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Labelle Lake Ice Palace opens for fifth year

LABELLE, Idaho (KIFI) - A local favorite destination is once again preparing to open its doors for another year. It's been five years since the Labelle Lake Ice Palace opened its icy doors to the world and have quickly become a local favorite during the winter season.

The opening on Saturday, Dec. 17 would not be possible were it not for the late nights the team behind the palace has put in.

"It's a lot of hard work. It's a lot of long days. We're often here tell, tell one or two in the morning, and we're right here at eight in the morning the next day. But that's what makes it worth it," said Britton Youngstrom, the ice palace's COO.

With all of the hard work involved to build the large ice structure itself, Youngstrom says the ice palace will also have a new feature this year that is larger than some of the other structures they've built.

"We added an enclosed ice dome. It's 100% ice and it's 17 feet wide. It's got 12 and a half foot ceilings. I mean, it's a massive ice room." Youngstrom said every year the ice palace building and design crew try to innovate and make the palace better than the year previous.

Kira Martin, the president of the company, says last year's favorites will also make a return.

"We will also have our reindeer here and they are bigger than last year. Last year they were just babies. So yeah, they're a lot bigger. Their names are Donner and Blitzen."

She added this year inside the ice palace will be a lot different as well.

"I'm super excited about the the layout this year. Like I walked in for the first time and I almost got lost. Like there's there is a lot more going on inside, which is also something different this year. It's is the biggest it's ever been."

Britton Youngstrom built off of that saying, "It's the biggest footprint we've ever done. We have a lot more going on inside. We almost want it to feel mysterious and cavernous. So kind of a magical feel being surrounded in ice and exploring through glacier type atmospheres."

Garen Youngstrom, the company CFO, says when you walk in this season you might see a village made of ice.

"We did something different, we moved the entrance and exit out next to each other so there's no traffic closed at all. And when you first walk in, this is, you know, at all the fire service right now and you see the ice fountain and it's almost looks like a small village in a way."

The Ice Palace will also be heading to the middle of the country this season.

"We're building an ice palace in Delano, Minnesota. It's just outside of Minneapolis. And it looks like they're going to open probably a week after us here. Our temperatures have been a little bit better than there, but usually Minnesota is colder. But but yeah, so far so good. So we're excited about that, that growth," Martin said.

Garen says they hope this move will add value to the community.

"When expanding too Delano in Minnesota, it invites our family to be a part of the community. Grow the community, and just make the community that we come into become better. We always add value."

The Labelle Ice Palace will open its doors Saturday afternoon. For more information, you can find it here.

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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