West metro curlers are gearing up for the opening of a curling center right in their backyard. The Chaska Curling Center will open to the public on Dec. 2 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. League slots are filling up fast for the city-owned facility, set to be open year-round to curlers ready to sweep the six sheets of ice.

But the center at 3210 Chaska Boulevard is more than a curling rink. The space will feature a Crooked Pint Ale House and a 300-seat event center. The $20 million project is part of an effort to renovate Firemen’s Park and draw more visitors to the city.

Tom Redman, director of Chaska Parks and Recreation, said 576 curlers have registered and about 25 weddings are already booked.

“We think it’s going to be good for the community and the businesses downtown,” Redman said.

Chaska’s rink and Blaine’s Four Seasons Curling Club will be the only two curling facilities open year round.

Mark Willmert, the Twin Cities Curling Association president, said the sport is rapidly growing.

“We are the only place in the U.S. with multiple clubs in a metro area,” he said. “We’ve been searching to get a club in the west metro for some time.”

Neil Marriott, 52, of Eden Prairie, said most of the west metro curlers travel to the St. Paul Curling Club to play.

The new center will make a much shorter trip, he said.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said.

Beatrice Dupuy