Ice palace

Ice castle a big draw, even for non-skiers

Special to the Union Leader |
February 02. 2014 9:03PM

LINCOLN — A little more than a month since it opened, the ice castle at Loon Mountain is proving so successful that resort officials say they're already looking to bring it back next season.

Occupying an acre of land adjacent to the Loon Mountain Adventure Center, the ice castle was created by Utah-based artist Brent Christensen, who in recent years built similar structures at Steamboat Springs in Colorado and the Mall of America in Minnesota.

Using nothing more than a sprinkler system, Christensen and his team allowed ice to gradually accumulate and then shaped and grew it into walls more than 20-feet high.

Encompassing an immense internal area that features a waterfall, an ice slide and a gorge, the first ice castle of its kind on the East Coast, is, in his humble opinion, "pretty spectacular," said Greg Kwasnik, Loon Mountain's communication manager.

Weather permitting, the ice castle at Loon will be open through mid-March, Kwasnik said, adding that the castle's popularity has the resort considering adding it to the list of winter attractions.

Through last Thursday, Kwasnik said the ice castle has had nearly 10,000 visitors, a significant number of them first-timers to Loon.

"We're very pleased," with Loon's decision to build the ice castle, said Kwasnik. "We wanted to extend our offerings because we understand that not everybody skis or snowboards so the ice castle was a great way to get those people up here who might not come to the mountain otherwise."

Kwasnik credited Karl Stone, the marketing director of Ski New Hampshire, for contacting Loon about the ice castle after Stone was approached by Christensen."We liked the idea, and we made it happen," said Kwasnik.

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