LAKE GENEVA — The wildly popular Ice Castles at Geneva National Resort open tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 22.
Literally thousands of hours go into constructing this fortress of ice. Here are some quick facts:
- 40,000 work hours
- Towards the end, crews work 14-hour days, seven days a week
- 25 tons of ice made to construct
- 3-foot base layer of ice
- It's all hand made
“Tens of thousands of icicles. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of water that we open to the public, so people can explore," Wally Bullard, the event manager with Ice Castles, said.
New this year is a double slide that people can race down. Plus they have three kid slides, ice tunnels, and a maze.
Bullard said the best time to come is just before the sunsets.
“When the walls light up, it's just a totally different experience. It's two different events - a daytime event and a nighttime event. It's different every time," he says.
The Ice Castle is good for the entire family - both young and old. The ice is torn up to make it easy to walk on. Bullard compares it to walking on sand. Also, don't worry about icicles falling and hitting you. Bullard said you are more likely to get a drop of water on your head than anything else.
Sturdy shoes are recommended and bring a coat too.
Tickets are $18.99 for anyone 12 and older Monday through Thursday. On the weekend, it is $22.99. For those 4 to 11, tickets are $12.99 during the week and $18.99 on the weekend.
However, tickets are currently sold out. Rest assured, Ice Castles is considering offering more soon. They are limiting their capacity due to COVID-19 concerns. Everyone in the castle must wear a mask too.
If you are wondering who makes these ice castles, you're not alone. Bullard said that all sculptors are trained on the job and many are from the area. They are always looking for new workers for next season too.