Summit Rotary Club deploys the ‘ice device’ on Lake Dillon for annual contest |

Summit Rotary Club deploys the ‘ice device’ on Lake Dillon for annual contest

Rotarian Rob Phipps, of Breckenridge, helps Summit County Water Rescue Team members Drew Fontana, center, and Jody Patrizio, right, load the Rotary Club’s Ice Melt Contest device into the team’s hovercraft on Lake Dillon Saturday, March 22, 2014.
Alli Langley / |

Members of Summit County’s Rotary Club gathered Saturday morning at the Dillon Marina to position the device used for the club’s 29th annual Dillon Ice Melt Contest.

The device, a bright-orange 55-gallon drum, will measure the official time Lake Dillon’s ice melts with clocks that stop when it falls in the water.

People can buy tickets to make guesses for when the ice will melt.

The person whose guess is closest to the time recorded by the clocks wins a $4,000 prize. Second place wins $2,000, and third place $1,000.

Diane Monaghan, chair of the Ice Melt committee, said money raised through ticket sales funds the prizes and extra money goes to Rotary projects and programs.

Volunteers with the Summit County Water Rescue Team helped load the device onto a hovercraft and unload it in the middle of the lake, where Monaghan said the ice is the thickest.

Most years, the ice melts sometime in May. Last year, the official drop time was May 20 at 5:52 p.m. The earliest drop time in the contest’s history was recorded on April 11, 2012, and the latest on May 26, 1995. Those who want to make a historically informed guess can find every year’s drop time on the Ice Melt’s website. Corresponding weather data must be checked separately.

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