How crews overcame the odds to deliver the new ice castle

How crews overcame the odds to deliver the new ice castle

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TOWN OF GENEVA — After flying in help from out-of-state, ice castle organizers have announced plans to open the winter attraction, after battling inconsistent weather conditions for weeks.

Pushing to get the frozen funhouse ready for visitors, the company Ice Castles LLC called in extra manpower for the construction team at Geneva National Resort.

Officials said the extra helpers came from as far away as Canada.

Organizers of the town of Geneva ice castle had hoped to open for business by late December. But unseasonably mild temperatures slowed down work on the outdoor tourist attraction.

“It’s really great having our reinforcements from out-of-town come and help us,” crew member Joe Weiler said. “We are one of the newer Ice Castles sites, so having folks that have been doing it for a while helps a lot with efficiency.”

With the final push to completion, officials have announced that the ice castle on Lake Como will open to the public Jan. 31 starting at 4 p.m.

Tickets, which went on sale starting Jan. 27, cost $16.99 for adults and $11.99 for kids Monday through Thursday, $20.99 for adults and $15.99 for kids on weekends.

The interactive frozen castle features fountains, slides, tunnels and other features that are ideal for camera-toting visitors. The attraction is outfitted with colored lights for nighttime visitors.

The grand opening announcement ended weeks of anticipation and uncertainty about the ice castle for this winter.

“It has been a challenging winter in Wisconsin,” company president Ryan Davis said. “The warmer temperatures pushed back our opening date slightly, but our talented crew in Lake Geneva has still been able to create an enhanced experience that we know our guests will love.”

Officials have not discussed whether they have been able to achieve the estimated 40,000-square-foot size of the ice castle that was proposed at the outset.

The ice castle made its debut last winter on Riviera Beach in downtown Lake Geneva. Over a six-week run between January and March, the attraction drew more than 1,000 on its opening and recorded about 90,000 visitors overall.

Organizers later set out to find a new location for their second season, and they settled at Geneva National Resort on a golf driving range.

The grand opening announcement states that visitors will find concession areas, two kid zones, and more ice slides.

Geneva National is offering new buffet lunch and dinner options for visitors, and other nearby businesses are introducing other specials to entice the wintertime tourists.

G.L. Chambers, president of Geneva National Resort, said the town of Geneva resort located five minutes west of Lake Geneva will serve as “the primary base camp” for the ice castle and surrounding winter attractions.

“On behalf of the residents, members, and associates that call Geneva National home,” Chambers said, “we could not be more excited to welcome thousands of new guests to our resort destination.”

To set the stage for the long-awaited grand opening, Weiler said the Utah-based ice castle company elected to transport extra manpower to the Wisconsin site. At least five extra crew members arrived from Colorado, Utah and Canada.

The company operates about a half-dozen ice castles across the country.

“Many sites are already open, and they need fewer hands,” Weiler said. “So it was great for us to get some help.”

He added: “They got to learn a few new things that we do, and they also got to teach some folks a few things.”

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