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Winter in the Desert as Ice Palace Opens at Mandalay Bay

August 28, 2008 by  

Parkas, boots and mittens are about to become mainstays in Las Vegas nightlife fashion, as a lounge made entirely of ice opens at Mandalay Place, located adjacent to Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas in September.

The first permanent ice lounge of its kind in the U.S., the 2,000 sq. ft. Minus 5 Experience is a sub-freezing ice lounge that is owned and operated by the Minus 5 Group, a New Zealand-based company that has “ice-cool” attractions with six other Minus 5 ice lounges currently in operation in three countries around the globe. To catch a glimpse of this “cool” attraction, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y73frhcai14.

Guests are invited to come in from the Las Vegas 100-degree heat and don Minus 5-issued parkas and booties over their t-shirts and flip-flops. Then the arctic adventure begins, as patrons enter the ethereal blue and white world of the shimmering Minus 5 ice lounge. An icy wonderland of intricately hand-crafted ice sculptures and architecture, guests are promptly served an ice glass filled with exotic vodka-based cocktails (“mocktails” are also available for the kids or non-drinkers). Then, guests can relax on ice couches and enjoy what is literally the coolest lounge on the planet where the temperature is a constant -5 degrees Celsius or 23 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Our focus at Minus 5 is the art of ice,” said founder and president, Craig Ling. “We have our own ice carvers who change the lounge and sculptures every six-to-eight weeks. This also provides us with the ability to tailor-make sculptures for any function or event. With the ability to create anything from a company logo to an actual-sized replica automobile that you can sit in, the possibilities for the Minus 5 ice experience are only limited by your imagination.”

After enjoying the wonders of the sub-freezing environment, visitors can make their way to the Minus 5 Lodge, a warm, rustic pub adjacent to the Minus 5 Experience that is themed after great arctic explorers. The Minus 5 Lodge features ironwood beams, river stones, leather seats and an open-hearth to create an earthy, natural environment and a welcoming ambience that also features artifacts from famed explorers and ski huts of old.

Minus 5 will be the only Las Vegas venue to perform “ice wedding” ceremonies. With colorful stained “ice” windows and pews, beautiful ice sculptures and ice candelabra, the Minus 5 ice-chapel creates an unparalleled setting for a romantic wedding ceremony. Brides are outfitted with an elegant white satin fur-trimmed cape to keep warm, and all ceremonies are organized in conjunction with the wedding professionals from the Mandalay Bay wedding department. http://www.mandalaybay.com/thingstodo/weddings.aspx.

Inside the shimmering ice lounge, the proprietary climate control engineering allows the Minus 5 Experience to maintain its frigid environment using a monitored amount of power. In addition, the operators import ice from Canada, ensuring the ice is the clearest and purest available, and use pure New Zealand artesian water for the ice glasses which are imported in their frozen form to ensure that an ice lounge in the Mojave Desert maintains a responsible environmental footprint and does not encumber the limited Las Vegas water supply. Minus 5 also supports environmental conservation programs, and their international “Adopt a Penguin” program will soon be offered to U.S. patrons.

The Las Vegas location will be the first of many U.S.-based Minus 5 ice lounges, with other locations currently in the development stage in New York, Miami, Hawaii, and Los Angeles. Admission into the ice lounge is $30 and includes a cocktail. Reservations, group, corporate and wedding arrangements can be made by calling 702.632.7714; or lasvegas@minus5experience.com. For more information, http://www.minus5experience.com/.

© 2008 – 2011, VegasNews.com. All rights reserved.

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