A short trip down the stairs into the former curling lobby told the rest of the story.
Where there was once a cement floor in the summer and 14 sheets of curling ice in the winter now stands a gleaming, brand-new multi-sport wooden floor, lined for sports ranging from basketball to pickleball and everything in between.
There was still some work to be done in advance of the official opening in just over 24 hours time, but make no mistake: Golden Ticket Sports was ready to go.
“We had a really good team, that’s how we got ‘er done at the rate we did and how it all looks, you can’t get that done without good people,” Golden Ticket co-owner Tanner Brightman said during the special preview on Friday. “But now I’m just eager to get people in here, I think it’ll be exciting to see people’s reaction to what we have here.”
The public will be able to get their first look a the refurbished facility on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. — just bring shoes, a basketball and a non-perishable food item for the Moose Jaw & District Food Bank and you’re good to go.
“It’ll be open to everybody to shoot around and play for a bit, check out the facility and hopefully get a lot of donations for the food bank,” Brightman said. “We’ll be able to sell some memberships, too, if folks are interested in that, but we really just want people in the space to check it out.”
The opening will mark the completion of Phase One of the project, with Phase Two seeing the installation of indoor beach volleyball courts at the back of the facility, and Phase Three covering ancillary items like a weight-training facility, bleachers and upgrades to the air-conditioning system.
That’ll all be work for the future, though. In the meantime, it’s right to business. The first Golden Ticket basketball camp will take place beginning Monday, July 19, and the facility will be busy right through the first week of August.
Word is already getting out, too, with inquiries coming from all angles about renting the facility.
“The challenge for us is to manage it all since everyone wants the same amount of time,” Brightman said. “People have been awesome reaching out and letting us know and as we kind of get up and rolling here we’ll circle back and fill up the calendar.”
It’s all as positive a development as possible for the building, which not too long ago was facing questions as to whether or not it would face demolition.
City of Moose Jaw recreation services manager Scott Osmachenko was one of those on hand Friday to check things out, and like everyone, was impressed with what he saw.
“It’s wonderful, just the smell of fresh paint, it seems like it’s brand new and then there’s the hardwood floor and all the finishing… it’s impressive,” he said. “You walk in the building and it’s still like the curling club, but it’s not. It just seems bigger with the glass and the lights and how everything is set up. The sporting needs of the community are definitely being met with this facility.”