CRIPPLE CREEK — The popular ice castles you may have seen on display in Dillon Colorado are coming to Cripple Creek.
The town of Cripple Creek and the company Ice Castles, based out of Utah, announced on Tuesday.
Many people are visiting Teller County this time of year to see the leaves changing, but this winter the main attraction for visitors will be the ice castles. The castles will be built on an open area in downtown Cripple Creek.
Jeff Mosher is the Special Project Director for the town of Cripple Creek. Mosher said Cripple Creek has had a boost in visitors this summer.
“This summer has been really fun, we are kind of bouncing back from the pandemic, a lot of folk are showing up, they want to get out and about,” Mosher said.
Cripple Creek is expecting even more visitors this winter because of the famous ice castles. Mosher said the ice castles fit in perfectly with the annual Cripple Creek Ice Festival. The Ice Festival is scheduled for February 17-25 2024, but people will be able to visit the castles before then.
“We anticipate anywhere from 80 to 100 thousand people to come when they are here,” Mosher said.
The winter playground is lit up at night and is built so people can slide, walk, and crawl throughout it.
“So they grow the icicles in a controlled environment and then every night they come out and plant the icicles and they spray them down in water and the castle builds off those,” Mosher said. “So they light them up and there will be music, so it is more of a night event, which will be fun.”
Cripple Creek relies heavily on tourism for their economy. Thousands of people will pass through cripple creek during the summer months. Many people come in the fall to see the leaves changing, visit the active gold mine, or test their luck at one of the many casinos in town.
Shawn Perkins has visited Cripple Creek around seven times.
“This has just been outstanding, it has been a beautiful trip,” Perkins said.
Perkins is visiting from Tulsa Oklahoma. While her friends and family play games at the casinos, Perkins likes to venture around town.
“I just love to walk up and down the street, I love all the stores here. Every time I have been here, the people have been so welcoming and kind,” Perkins said.
Perkins said she typically only visits Colorado in the summer, but she is thinking about coming back to see the ice castles in January.
“For it to come somewhere like this, it is going to draw so many people, it would be a huge financial boost for these stores. It's going to be absolutely amazing. So yes we would definitely come if we come at the same time it is here,” Perkins said.
A team of 20 people will spend nearly 8 weeks building the castles. They hope to have them built and open around Christmas time if not New Year's. The ice castles will start being built at the end of October or the beginning of November, depending on how much it snows and when.
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