York Urbanist


This is the eighth segment in a series of creating a hypothetical and entrepreneurial approach to rebuilding the sport of curling in the fictional community of Aasvogel, Ontario. It follows from:


Negotiations with the golf course executive were initiated.  The golf course had land, catering, seasonal staff, existing parking and a corporate structure. The group of 18 has grown to 35 with word-of-mouth spreading the exciting news of a new curling facility.  The group’s sophistication led to the creation of an executive, made up of the accountant, Ian, Karl and Peter.  All of the executive look at this endeavor as not only their recreation but also a potential investment.  With no credible private curling club examples, they investigated other private recreation facilities. They all established qualitative and quantitative goals and objectives.

They had their vision statement:.

The Aasvogel Curling Centre will be a sustainable, privately operated, visible, year-round sport and recreation centre, which will focus on education and excellence in curling, while reaching out to complementary recreation activities in our diverse community.


MiramichiConstruction:  The new facility will have four components: six curling ice shed; 5000 sf lounge; 1000sf fitness facility; and change rooms.  Facilities shared with the golf club will include: parking; access; utilities; and kitchen.


Economic: The curling facility will be a financially self-sustaining component of a recreation complex of golf, curling and fitness.

Management: The existing executive will form the volunteer Board of Directors, selecting other board members based on their contributions to finance and operations.

imagesCAH4ZSWRMarketing:  The curling facility will be marketed to the existing curling community within 30 minutes’ drive as a state-of-the-art facility offering programs to advance curling skills. The non-curling public will be encouraged to take up the sport through Learn-to-Curl programs and recreation leagues. The golf membership will be enticed by invitations to invest and promotional first year memberships or facility use.

Program:  Regular programs will be offered as part of curling and fitness. Curling Leagues will differ from typical clubs in the GTA, offering flexibility and less ice time for those for whom it is recreation and more for those who desire advancement in the sport.

Human Resources: A manager will direct curling season operations and assist the golf club with off-season activities.  Maintenance staff will be in part provided by the golf club, and supported by seasonal staff as required. The icemaker will be contracted. 



  • design – 3 months,
  • construction – 14 months
  • The facility should open in 17 months.


  • Construction budget –  $3.2m,
  • Operating revenues: year 1 – $650,000; year 5 – $1,000,000
  • Profitability year 1 – breakeven; year 5 – 15% of revenues; year 10 – 25% of revenues
  • Shareholder stake – 2/3 of construction costs
  • Shareholders
    • Executive – $250,000 investment includes membership for 5 years, dividends 2.5% annually plus profit sharing, 5 voting shares and board position (8 shareholders)
    • Founders – $100,000 includes membership for 5 years, dividends 2.5% annually plus profit sharing, 2 voting shares and advisory position for program (10 shareholders)
    • Founding Initiation fees – $10,000 guarantees membership in facility activities, refundable after 10 years or upon departure thereafter (80 stakeholders).


  • 8-person board of directors plus the golf course owner
  • Paid manager of curling and fitness facilities
  • Program and Maintenance Advisory committee


  • To golfers
  • To curling community
  • To residential community within 20 minutes of facility
  • To corporate community within the municipality
  • Target 20-40 year old market


  • Leagues
  • Rentals
  • Instruction
  • Fitness
  • Special Events

Human Resources

  • Manager with experience in membership facilities
  • PT staff for program delivery and maintenance
  • Fitness Program coordinator

The Devil is in the (further) Details….