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The Eden Prairie ice castle will open next week; warm weather delayed its debut

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The ice castle was supposed to be open today.

The 40-foot-tall, LED-lit custom structure created by Utah company Ice Castles LLC had a debut scheduled for Friday at Eden Prairie's Miller Park, the day after Christmas.

But they wanted to do the ice castle right, Ryan Davis said, and with Minnesota under its own version of a heat wave the past couple weeks, it didn't make sense. So they pushed the opening to Jan. 3, 2015.

"We lost a lot of ice with the rain," David, the co-owner, told BringMeTheNews a week ago. "Normally rain isn't that big of a deal to us, but when we're smaller at this stage it has a larger impact."

Here's a photo of the ice castle during construction.

In the photo, it's about 7 feet tall; when finished, that wall will reach 20 feet into the air.

The January date is, of course, weather-permitting as well. A long stretch of warm weather could delay it again, Davis said.

"We could open earlier, it just won't be the same standard, it won't be as big," he said Friday. "So we want to make sure we get it fully built ... so everybody gets the same good experience."

Davis co-owns Ice Castles LLC along with Brent Christensen. Their creations – a collection of icicles and water that form a towering, glacier-like structure with a series of walls, tunnels and archways – have drawn tens of thousands of fans over the years.

The Eden Prairie version is one of four being created this winter. Utah, Vermont and New Hampshire also get one. The company built a similar castle next to the Mall of America two years ago.

The more natural setting allows for more interactive elements such as slides and water features, Christensen told the Eden Prairie News. Eden Prairie officials expect from 50,000 to 70,000 visitors to the castle, and hope those folks will also stick around and spend a little money in town at local shops and restaurants.

If one ice castle isn't enough, schedule some time for the St. Paul WInter Carnival. The Pioneer Press reports organizers are bringing back an ice palace after 11 years of not having one.

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