City: Ice Sculpture Collapse Still Worth It
National Exposure Outweighed Missing Record
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What was meant to be the world’s largest ice sculpture, instead came crumbling down Tuesday morning in Superior.
“I’ve had failures before. I’ve had a tremendous amount of failures. I’ve never had a major failure like this,” said Roger Hanson, creator of the ice sculpture.
Hanson, better known as “The Iceman,” moved into his trailer on Barker’s Island at the end of November to begin creating his scientific masterpiece.
“There have been a few circumstances where you have some bad weather that I’ve lost parts, but I was able to rebuild them,” Hanson explained. “I never lost a total structure.”
And like any artist, he was devastated to watch hours of ice layering crumble away around 10:06 a.m.
“I am terribly grateful for the city to give me this opportunity, and to not be able to follow through is more disappointing to me than anything else,” Hanson said.
The city of Superior invested $30,000 of tourism dollars into the project, hoping for a world record title and thousands of gawking tourists.
“There was going to be some laser light shows and fireworks, and Roger would be talking about how he does this,” disclosed President and CEO of the Superior Chamber David Minor.
Though those plans all changed Tuesday, the city believes there’s no price tag on what national attention the sculpture has already brought the city, even as sits a large pile of ice.
“We have probably, minimally $50,000 – more like $100,000 – already in earned media on what he did up to today,” Minor said. “That’s information from coast–to–coast, people talking about Superior, wanting more information on it. So that already means we succeeded in that venue.”
He added, “When Brian Williams talks about it on the 6 o’clock news, you can’t pay for it. That’s just the way it is.”
City officials know first–year projects like this one don’t come without bumps and bruises.
“It’s very disheartening, but we have to remember this is the first year,” explained Minor. “We have to step back and say, ‘How can we make it better? How can we improve on it? What can we add to it?’ And 30 years from now, when this thing is a huge success, everybody will probably forget that the first year it had some problems.”