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Known for their massive LED-lit ice structures, Ice Castles’ pop-up attraction has exploded into a global winter phenomenon. As their operations scaled and faced a number of challenges with their previous ticketing provider, Ice Castles first recruited Leap Event Technology’s enterprise ticketing solution TicketLeap Pro (formerly ShowClix) for their 2017-2018 season. Given that TicketLeap Pro had ticketing down to a science, they experienced remarkable results that year – and are proudly one of our clients to this day! Let’s dive into all the ways TicketLeap Pro helped Ice Castles elevate their experiences!


How Ice Castles
Got Its Start

Welcoming hundreds of thousands of families each winter, Ice Castles is a mesmerizing winter wonderland of soaring castles and breathtaking sculptures built from solid ice and illuminated with LED lights. It all began when Ice Castles Founder Brent Christensen wanted to build a playground for his kids at their home in Alpine, Utah after moving from California. Inspired by his neighbor who had created a giant mound of ice by attaching a sprinkler to a pole, Christensen decided to build his own ice cave in the yard for his kids to play in. Not only was it a hit with his family, but across his neighborhood too – and eventually his whole town!

Since those humble beginnings in 2006, Ice Castles has now emerged as one of the most highly anticipated winter events out there, featuring six locations across North America and attracting families from across the globe year after year. Crafted by professional ice artists, each Ice Castles attraction is filled with majestic ice thrones, winding tunnels, slippery slides, and hundreds of thousands of icicles for attendees to explore.

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A flurry of challenges arise

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Challenge #1: Long admission lines

With their event ticketing partners at the time, Ice Castles could offer both walk-up and online ticket sales; however, due to restraints within their ticketing system, these tickets were valid at any time of day. As a result, most attendees came within the same early evening period, causing delays, long lines, and heavy street traffic. “We started to get more people coming just to come, without buying a ticket online,” Andrew Child (Ice Castles’ COO during the 2017-2018 season) explained. “They would all show up at the exact same time, and so now you can imagine two to three hour waits... standing in the cold.” Moving forward, Ice Castles wanted a solution that could sell tickets to specific time slots and encourage attendees to visit earlier in the day, so both attendees and organizers could avoid a rush.

Challenge #2: Increasing customer support needs

As Ice Castles grew in popularity, so did their need for an experienced customer support system. More and more attendees began asking questions about event details, ticket exchanges, and other requests on a regular basis. “We just didn’t have the bandwidth,” Child said. “The first [customer support employee] we hired... would respond to three or four hundred emails a day, just trying to keep up with everybody.” Not only that, these requests also raised questions that Ice Castles had not previously given much thought to, like how to handle refunds and poor weather conditions. They needed a ticketing provider with the bandwidth and experience to enforce ticketing policies that worked for both their attendees and their organization.

Challenge #3: Missing event marketing data

The Ice Castles team knew they had an attraction with potential for massive appeal on their hands. In order to optimize their marketing campaigns, they needed a deeper understanding of who was attending their event. “When it comes to marketing, you’ve got to know who your buyer is,” Child said. While their marketing efforts were clearly resonating with people, the Ice Castles team struggled to determine which campaigns were performing the best due to a lack of proper tracking measures. As Child put it, “you can spend a lot of money on marketing, but never know if it’s really working or not unless you can measure it.”

An avalanche of solutions

With Ice Castles growing more popular year after year, they needed an event ticketing partner who was truly invested in their success. Seeing that previous partners weren’t cut out for their expanding needs, the search for a more powerful solution began. After studying other attractions in their area, the Ice Castles team noticed several successful events were fueled by TicketLeap Pro, Leap Event Technology’s enterprise ticketing platform. Ice Castles was impressed by TicketLeap Pro’s wide range of features and their team’s dedication to seamlessly integrating with Ice Castles’ current way of doing business.


They soon signed on with TicketLeap Pro for Ice Castles’ 2017-2018 season. “It was refreshing,” Child explained, “just to work with everybody there... It’s kind of like there’s no challenge too hard for TicketLeap Pro.” Through this partnership, TicketLeap Pro has not only addressed their issues but exceeded their expectations, making them one of their largest clients to date!



Average year-over-year ticket sale growth since beginning with TicketLeap Pro


Phone and email requests resolved per season

2 Hrs

Decrease in attendee entry wait time

*Data collected from Ice Castles’ 2017-2018 season

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Solution #1: Streamlined admissions

In order to more evenly distribute Ice Castles’ crowd flow each day, they used TicketLeap Pro’s integrated timed entry, an essential feature for pop-up attractions. Ice Castles’ previous providers didn’t offer such a feature. “Other systems tried to fit us into a box or offer to build out whatever we wanted, but they didn’t have the experience,” Child continued. “TicketLeap Pro already had it done and has been able to continue to grow with us. We love that.” Finally, Ice Castles had the power to control, update, and customize the number of tickets sold within individual time slots. Attendees could now choose their ideal day and time, and be alerted when a specific slot was selling quickly or already sold out. 


The impact was immediate! Thanks to TicketLeap Pro, Ice Castles could now better manage massive crowds moving through each location on any given day, quickly becoming a key component of their event day success. “It’s just so normal to us now, and it’s worked so well,” Child said. “If you were to take that away… we just wouldn’t function very well.”

Solution #2: Expert customer support

With a fully-staffed call center and email support team available, TicketLeap Pro was the only ticketing partner with the bandwidth to step in and handle the thousands of customer requests that Ice Castles received via phone and email. “That’s just a lifesaver for us,” Child said. Due to the seasonality of their attraction, it was hard to hire their own customer service. The time it would take to train temporary employees, all for a season that can last anywhere from six to twelve weeks, did not make sense for their organization.


For the 2017-2018 season, Ice Castles started utilizing TicketLeap Pro’s fully branded call center, which serves as the event’s customer support to this day. Our team provided them with a seamlessly branded customer support experience with detailed insights into how their phone and email support requests were managed.

Solution #3: Optimized marketing campaigns

Ice Castles was now harnessing the power of advanced event intelligence to more precisely target prospective customers and could better track which marketing campaigns were contributing the most to their bottom line. Thanks to TicketLeap Pro, Ice Castles seamlessly linked their third-party marketing accounts to their event listings, unlocking more insights and new possibilities with their remarketing. “Knowing where and how our customers interact with our website and event listings is extremely important to us,” Child explained.

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“By partnering with TicketLeap Pro, expanding to new locations and opening new attractions has been seamless. They continue to grow with us and have the experience to anticipate our needs and work with us to provide the best experience for our customers.”

Andrew Child

Chief Operations Officer of Ice Castles

Looking ahead

Since that wildly successful 2017-2018 season, Ice Castles continues to move towards a bright future with Leap Event Technology as their trusted partner. When presented with the challenges of this quickly growing pop-up, Leap’s team proved how their solution could address them head-on and add value throughout the entire event lifecycle. Between faster admissions, more streamlined customer support, and more effective marketing campaigns, we’re excited alongside Ice Castles to announce that they’ve garnered an average year-over-year growth of 93% in their ticket sales since working with our enterprise ticketing software, TicketLeap Pro!


Plus, given that TicketLeap Pro is among the wide array of solutions available under Leap Event Technology, this is only the beginning! Our company continues to innovate more ways to enhance the growing number of Ice Castles locations. “There are definitely services and features we want to start implementing,” says Child. “As we continue to grow our brand and develop more events, like our holiday light experience, Christmas in Color, we want to keep using TicketLeap Pro.”


Into the future, not only is Leap Event Technology empowering Ice Castles as their attraction scales, our complete solution can help amplify your events as well. Curious to learn more? Contact our team to learn all the ways we can elevate your event experiences!


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