The first stand-alone curling facility in Missouri could be operating by the end of the year. Members of the St. Louis Curling Club have made an offer on property at the St. Louis Mills outlet mall. They are also having preliminary discussions with the city of Hazelwood about a possible tax abatement.
The non-profit has been raising money for the facility, which could cost as much as $1.2 million.
"The tax abatement that we're requesting would be largely dependent on the sale price that we reach and also the square-footage," club spokesman Barry Klein told St. Louis Public Radio. He also stressed that negotiations are in the preliminary stage. A discussion with Hazelwood officials was set for Monday afternoon.
Talks are also underway for the property that could be home to the curling club by early October.
"That is ambitious," Klein admitted.
"We certainly wouldn't be starting from scratch at planning to start a new facility on new ground in that kind of time frame. But, with a retro-fit we think it's possible."
The club currently uses the hockey rink at Creve Coeur Ice Arena. But members are very limited on ice time and they have to essentially convert the surface into curling rinks every time they play.
A dedicated facility would eliminate those issues and could increase membership from about 60 to possibly around 400, according to Klein.
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