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Sunny Days Take Toll On Silverthorne Ice Castles

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A melting ice castle (credit: CBS)

A melting ice castle (credit: CBS)

SILVERTHORNE, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s not just skiers and snowboarders suffering from the unusually warm March, it’s really taken a toll on the ice sculptures in Silverthorne.

With temperatures hitting 60 degrees, the creators of the Silverthorne Ice Castles had to close a week early because the castle turned to mush.

“Whenever we’re in the 30s we’re okay,” said Brent Christensen, who owns the ice castles. “If you start pushing 40 and sun … the effect is pretty dramatic.”

Still, crowds filled the plaza for a final look at the castle, being careful not to step in the slush and puddles forming around it.

The warm summer didn’t hit just Colorado. It forced Christensen to make a choice earlier this season.

“This is still the best place we could have been. If we had stayed in Utah we would have never opened,” he explained.

ice castles Sunny Days Take Toll On Silverthorne Ice Castles

The ice castles in Silverthorne (credit: CBS)

Even with the warm weather and smaller crowds, Christensen is still happy with how the season turned out.

“We are happy with the numbers we did have considering there’s no snow up here and a lot of people weren’t coming up to the mountains,” he said. “We still were fortunate to have people coming through.”

Now the crews will use a jackhammer to break the structures into smaller pieces so they will melt.

Plans are already under way for next year.

“If we get a good cold winter next year, we’ll be able to grow the whole thing bigger than we did this year.”

Christensen hopes to have the ice castle open by Thanksgiving.

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