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Ice Lounge may be 'cool' L.A. hangout

August 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Minus 5 Ice Lounge is named for its constant frosty temperature of minus 5 degrees Celsius (approximately 23 degrees Fahrenheit). Everything inside the 1,200-square-foot lounge is made of ice, including the walls, the bar, the sculptures, the chairs, and even the glasses from which guests sip exotic vodka cocktails.An Ice Lounge location in Los Angeles is currently in the development stage. Plans are also being made for lounges in New York, Miami and Hawaii. However, a Las Vegas site will be the first of the U.S.-based Minus 5 ice lounges.

Admission is $30 per person and includes a premium vodka drink for guests 21 and older, or a non-alcoholic drink for younger guests.

To ensure guest comfort in the sub-freezing environment, guests are provided with winter gear that includes sheepskin-lined parkas, gloves, and booties.

"Minus 5 celebrates the art of ice, and we continually re-invent the experience by recreating the lounge and sculptures every 6-8 weeks," said Craig Ling, president and founder of Minus 5. "We take enormous pride in the quality of our product and the uniqueness of this experience."

So much so that the Minus 5 ice sculptures and other fixtures are carved from crystalline Canadian ice and then shipped to locations where they are re-assembled on-site at Minus 5. The ice cocktail glasses are made from pure New Zealand spring water and are shipped in their frozen form all the way from Kiwi-country.

Minus 5 debuted in Auckland in 2002 then expanded, creating lounges in places such as Queenstown, Sydney, and Portugal. The newly-announced U.S. Minus 5 attractions are part of a global expansion that is moving at anything but a glacial pace, with additional Minus 5 international venues secured and in development in India, Singapore, Dubai and Manila for 2009 openings.

"Minus 5 is far from a freezer, as many of our competitors have learnt. We spent more than two years developing and engineering our concept and the result is a comfortable, arid ice environment for our patrons that involves no wind, wind chill or humidity inside the ice lounge," Ling said.


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