MIDWAY, Utah -- The Midway Ice Castles crew spent their Christmas day rushing to get the castle ready for its opening this Friday.
Operations Manager Jesse Stone said more than two dozen employees have been building the castle up over the last few weeks, growing and hand placing 10,000 to 15,000 icicles a day.
But he said it's been a difficult season so far.
"We've really been at the mercy of Mother Nature," Stone said. "We've had some really unseasonably warm days."
Luckily, he said cold temperatures at night have helped.
This week, it's all about "build, build, build." Stone said they may even pull a couple of overnight shifts to get everything ready.
"This week really is kind of what we call 'breakout week,'" Stone said. "We start digging all of our tunnels, and little canyons and crevices—very similar to a lot of glacier crevasses."
He said they use chainsaws to create the special features for the public to interact and have fun with.
"We will build our slides and prepare the castle in a way where it's safe for the public to come in," Stone said.
Each year, he said the castle is completely different from the last, with new features and designs.
"We try to progress and innovate with crazy ideas," he said.
Stone said this castle is nearly two acres in size and will include mazes, tunnels, slot canyons and little cracks and crevices to get lost in.
At night, it'll completely light up with LED lights that the crew has frozen into the castle.
"It's always an experience for the builders to be able to see folks come and enjoy this incredible labor of love," he said.
Stone said they plan to open Friday. This year's location is the same as last year, at The Homestead Resort in Midway.
An average Ice Castles season lasts around 4-6 weeks.