Curling business to open in Lakeville

Darcy Ellarby slides a stone on a sheet of ice toward a target. (Photo submitted)

Total Hockey moving to another Lakeville location

After operating in Burnsville for over a decade, Dakota Curling is moving to downtown Lakeville.

The curling training center will take over space currently occupied by Total Hockey this winter and expect to open in January 2017 said Darcy Ellarby, president of Dakota Curling, a non-profit organization.

Total Hockey will move to another undisclosed location in Lakeville in October and plans to open Nov. 1.

Dakota Curling’s new facility is planned to include six sheets of curling, a bar and restaurant with views of the action and an elevated mezzanine level for a birds-eye view for coaches and officials.

Ellarby said the Lakeville location is perfect for them.

“We’re particularly excited about going into downtown Lakeville,” Ellarby said, calling the area, near to quaint shops, new restaurants and craft beer businesses, “the ideal setting.”

“We’re really excited about the historical small-town feel, but yet it’s so close to rest of the Twin Cities,” Ellarby said. “We really feel we can be the anchor tenant in middle of downtown and bring lot more traffic and people into the area that will benefit downtown.”

Ellarby said they have about 150 members currently and expect to double membership in the first year.

Within five years, she said they are expecting 900 members.

Dakota Curling opened in 2006 when public interest in the sport grew after curling was included as an Olympic sport.

Ellarby, who lives in Burnsville near the Lakeville border, said the business was born when she and her husband wanted to try the sport but had to travel to Owatanna to play.

Dakota Curling offers a full range of leagues that range from beginner to recreational, competitive, senior and youth, will continue to operate at the Burnsville Ice Center at 251 Civic Center Parkway through the end of December.

Ellarby said curling is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and experience levels with varying athletic abilities.

She said it is a fun, social game people can play throughout all phases of life.

“People play and end up making a lot of friends,” she said.

The club specializes in teaching and developing new curlers, she said.

“We don’t require our members to buy equipment,” she said. “We have club equipment available for use.”

According to the release, St. Paul Curling Club was the only place to play in the Twin Cities until Dakota Curling opened in 2006.

The organization’s website states one of its main missions is to prepare members for national and international play and many of their teams travel to competitions and bonspiels around the world.

It has begun a winning record as the home club for the 2013 Arena Nationals Women’s Gold Champion team and the 2016 Arena Nationals Women’s Silver Champion team.

Dakota Curling holds open ice sessions for people to try curling and invites anyone who is interested to visit during scheduled league play to watch one of their games, which typically last about two hours.

Dakota Curling’s website says they plan to anticipate adding leagues for youth and junior curlers when they open in Lakeville.

According to Dakota Curling, it is the only dedicated curling club south of the river and the first in the Twin Cities to open and operate without municipal support.

“Our club is truly developed by curlers themselves and is built around a deep understanding of the traditions and culture of this unique sport,” the release said.

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