New Ariens Nordic Center
by Tom Kelly
The family-owned Wisconsin company Ariens is known worldwide as the King of Snow for its reliable, hard-working snow blowers. After an introduction to biathlon at Ruhpolding, President Dan Ariens was hooked! The U.S. Biathlon sponsor has gone all in on the sport, not only supporting the team but in building the new Ariens Nordic Center in its home of Brillion, Wis. Heartbeat is joined by Managing Director Monica Ariens and Nordic Center General Manager Sean Becker for an insightful look at the new facility in eastern Wisconsin.
The Ariens Nordic Center is located adjacent to Round Lake Farms on 200 acres at the outskirts of Brillion. It includes a year-round trail network for recreation, training and competition for cross country skiing, biathlon, roller skiing, running, hiking, and more. The facility, which opened for the 2022-23 season, is open to the public and includes lighting, snowmaking, a paved roller-ski loop for off-season training, a pond for snowmaking and a 20-point biathlon range.
The project was several years in the making under former U.S. Biathlon President Max Cobb, with trail design by John Morton. “I’ve designed 12 of these kinds of venues around the world,” said Morton, Owner, Morton Trails. “But I think this facility is going to have the most significant positive impact on the community and the region of any of the projects I’ve done.”
The new Ariens Nordic Center has really caught the attention of U.S. Biathlon stars Deedra Irwin and Paul Schommer, both of whom grew up just a short distance away and have visited the facility for groundbreakings and grand openings.
“It takes a lot of people to help build a dream like this,” said Irwin. “I hope to show people you can come from a small farm community in the middle of nowhere and you can make it onto the world stage and live your dreams as a professional athlete or whatever those dreams may be. This venue is going to be really amazing for the nordic teams from one hour, two hours, even three hours away. You’ll see the U.S. Biathlon Team here a lot too. I’m excited to show our team where we came from. We’ll show them our beautiful cows.”
“To see the Ariens family producing and creating this type of venue that will not only introduce kids to the sports of biathlon and cross-country skiing but who will also have the opportunity to train here at a very high level, it’s exciting," said Schommer. "I’m hopeful we’re going to see more Olympians coming out of this part of the country.”
Click for more information on the Ariens Nordic Center.