Ice Castles will return to Dillon this winter |

Ice Castles will return to Dillon this winter

The Ice Castles will return to Dillon this winter.
Hugh Carey /

The Ice Castles will be returning to Dillon this December, marking the second year in a row for the attraction to be located in the town. The castles, built by a company out of Utah, were created as a means to activate the park during the winter, and was successful in pulling in tens of thousands of visitors.

Beginning in late November, professional ice artisans will begin growing and harvesting up to 10,000 icicles each day to create the attraction. The Dillon Ice Castles location will feature ice-carved tunnels, fountains, slides, frozen thrones and towers that reach up to 40 feet high. 

Over the summer, concerns about major damage to the park raised doubts as to whether the castles would be returning. The operation used about 300,000 gallons of water a day while building the attraction, and between 10 and 30 thousand a day in maintenance.

“It was erosion, water damage, and a lot of trash left behind,” Louis Skowyra, a representative of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, said in June. “I know it was quite a burden on the public works department. I know they had a couple days picking up trash, rerouting water and trying to mop up the field. For a month or two during the spring, where normally you could be out there throwing Frisbees or walking your dog, it was a disaster zone.”

But sales tax gains were high due to the large amounts of visitors the attraction drew to the town. Dillon saw a 31 percent sales tax increase in January, a 15.3 percent increase in February and a 17.2 percent increase in March.

“The Ice Castles — what a hit,” local business owner Danny Eilts said in January when the attraction was in town. “I don’t think I’ve seen this many people in Dillon in the wintertime for 30 years… it’s huge. I can’t believe it.”

The Dillon Ice Castles’ location is projected to open the end of December, along with sister locations in Midway, Utah; Stillwater, Minnesota; Lincoln, New Hampshire, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and Edmonton, Alberta.

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