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University of Minnesota Extension

The Range Recreation Civic Center: Understanding visitors and measuring its economic and social value

A curling stone pushed on the ice during a game between two teams.

Key findings

  • In 2017, the Range Recreation Civic Center (RRCC) supported an estimated total of $2.4 million in economic activity in St. Louis County.
  • Ninety-seven percent of Curl Mesabi members were satisfied with the venue.
  • For every dollar invested by the RRCC, $7.80 was generated in the county.
  • Hosted fundraisers reported average revenues of $13,600, most of which was donated.
  • Between 2001-2017, major events at the RRCC have generated more than $2.6 million in economic activity.

About this report

The Range Recreation Civic Center (RRCC), located in Eveleth, Minnesota, is a multi-million dollar curling arena and event center. It is also home to the Curl Mesabi Curling Club. Opened in 1998, the RRCC and Curl Mesabi are noteworthy examples of inter-community cooperation between the Quad Cities of Eveleth, Gilbert, Mountain Iron, and Virginia. The RRCC was built through a Joint Powers Agreement, and Curl Mesabi was formed through the equally unprecedented merger of three small curling clubs in Eveleth, Gilbert and Virginia.

In 2017, there were 318 members of Curl Mesabi, many actively volunteering to run the club and facility. In addition, there were 70 youth members. Six months of the year the RRCC is a world-class, eight-sheet curling arena, and the other six months an event center and banquet facility.

Both Curl Mesabi and local stakeholders wanted to understand the role of the RRCC and curling club in the region. The study’s primary goal was to measure the economic and social value associated with the RRCC. To reach this goal, Extension surveyed bonspiel (curling tournament) attendees, Curl Mesabi members, and event center users. 

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Authors: Xinyi Qian, Extension tourism specialist; Brigid Tuck, Extension senior economic impact analyst; and with assistance from John Bennett, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2019

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