers registered with the United States Curling Association (d.b.a., USA Curling) has
increased by 60%. USA Curling now has 165 member clubs in 40 states. Efforts to build dedicated
ice facilities are also on the rise. Between October and December 2012, four new dedicated ice
facilities featuring 22 sheets of curling ice will be opening around the country to help meet the
growing demand for the sport.
One important aspect of the sport is traveling to bonspiels and other events outside of the curler’s
home club. Bonspiels are multiple day tournaments of various sizes that can draw teams from
around the nation. In some cases, international teams also attend these events. Successful
bonspiels can be scheduled any time of the year. For example, the Pittsburgh Curling Club, in
Pittsburgh, Penn., has been hosting an annual bonspiel over the July 4th weekend for nearly ten
years. The 48 team event, with a waiting list each year, attracts curlers from as far away as Alaska
and Canada. Due to the timing of the event, teams often bring friends and family to vacation in
Pennsylvania and celebrate the holiday. With 192 competitors, more than 280 hotel nights are
typically generated for local establishments, with curlers dining at restaurants throughout the city
and enjoying local attractions. While bonspiels vary in size, the Hibbing Curling Club in Hibbing,
Minn., holds the largest bonspiel in the United States each year by partnering with other facilities
to host 128 teams. The local economy sees a boost with over 500 competitors lodging, dining, and
shopping in local establishments.
In addition to bonspiels hosted by curling clubs, the United States Women’s Curling Association
(USWCA) hosts several annual events attracting curlers from throughout the country. According
to past president, Starr Pfiffner of Illinois, the USWCA’s National Bonspiel, a 32 team event,
“requires a 4 sheet facility at minimum.” The 32 teams typically generate over 240 hotel nights in
local establishments over the four day event. In addition, a banquet is held for all 128 participants
and guests at a local hotel or restaurant. Teams typically dine in local restaurants during the
remaining days of competition. Car rentals, taxi rides, banquet entertainment, raffle prizes,
decorations, and other purchases for the event also benefit local businesses. A popular USWCA
Senior Women’s event is also held each year with a limit of 24 teams. USWCA 2nd Vice President
Jeannie Borland noted, “Senior ladies love to shop, attend special events and sight-see, and have
the money to spend.” Ms. Borland noted, “We would all be excited to travel to Texas for curling.”
USA Curling sponsors a number of national events that a four-sheet curling club would be eligible
to host. These include the following:
Senior Women’s Nationals
Senior Men’s Nationals
Mixed Doubles Nationals
Women’s Challenge (leads to Women’s Nationals)
Men’s Challenge (leads to Men’s Nationals)
U.S. Olympic Team Trials (once every four years)
U.S. Paralympic Team Trials (once every four years)
Winter Youth Olympic Games Team Selection (once every four years)
The annual events listed above range from four to nine days with suggested hotel room blocks
from around 20 to 100 rooms a night depending on the event. As each of these events draws
curlers from the continental United States and often Alaska, participants typically fly to the host
site. They depend on local businesses for meals, transportation, and other necessities, as well as
for souvenirs and sight- seeing. These events also attract attention of media both in the event
location and the hometowns of the competitors. This includes television, radio, and newspaper
coverage. Well publicized events typically sell out with local spectators. When awarding
championships to curling clubs, the USCA Championship Committee considers a number of
issues including proximity to a major airport. With the added benefit of a temperate climate during
the winter months in Sunset Valley, the Austin Curling Center will likely be a sought after venue for
national events in the very near future. According to USCA Vice President of Championships, Sam
Williams, “As far as hosting USCA championships is concerned, the difference between 3 sheets
and 4 sheets is huge. If [the Austin Curling Center] is interested in hosting USCA championships,
which is very forward-looking of them, they should try hard for 4 sheets.” A three-sheet facility
would be limited to hosting the Senior Women’s Nationals and Women’s Challenge events.
The only national events sponsored by USA Curling that a four-sheet facility would not be eligible
to host would be the Men’s and Women’s Nationals and the Arena Curling Club National
Championship, as both events are held in small arena settings. While USA Curling does not
typically track the economic impact of our national events, one of our partners for the 2012 Curling
Nationals held in Philadelphia generated a “Medial Wrap Up Report” following the event. The
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau noted, “The event generated more than 62 articles and
broadcasts from more than 29 different media outlets, resulting in a potential viewership of more
than 134,156,000 and an earned media value of more than $1.2 million. The stories were featured
on television, newspapers, magazines and online.” National coverage of the event was seen as far
away as Alaska, with international coverage reaching India and Canada. There were 37,867 total
visits to the 2012 USA Curling Nationals host website during the event and over 200,000 unique
visits to the live web stream coverage through the 12th End Sports Network. According to the
January 27, 2012 edition of the Philadelphia Business Journal, “The eight-day championship
tournament [was] expected to generate $1.5 million, and 1,500 hotel room nights, for the region’s