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Intensify Your Winter with the Luge

// By Patrick Nothaft

MUSKEGON WINTER SPORTS COMPLEX 462 Scenic Dr., North Muskegon, (877) 879-5843

“Learn to Luge” Schedule Friday: 6:30 - 9 p.m.

Saturday: Session 1: 9:30 a.m. – noon Session 2: 12:30 – 3 p.m. Session 3: 3:30 – 6 p.m. Session 4: 6:15 – 8:45 p.m.

Sunday Session 1: 9:30 a.m. – noon Session 2: 12:30 – 3 p.m. Session 3: 3:30 – 6 p.m.

necessary for snowboarding and skiing, get acquainted with the sled’s more extreme cousin – the luge. Luge involves zipping down a hill


with a thin fiberglass platform and two steel blades between your back and an unforgiving ice trough. If that sounds dangerous, that’s because it is, especially when its maximum speed (world record, 96 mph) can outpace freeway traffic. Adopted as an Olympic sport

in 1964, luge has attracted spectators through the drama created by a lightly padded athlete laying on an uncovered sled traveling at breakneck speeds. Fortunately, luge enthusiasts in

West Michigan can get their fix before the 2014 winter games. The Muskegon Winter Sports

Complex, located inside Muskegon State Park, has been operating its 650- foot luge track since 1985, and with

f you want to enjoy the unparal- leled thrills of winter sports, but lack the balance and coordination

an average rider speed of 30 mph, it is considered to be one of the most publicly accessible courses in the country. “The luge is awesome,” said

MWSC Lodge Manager Pam King. “It’s a thrill that you can’t even imag- ine. It gets less frightening each time because you feel more comfortable on the sled, and you relax more.” The MWSC’s “Learn to Luge”

clinics last two-and-a-half hours and cost $40. During the first 15 minutes of each clinic, instructors fit the lugers for pads and teach them how to steer the sleds. The rest of the clinic is spent sliding down the track and working on technique. “Luge is one of those sports where

it’s going to take us about 15 minutes to teach you the basics of the sport, but then it takes you a lifetime to perfect the sport of luge,” King said. “Learn to Luge” clinics are of-

fered once on Fridays, four times on Saturdays and three times on Sundays.

To enroll in the clinic, a luger needs to show proof of health insurance. The MWCS is open from 10 a.m.

to 10 p.m. Sunday-Saturday, weather permitting. Check out its website,, for current weather con-

Luge lessons at Muskegon Winter Sports Complex

ditions and more information on the luge and other activities offered, includ- ing ice hockey, cross country skiing and a quarter-mile ice skating trail. n

Party in the Arctic By Tyler DeJong

KALAMAZOO ARCTIC SQUARE Thurs.-Sat.: 9 p.m.–2 a.m

139 South Edwards St., Kalamazoo

F urry boot girls, gather

‘round. Liberate those well-manicured fingers

from their cute mitten sheathes and wrap them around a classy cocktail at the coolest chill spot in West Michigan this winter. Designer leather is completely safe when tromping those Eskimo soles around the 50-foot igloo at Arctic Square. Part indoor lounge, part outdoor winter attraction, Arctic Square’s inflatable igloo is the epitome of sensory confusion. Fire pits radiating heat and modern sofa loungers provide the warm comfort of a familiar martini bar. Let tranquil blue and purple lights wash the room’s icy, cubist décor in a calming freeze. Let your senses be teased by the ambiance early on, then numb them down with a cocktail or two, and finally lose them on the dance floor when the DJ starts.


Heat Things Up at Hot Tub Gardens By Elijah Brumback M

any people dream of a fabulous, Robin Leach style winter vacation, but life isn’t just all hot tubs and

Jay-Z music videos – oh wait it is. Live those dreams, right here, in exotic

and beautiful Grand Rapids at Oasis Hot Tub Gardens located just west of US 131 on Alpine Drive, before Six Mile Road. Here you can find yourself whisked away

to the rainforests of Borneo, the seaside cliffs of Santorini or the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, all while enjoying the strict water purity standards monitored and regulated by the State and County Health Departments. Now, everyone knows hot tubs are notori-

ous for being wormholes to the past (á la Hot Tub Time Machine), however the people at Oasis were unavailable to comment on this. Still, preventa- tive measures for such common mishaps means

there is a strict no-boozing policy – honestly, do not take this for granted, the universe is cray-cray. Anyway, rates on a good soak for two are

$25 for one hour, $37.50 for one-and-a-half hours and $50 for two hours. Prices are increased Thursday through Sunday and group rates are available. Reservations are suggested. Visit the website for more details at


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