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Ariens Nordic Center proving to be a game-changer for Wisconsin cross-country skiing

Posted at 5:00 PM, Jan 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-28 18:00:23-05

BRILLION (NBC 26) — Despite only being open for about a month, Ariens Nordic Center in Brillion is already having a big impact on Wisconsin cross-country skiing.

The facility has opened to a fast start and rave reviews from skiers like Dietrich Mattison, who called it "by far the nicest course I've raced in Wisconsin."

This weekend marked a key milestone in the short history of the center, as it welcomed the Central Cross Country Skiing Junior and Youth Cup, which general manager Sean Becker called the "first big event," Ariens has hosted.

“This opportunity came up for us to be able to help put this event on because the location they were gonna have it in Traverse City, Michigan had no snow," he said.

Becker explained that Ariens's ability to make artificial snow allowed it to step in and host. He said people were excited to pitch in and help make the event possible.

“Volunteers came out of the woodwork," he said. "They just said, ‘we want to be involved in this very first large scale event’ and the thing they kept saying is ‘this is gonna be epic, so we want to be a part of it.'"

According to Becker, Ariens is one of only four nordic centers with snow-making capabilities in the state, a fact Grant Rocheleau, the third place finisher of the Skate 10k, said makes the facility a game-changer for cross country skiing in the region.

“I don’t know what we would have done without this place," he said. "With the lack of snow we’ve been having this year, it’s so hard to get good quality training. With this facility it makes it so much easier.”

Ariens will host one final day of competition Sunday, but will remain open to the public throughout the winter.