‘Summer Ice’ has hit the spot
Summer curling is really hitting the spot in North Vancouver.
For the first time in club history, the ice has remained in for the summer months at the North Shore Winter Club.
Liz Goldenberg, Director of Curling at the centre, said she wanted to give summer curling a test drive to see if there was a market.
The results have been very positive, with over 120 curlers purchasing a Summer Pass and participating in the leagues and open ice.
Summer Ice is particularly popular with juniors, who are experiencing a more relaxed side to curling in a less structured environment than the winter season.
“It’s fun that’s what it is,” said Liz. “It’s hot and it’s fun. That is often the component missing with our kids. Many of our young juniors tend to be very intense as they are high achievers. When they curl they transfer that into their game.
“The atmosphere is much more relaxed, there is opportunity to try difficult shots without the stress of having to succeed. This has been a great opportunity for our high performers to enjoy a different type of skill development, enjoy the social part of the game and, just maybe, take home some memories of their first experience with ‘Summer Ice’.”
Liz said the North Shore Winter Club was able to make the initiative work because of a number of factors. Keeping the ice in meant they didn’t have to pay the municipality to dump the melted ice into the sewer. It also means they won’t have to keep both of their compressors running to install the ice in August and there is no cost for paint or water consumption.
Liz expects the summer program will break even this year and will definitely be open for business next spring and summer.
“There’s definitely a market for a 12-month operation in the urban areas. The smaller clubs in less populated areas may find their curlers are not interested in a summer curling,” she said.
Liz added that curling centres need to adapt to people’s fast-paced lifestyles.
“In order to respond to our crazy, technological, fast-moving society, curling centres need to look at segmenting their seasons so the opportunity to curl is year-round.
“Golf clubs have had to change their business model. You can now go and play nine or even four holes at some muni courses. A lot of people don’t have time to play a full round of golf.
“It’s the same with curling. People don’t want to be committed from October to April,” she said.
Summer ice is one way to attract people who want to try the sport for a short period of time in a relaxed setting.
“We need to adapt to our market, we need to make sure our product stays in tune with the market.”
Liz welcomed curling centre managers who are interested in the idea of opening up their rinks in the summer to contact her for more information. Email ac.cwsnnull@zil or call 604.985.4135 Ext 270.