Brillion, Wis. (January 25, 2022) Ariens Company has broken ground on a new venture, Ariens Nordic Center.
The center will be located adjacent to Round Lake Farms on 200 acres at the outskirts of Brillion. It will include a year-round trail network for recreation, training and competition for cross-country skiing, biathlon, roller-skiing, running, hiking, and more. The facility will be open to the public and include lighting, snowmaking, a paved roller-ski loop for off-season training, a pond for snowmaking purposes and a 20-point biathlon range.
"We are committed to creating new reasons to visit and spend time in Brillion,” shared AriensCo Chairman and CEO Dan Ariens. “Brillion has been our home since 1893 and has supported us through the years. We are excited to bring this type of facility to Northeast Wisconsin.
The inspiration for creating a Nordic center is the Ariens sponsorship of the United States Biathlon Team. After experiencing world-class facilities in Europe and the U.S., the idea was born to bring a facility here.
"Biathlon is an exciting sport and is wildly popular in Europe with recent growth in the U.S.,” said Ariens. “Add that to cross-country skiing’s popularity, which is a time-treasured activity here in Wisconsin, and we think this will be an attractive site. Both sports are great ways to enjoy the outdoors and stay active during the winter."
The Nordic community is already buzzing about the facility which will be equipped with a 3K roller-ski loop, 20-point biathlon range and the most advanced snowmaking system for Nordic skiing. While built on a smaller scale, the biathlon and skiing facilities compare to the likes of centers in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah, both of which were sites for the Winter Olympics.
"One of the keys to any sport is local community engagement,” said U.S. Biathlon President and CEO Max Cobb. "Ariens has been a great global partner for our team and our sport, and it is wonderful to see the company investing in their community with a sport that is so popular in that region of the country."
The facility will be world class, and I’m sure the two Wisconsin natives on the 2022 Olympic biathlon team, Paul Schommer from Appleton, and Deedra Irwin from Pulaski, are bound to inspire the next generation of Olympic hopefuls who will follow their dreams at Ariens Nordic Center.
Ariens has recruited help from top experts including two-time Olympian John Morton of Morton Trails, Thetford Center, Vt. Morton is one of the top designers of Nordic facilities in the world.
"We've had the good fortune over the past three decades to have designed recreational trails and competition venues throughout the U.S. and in several foreign countries,” said Morton. "The Ariens Nordic Center will be one of the more enjoyable. Although the available terrain lacked the major climb found on courses in more mountainous regions, the total climb is consistent with the best competition venues in the world."
Because the land is predominantly open, this will be a wonderful site for spectators, who will be able to watch the athletes for much of a competition. The commitment to snow-making, lights and a paved roller-skiing loop will ensure that the facility will be in constant use by dedicated athletes and outdoor enthusiasts year-round.
Many Nordic experts are right here in Wisconsin including the American Birkiebeiner’s Executive Director Ben Popp. The “Birkie” is North America’s largest cross-country ski marathon. Held in the Hayward, Wis. area, it attracts competitors from 49 states and 27 countries. Popp and team have been valuable advisors in the process of developing the Ariens Nordic Center.
“It’s very exciting to see the investment Ariens is making in the sport, the lifestyle,” said Popp. “Having a venue like this in Wisconsin will not only facilitate international competitions of the highest level, but enable the greater community and the next generation of kids opportunities to engage in a lifelong sport and a healthy active lifestyle”
Local partnerships have also helped bring Ariens Nordic Center to this point. Officials in the City of Brillion helped navigate requirements and ensure the center would benefit the community.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunities that Ariens Nordic Center can bring to Brillion,” said City of Brillion Mayor Mike Smith. “As a city, we pride ourselves on being a great place to live, work, learn, and play. The Nordic Center will make a great addition to that culture as well as increasing traffic to local business not to mention the value it adds for families considering relocating and looking for small town values and great recreational opportunities. As a father to a young family, I am eager to add the Nordic Center to our list of destinations."
The center will be open year-round for everyone to enjoy.
“This is more than a Nordic facility,” said Monica Ariens, project lead and managing director of AriensCo Hospitality. “Families will be able to use the trails together throughout all seasons. Local cross-country running and skiing teams can train or host a meet. We are hoping this will draw all ages to enjoy the outdoors both recreationally and through competitive events we plan to host.”
Construction kicked off in November with the help of McMahon, Neenah, Wis., Fox Cities Builders, Seymour, Wis., HKD Snowmakers, Natick, Mass., Holschbach Excavating, Manitowoc, Wis., KS Energy Services, Denmark, Wis., Saiki Design, Madison, Wis., and Sargent Electric Company, DePere, Wis.
Ariens Nordic Center is also recruiting for a general manager in preparation for its grand opening in December of 2022. Visit ariensnordic.com for more information.
Based in Brillion, Wisconsin, AriensCo is a privately-owned manufacturer of outdoor power equipment for both consumer and commercial markets. Established in 1933, the company manufactures equipment under the Ariens®, Gravely®, RapidCare, Countax®, Westwood® and AS-Motor® brand names. Visit AriensCo.com for more information.