While some cities are considering canceling outdoor events, the Town of Dillon was determined to find a way to safely continue one of its iconic winter attractions: the Ice Castles.
“It’ll be nice for the family to get outside, and go down some slides, and go through some ice sculpture rooms while being safe,” said Anna Closser, Site Manager for Ice Castles.
For those living in counties under Colorado’s new Level Red, it can be hard to find ways to safely have fun. You can no longer dine inside at restaurants; all indoor events are closed as well.
Closser has worked for Ice Castles for six seasons, and this year especially, she believes that families could use the distraction.
“The ice castle just always brings a little joy to people when they come here and us providing joy is our main focus for this year,” she said.
CBS4 got a first-hand look at the progress on Friday, despite a spell of warm weather, construction was right on schedule.
“We are so excited to be here this year, we are excited to be building an ice castle even when it’s melting a little bit,” Closser laughed.
The building crew has been pumping out 10,000 icicles a day to stay on track. When the castle is complete, they will have made close to half a million icicles.
“These will be used for every part of the building, like the castle over there is made up entirely of icicles and then we spray water on them,” said Calista Marsh, a member of the building crew.
Alone, Marsh estimates she makes thousands of icicles a day, and says she never gets sick of it.
“This my second year, but my first year, when I walked in, like I knew nothing about building ice castles or anything. It’s hard to find people who have experience doing that kind of work beforehand,” she laughed.
While building the castle comes with its own unique challenges, the crew is used to them. They’re also adapting to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We’re used to flexible weather, so we’re used to being flexible around here and we’ll just be as flexible as possible with COVID as well,” said Closser.
Closser has had to make some adjustments to the event. Under the Level Red restrictions, everyone will have to wear a mask, there will be a one directional flow to keep people from bumping into each other, and there will be restrictions on how many people can be on site.
According to the state guidelines, under Level Red, outdoor events may operate under 25% of the posted occupancy limit, not to exceed 75 people, excluding staff, whichever is less. Those in attendance can only come with members of their own household and maintain 6 feet between others who are not members of their own household.
For the Dillon Ice Castles, that will likely mean 75 people at a time, but it will be built out over an acre, so there’s plenty of space to move around.
Closser said the castle will be ready to open toward the end of December.
This year she says there is a room that can be rented out for a marriage proposal or a private event with people from the same household. Guests can expect to see two adult slides, tunnels, sculpture rooms, a room with icicles, a light ceiling, a light wall and more.
Reservations can be made online only.