MIDWAY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Midway Ice Castles are one of Utah’s popular winter attractions. They take months to build and have a daily maintenance list longer than their biggest icicle.
Ice artisans have been battling above-average temperatures this winter, but despite the mild season, organizers are busy getting the attraction ready for it’s opening on January 10th.
The acre-sized Ice Castles are filled with interactive experiences featuring frozen tunnels, fountains, slides, and cascading towers of ice embedded with color-changing LED lights.
Brent Christensen, Ice Castles Founder and Designer says forming preparations for the castles start in October with a hopeful opening in early January.
Christensen says the preparation and forming of the castles is a lengthy process but says it’s nothing compared to the daily maintenance done on the castles.
When the castles open to the public, Christensen says the crew switches over into “high-maintenance mode.”
“It would be nice if we could just kick back and relax, but every day, every morning, we’re here with pics and shovels, rakes and tillers,’ Christensen says.
He says each night the surface of the ground ices over and has to be reformed each day. He says the floor around the castles is anywhere from three to five feet off the ground and has to be re-tilled each day.
“As far as maintenance, the hardest thing just due to the sheer amount of labor that it takes is keeping the floor maintained,” he adds.
Crews work all day to prep the castles for the evening opening. They trim overhead areas, make sure there aren’t any iced over walking spots, and smooth edges and slick surfaces to ensure safety.
“Even more importantly than having just a beautiful ice castle is having a safe experience. Because it doesn’t matter how beautiful it is if it’s not safe,” Christensen says.
This is the ninth season the Utah-based company has created its icy experience in Midway. Christensen encourages guests to set reality aside when they tour the castles and just enjoy the icy haven.
“Once you come in, you kind of experience a little bit of a transportive experience where you’re no longer in Utah. Maybe you’re in Narnia or maybe you’re on some strange ice planet because we like it to be very immersive.”
To learn more about the Midway Ice Castles and ticket information click here.
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