Hotopp Associates in partnership with Marriott Hotels designs world renowned annual holiday ice attractions for Gaylord Hotels and Resorts.
ICE! HOLIDAY ATTRACTIONS
GAYLORD HOTEL RESORTS: Orlando, FL | Dallas, TX | Nashville, TN | Washington, DC
When Hotopp started designing ice attractions in 2001 we never imagined that over fifteen years our team would grow to design and implement four to six ice attractions a year all over the world. From concept design to art direction we bring these attractions to life, transforming a traditional folk art into a high end immersive experience for hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
Hotopp has worked with many of the world’s most iconic holiday brands to adapt their established narratives for ice attractions. Partners have included DreamWorks, Classic Media, Dr. Seuss, and Peanuts.
Once a theme or brand is chosen, our talented concept artists research the source material, developing the beats of the story, choosing the most compelling and visually impactful moments to translate into sculpted ice elements. A floor plan of the attraction is developed from the story flow and is largely based on the amount of space taken up by the 4-6 ice slide area. Once rough, black and white sketches are developed and approved by the client, final color renderings are drawn. Finally, our artists and draftspersons refine and draft the construction drawings for the ice construction period. We use a range of tools to translate the design into drafting the ice artisans use to build the attraction, from hand sketching and painting to Rhino, AutoCad and Photoshop. The entire process for four ice attractions can take a staff of up to 50 people over 6 months to complete.
Hotopp Associates also designs and fabricates the non-ice elements and decor that are embedded into the ice to successfully bring the sculptures and the overall feeling of the attraction to life. These elements include complex, layered graphics, sculpted facial add-ons, stand-alone environmental sculptures such as trees or bushes as well as ornaments, lighting, railings and stanchions.
Each ice attraction is carved inside a chilled facility from start to finish by over thirty talented artisans in a 5-week construction period, overseen by a Hotopp hired Art Director, Technical Director and Production Assistant. The attractions typically take over 2 million pounds of clear and colored ice to complete. Once carving is finished, ICE! opens to the public and runs for 6-weeks. Hundreds and thousands of people worldwide visit these popular attractions each year, enjoying the beauty of an ephemeral medium.