Inspired by the Olympics? Here’s How to Get Into Curling.

Inspired by the Olympics? Here’s How to Get Into Curling.

Except for bonspiel regulars, curling seems only to break into popular consciousness once every four years, with the arrival of the Winter Olympic Games. This year, the sport that resembles shuffleboard on ice has popped up at a broad array of venues, from urban rooftop bars to remote frozen lakes, giving laypeople a last wintertime chance to hurl the stones through March. Here’s how to get on the ice.

Brews and Brooms

In Jackson Hole, Wyo., Snake River Brewing installed a curling sheet in its slopes-facing front yard this winter. The microbrewery’s director of operations, Chris Erickson, built the 24-foot-long ice sheet by hand and even shaped the stones that patrons can push down the alley (in one direction only; the sheet isn’t long enough for two targets or “houses” as they are called). Patrons can play for free.

Head North

A number of resorts in northern climes also offer curling, including the American Club Resort in Kohler, Wis., about 60 miles north of Milwaukee. The resort has a curling rink in its courtyard, available to groups by reservation but free to guests on Friday and Saturday afternoons.

In Quebec, the Fairmont Le Château Montebello is offering a “Go Canada Package” to get guests into the Olympic spirit, with rooms from 150 Canadian dollars (about $115) and access to its curling sheet as well as its ice skating rink and cross-country ski trails.

Curling, Cocktails, and Synthetic Ice

Among the more unique locales for curling is the rooftop bar at the Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Chicago. The ice is synthetic, the rink is seven feet shorter than regulation sheets and the stones have ball bearings on the bottom to help them glide, but the facsimile has transformed the fifth-floor terrace into an outdoor attraction in an unlikely season (admission is $25 a person, including 30 minutes of curling time and a cocktail; smaller stones are available for children).

“Our winters can be dreary and there isn’t always a lot to do,” said Marcus Cornelious, the director of sales and marketing for the Gwen. “With a cocktail, everyone seems to want to try their hand at curling.”

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