From ice rinks to Ice Castles, the rain this week will put a lot of winter activities on hold

At New Brighton’s ice castle, workers prepare to lose 50% of their ice this week.

BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota — Rain this week will have a big impact on outdoor winter activities.

At New Brighton’s Ice Castle, workers prepare to lose 50% of their ice.

“It sucks when the temperature is in the 30s and 40s and it rains,” said ice maker Nathan Bartelt.

The Ice Castle crew got off to an early start this year thanks to an early cold spell in November, but this week’s rains could ruin much of their hard work.

“At this temperature, we don’t really lose much ice. It’s the rain that breaks everything,” Bartelt explains.

The good news is that next week’s cooldown will help them rebuild.

“I think we can catch up pretty quickly,” Bartelt said. “We have a great crew and can assemble quickly even when temperatures drop.”

It’s not just ice castles. According to Buck Hill’s Facebook page, the ski area will be closed on Tuesday due to rain.

They hope to be back up and running on Wednesday.

Welch Village at the Red Wing will also be closed until Thursday, according to the ski area’s Facebook page.

Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department’s Dave Hanson says the rain this week will also affect their outdoor skating rink.

“The ice becomes too soft to skate,” Hanson explained.

The city manages approximately 20 outdoor ice skating rinks. Hanson said some of the rinks were ready this weekend after several weeks of hard work.

“We had ice we could skate on. People were skating earlier this weekend before the warm weather came,” Hanson said.

The parks department originally hoped to officially open the skating rink on December 15th, but rain has now pushed that date back to Monday, December 19th.

“We’re going to work on them this weekend, and I think we should be ready by next Monday,” Hanson says.

Other cities in the Twin Cities metro are also planning to close their outdoor ice rinks this week.

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