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Dillon Ice Castles returning with new COVID-19 rules

The winter wonderland of colorful ice castles is projected to open sometime in late December.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — The Dillon Ice Castles will once again return to Colorado for the holiday season and beyond.

The winter playground is projected to open sometime in late December, the Utah-based company announced Tuesday. A pre-sale of tickets will be available for purchase the first week of December before going on sale to the general public later in the month, organizers said. 

Tickets for adults cost $17.99 during the week and $22.99 on weekends. Tickets for children cost $12.99 during the week and $17.99 on weekends. Kids under the age of 3 get free admission. 

Ice Castles organizers said the event will operate at a reduced capacity this season to promote social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wherever possible, tunnels and crawl spaces will be marked as one-way features to limit face-to-face exposure with other guests, according to organizers. Staff and guests will be required to wear a mask.

"We are thrilled to welcome families back to Ice Castles at Dillon Town Park this winter," said Ice Castles CEO Kyle Standifird, "The safety of our guests and staff has always been our top priority, and the new  guidelines we have in place this season are designed to create a safe and magical environment for everyone."

If weather permits this week, ice artisans will begin growing and harvesting up to 10,000 icicles each day to construct the frozen attraction.

The popular event is made up of hundreds of thousands of hand-placed icicles and features ice-carved tunnels, fountains, slides, frozen thrones and towers that light up at night. LED lights frozen inside 25 million pounds of ice twinkle to music at night. 

This year will be the fourth season in a row where Ice Castles has had a location in Dillon. Ice Castles will have three other locations across North America this season: Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Utah.

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