Ariens Nordic Center delays grand opening due to weather

Oh, the irony
Members of Team USA Biathlon help to christen the rifle range at Ariens Nordic Center.
Members of Team USA Biathlon help to christen the rifle range at Ariens Nordic Center.(WBAY)
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 3:18 PM CST
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BRILLION, Wis. (WBAY) - A world-class recreational site for Nordic skiing and winter activities near Brillion is pushing back its grand opening this week because of the threat of uncooperative winter weather. The forecast calls for a mix including rain, light snow, and brisk winds.

Ariens Nordic Center, 1111 Round Lake Rd., moved the festivities to January 13-15, instead.

It will offer free skiing all weekend, kid-friendly and family activities, outdoor firepits, igloos, an ice bar, and a fireworks show Saturday at 5 p.m. Bring your own gear. Equipment rentals won’t be available during the grand opening weekend.

There are also Nordic ski manufacturer demonstrations and you can dress for the weather in the Ariens Nordic Center apparel shop.

Ariens Nordic Center was developed over the past year to provide Olympic training for the USA biathlon team, including a 20-point target system. It also offers year-round facilities with lighted trails for cross-country skiing and a paved loop for roller-skiing.


BRILLION, Wis. (WBAY) - World-class athletes will soon be heading to Northeast Wisconsin to train. Ariens is preparing to open its Nordic Center, just outside of Brillion, before the end of the year.

Ariens Nordic Center sits on 200 acres of property. Among the rolling hills are miles of paved trails and a 20-point biathlon range. Biathlon is a sport, popular in Europe, that consists of cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship.

A sponsor of the USA biathlon team, Ariens wanted to build this facility for those athletes as well as those just learning about the sport. According to chairman/CEO Dan Ariens, “This is a unique, one-of-a-kind Olympic, world-class biathlon facility, made for all ages and all kinds of people whether just learning the sport or professional athletes that are trying to improve their game.”

Members of Team USA were on hand Friday as Ariens christened the biathlon range.

“Seeing this facility in my backyard, only 40 minutes away from my house in Pulaski, is just a dream come true. I’m already excited to come train here next week while I’m home. And so I think it’s just an amazing experience and opportunity to have for all the local athletes in the community that maybe are aspiring to become professional skiers or professional biathletes or even runners -- just coming out here and having this facility is going to be really amazing,” says Deedra Irwin, a Team USA biathlete.

Deedra Irwin and Paul Schommer are Northeast Wisconsin natives and Team USA biathletes. The two know what a facility like this could mean for their sport. While both athletes had to travel outside of the region to train before, having a world-class Nordic center, like this, in Northeast Wisconsin will not only mean great things for the community but for future Olympic hopefuls too.

Schommer adds, “See a lot of great skiers coming out of Northeast Wisconsin because they now have a place where they can, one, get introduced to the sport and then also train at a high level and hopefully go do great things on the national and international level.”

While the Ariens Nordic Center was officially christened Friday, its trails and range won’t open to the public until later this year.

U.S. Olympians were able to try out the new range before it opens