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Canada's planned Ice Hotel gets warm reception

Icehotel Sweden
The Ice Hotel in Quebec, Canada, inspired by a similar lodging in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, above, will open on January 1, 2001, weather permitting (photo by Frederic Alm)  

QUEBEC CITY (Reuters) -- Canadian entrepreneurs have announced plans for North America's first Ice Hotel, saying 1,000 tourists had already signed up to spend a night in a chilly building made of ice and snow.

"We've already received more than 1,000 reservation requests. These numbers exceed our expectations and we predict a big success for our first year of operation," Ice Hotel communications director Francis Leonard said.

The hotel is scheduled to open next January just outside Quebec City. It will stay open for the three months, before it melts next spring.

The historic city is already well-known for its Winter Carnival in early February.

hotel room
Hotel rooms are equipped with deer pelts to keep guests toasty (photo by Frederic Alm)  

The Ice Hotel's facilities will include a bar, a cinema and art galleries, with exhibits made of ice, as well as executive suites complete with an ice bed. The cost -- $165 (US$109) a night -- will include a hot breakfast.

The concept of an ice hotel is being imported from Sweden, which constructed what its owners say was the world's first ice hotel in Jukkasjarvi, some seven hours' drive from Stockholm.

The Canadian structure will cost C$350,000 (US$230,000) to build, including C$125,000 (US$82,000) from Quebec's government.

"This bold new project will add a major activity during the winter period, a time of the year that we need to develop more," Quebec Tourism Minister Maxime Arseneau told a news conference.

The Quebec Ice Hotel will have a surface area of 1,000 square meters (10,760 square feet), one quarter the size of the its Swedish counterpart.

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



RELATED STORIES:
Swedish 'ice hotel' is a cool getaway
January 17, 1998
Pursuits: Quebec Carnaval

RELATED SITES:
Ice Hotel Quebec - Canada
Quebec City Tourism & Convention Bureau

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