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Meet Brent Christensen of Ice Castles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brent Christensen.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I moved my family from California to Alpine, Utah in 2000. The novelty of cold winters sparked my curiosity. We started by making backyard snow forts, igloos and ice rinks. One winter, I experimented with spraying running water onto a wood frame to create an ice structure. One thing led to another and within a couple of years from that experiment I discovered the method of “growing” ice structures by using only icicles and spraying water (no substructure).

In 2011, I contacted a local resort who agreed to let me make my first public installation in Midway Utah. After my second year of building installations in Midway (mostly by myself) I persuaded Ryan Davis to become my business partner in the years since then. We’ve expanded our leadership team to 4 partners and we are currently preparing to build 6 ice castles this winter in the US and Canada. We have had over 1 million visitors.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We’ve never really had a smooth road. In fact we have no road at all. Because we are in a business that is unique (no one has ever built ice castles in the way that we do them) we can’t refer to a how-to manual or study how other companies have done it. It is all trial and error, innovating and adapting. From our irrigation systems to our electrical and lighting from the way we groom our ice walkways to way we design and build the castles. It’s challenging but it’s fun and exciting to be constantly treading uncharted territory.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Ice Castles – what should we know?
Our ice castles are an experience unlike any other. It allows the public to become immersed in the wonder and beauty of ice caves, tunnels and slides. What I’m most proud of is our amazing “family” of dedicated workers and managers who make it possible to do this on such a large scale

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
In our case, I think a lot of credit must go to our partnership. There are 4 of us. I’m in charge of the creative design and physical implementation of the actual castles. Ryan Davis is the CEO and really drives the business. Kyle Standifird is our CFO and Andrew Child is over all operations, HR, ticketing, customer service team, parking logistics etc.

Additionally, I need to give the bulk of the credit to all of our team leads and crew members who work so hard in often horrendous conditions to bring about such beautiful creations.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
AJ Mellor

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