STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Take a vacant lot and a lot of water and you’ve got one of the hottest — or coldest — winter attractions in Colorado.
The Steamboat Ice Castle is doing great this year in its new home alongside Steamboat Mountain.
With a view of Steamboat Ski Resort and portions reaching well over 20 feet, this year’s Ice Castle can be breathtaking.
The Altun family was visiting from Istanbul, Turkey, and said the Ice Castle was something they couldn’t pass up.
“Well, just wonder, how is it? And wonder how it feels like on the inside,” Sinan Altun said.
The move to Steamboat from Silverthorne last year hasn’t been easy with the weather-dependent structure. Heavy snowfall halts ice making, so the castle didn’t open until New Year’s Eve, essentially missing the busy Christmas holiday tourist rush.
“The weather has been pretty good so far … while we’re building we don’t like the snow,” said John B. Livinggood, Ice Castle Manager.
There’s a set temperature range for building, and ideally it’s right around 25 degrees.
“We’ll still spray when it drops below that temperature, but we won’t be building that much,” Livinggood said.
While the ideal conditions have been hard to come by, the Ice Castle has a stunning blue hue to it.
“We do have a lot more blue this year because it has been colder. We haven’t had the sun damage it as much as over last year,” Livinggood said.
There’s constant work being done. Employees are building an icicle farm that will help to grow the castle.
“You can come in every day and see something new.”
Now the company running the castle just hopes to gain more visitors during the busy spring break peak in the weeks ahead.
“There are always lessons to be learned. This is a new project. It’s only four years old commercially, so we’re still learning and making improvements.”
The Ice Castle will be open every day through the end of March.
LINK: Steamboat Ice Castle