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Ice Castles Bringing In More Visitors Than Expected For Some Businesses

By Matt Kroschel

DILLON, Colo. (CBS4)– Normally the small town on the banks of the Dillon Reservoir would be quiet on a Sunday evening, but this winter season you can’t find a parking spot downtown.

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Hundreds of visitors are flocking to Dillon for a chance to explore the Dillon Ice Castles.

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“That’s a big reason why we came up. We’re staying at Keystone Lodge and we’re not even  here to ski, so we come up basically to see this and hangout on the town for the day,” said one visitor.

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The economic impacts on surrounding business are already being felt.

“Very unexpected. The business has been unbelievably over the top – very busy,” said Creig Krier, the operations manger for Pug Ryan’s Brewery.

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Since opening on Christmas, thousands of visitors have paid to explore the Ice Castles grown on a town baseball field-turned-winter-ice-wonderland.

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The brewery is a block down the street, and has seen full tables creating a windfall for the business.

“We’re doing records every weekend. No one really in Dillon could forecast the impact that this was going to have. However, it has been very welcomed,” said Krier.

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The Ice Castles have visited Summit County in past years, Breckenridge and Silverthorne hosted the attraction before. This was a first for Dillon.

Town leaders don’t have solid sales tax data yet, but say the investment to bring the attraction to town for the first time is paying off in a big way.

LINK: Dillon Ice Castles

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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