DILLON — That famous winter wonderland up in Summit County is continuing to welcome guests during their 2020-2021 season, but at a reduced capacity with safety in mind.
Ice Castles in Dillon continue to boast ice slides, crawl spaces, caves, and fountains illuminated at night.
The entire construct spans about an acre, takes about six weeks to construct, and, according to the staff, weighs in at several million pounds. While it may physically appear similar to castles in the past, the experience will be slightly different.
According to Jared Henningsen, VP of events for the Ice Castles, this year this masterpiece of ice is only allowing 75 people inside during each time slot.
"We want everyone to have a safe time," Jared commented, "and that's our primary goal is to make sure everyone is safe. So we are operating at reduced capacity, we're all wearing masks as well, that is required for both our staff and our guests, and we encourage our guests to social distance as best they can."
Wherever possible, tunnels and crawl spaces will be clearly marked as one-way features to limit face-to-face exposure with other guests.
With the attraction continuing to operate a limited capacity, staff strongly urges visitors to get their tickets well in advance.
Ice artisans have been working diligently since early November, growing and harvesting up to 10,000 icicles each day to construct the frozen attraction.
Ice Castles was founded in 2010 and has built its award-winning winter experience in several cities across the United States, Canada, and New Zealand. This winter, the Utah-based company will have 4 locations. In addition to Colorado, Ice Castles has locations in Utah, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin this season.
According to guests, the towering walls and arches of ice are nothing short of magical and provide a much needed smile.
"Oh yeah, absolutely," commented one guest, "especially in times like these, especially during [the pandemic] where it's kind of hard to find that thing that excites you. A lot of people here, whether it's kids or adults, they see the sculptures and it brings happiness to them even if it's for [a short time]."
General tickets can be secured at the Ice Castles website.