COLORADO SPRINGS — More than 100,000 people are expected to visit the Ice Castles in Cripple Creek. City officials predict its first year will break the record for tourism.
Some shops are hopeful this will also bring a needed boost in business.
"I just think [the Ice Castles are] the most exciting thing that's happened," said a shop owner, Lois Woods.
The Rocky Mountain Canary General Store has been in business for 52 years. Woods said winter months are hard for business so the Ice Castles are here when it's needed most.
"We've had the Ice Festival for a few years and that's brought a lot of people and the Ice Castles are going to just expand on it and it's going to be wonderful," said Woods.
The new Casino coming downtown and Rita the Troll in neighboring Victor are getting more people to visit Cripple Creek.
"We've had some slow times, but during the summer it's very busy with Rita being built especially and now with the Ice Castles, it'll help out winter season pick up a bit more," said a worker at Gold Camp Cafe, Summer Brandon.
Brandon said she's excited to see Cripple Creek and Victor become an even more popular destination for tourists.
"It just helps us, you know, to be able to thrive as a community, we're able to do more events with the more money coming into town," said Brandon.
"I'm hoping I'll have to hire more employees," said Woods.
If weather allows, the Ice Castles will be open through February, which brings a feeling of optimism to shops heading into the new year.
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