By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Managing Editor
The Ice Castles in Lake George may not be done, event manager Brad Buehlhorn told The Chronicle on the warm Tuesday (Feb. 22) as the paper went to press.
The attraction was open to visitors last Sunday, but it closed for several days before and after, due to warm weather.
‘We are still hopeful we can open for this next weekend,” Mr. Buehlhorn said on Tuesday. “The next 48 hours will tell us a lot. We are trying to keep it open as long as we can, but I always say, Mother Nature is our lead architect.”
Mr. Buehlhorn noted that the long-range forecast was for colder weather.
However, he said of the early week, “Rain with warm weather tends to deteriorate the Castle. We are looking to preserve as much as we can.”
“We need to see how the 50 degree weather impacts the castle. The last time we had two days of warm weather, it took two and a half days to get things patched up and ready to go again….
“We take pride in creating an experience worthy of allowing guests in, and we don’t want to diminish that experience. People come expecting to see 52 ice towers, something magical. We want to maintain the integrity of the experience.”
Look for updates on IceCastles.com, and on social media.
Hope to return next year
Mr. Buehlhorn said their second-most asked question is “Are you coming back next year?” (He said the most frequent ask is “How do you build it?”)
“From an Ice Castles perspective, we’d love to return. We can’t say anything definite until after the season.” said Mr. Buehlhorn.
He said their first season in Lake George has gone “spectacularly!…It exceeded our expectations.”
“We had almost a complete sellout within six days (of sales opening). Nearly every time-block sold out. We had to refund some tickets because of weather, but we are up over 80,000 tickets sold. We had 4,000 people come on Locals Night,” Wednesday, Feb. 4.
“The reactions we’ve gotten are extremely positive,” Mr. Buehlhorn said.
“The vibe and the partnerships with the Village of Lake George and Warren County were phenomenal. The residents have been extremely supportive, and the crowds have been phenomenal.”
Mayor Blais: Ice Castles crowds ‘Like 4th of July’
Chronicle Managing Editor Cathy DeDe writes: Lake George Mayor Bob Blais said Ice Castles has been “a huge game changer for the Village.”
“It was just as we expected. The Ice Castles and the Lake George Winter Carnival 60th anniversary, it’s been great.”
Mayor Blais said, “Weekends, all the accommodations were filled. Some businesses opened that wouldn’t ordinarily. It really made a difference.
“This last Presidents Day weekend, with no activities on the ice for the Winter Carnival, we still had what I would describe as the largest crowd in history, just like the Fourth of July.
“They were four to five deep, people on the sidewalk, a marvelous sight.”
Anecdotally, Mayor Blais said, on the few days the Ice Castles were cancelled for weather, “the motels and hotels would get calls for cancellations. Twenty-four cancellations one day, one hotel said. They could tell it was exactly why.”
“We hope they will come back,” Mayor Blais said of the attraction.
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