Minus5 ice sculptor continues to carve out his career
Ice sculpting in the middle of a desert? Well, yes. Kurt Herbolsheimer, director of ice/master ice sculptor, fills the air with flurries at Minus5 Ice Bar. He oversees the brand’s Vegas locations, one at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place and the other at Monte Carlo.
Every design and piece of ice carved inside both ice bars was created by Herbolsheimer and his team. “Minus5 is unique,” he said. “There’s really kinda nothing like it. You get to sit in a winter wonderland in the middle of the desert. Hang out, have fun and take pictures with the ice sculpture. It’s definitely original.”
Herbolsheimer’s career first started out in a kitchen as a cook. “In one of my cooking classes, an instructor came in and did some ice sculpting, and I thought, ‘I want to do that!’” he said. So he cooked—and he carved ice. By 1996, he had left the kitchen and turned his full attention to ice. Over the years, Herbolsheimer has worked at an ice house and has even owned his own ice-sculpting business. He’s sculpted tens of thousands of pieces to date—pieces as small as a sorbet dish to as large as a full-size pickup; he’s also carved ice for movies like Thor and for commercials for businesses like Target. He joined Minus5 almost three years ago.
“I had no idea I would ever do something like this. I first saw Minus5 at Mandalay Bay when I was just visiting,” he said. “The experience—it’s something that once you do it, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life.”
The average visitor usually lasts about 45 minutes to an hour inside the frozen ice room, said Herbolsheimer. “We haven’t had anyone freeze yet,” he said, laughing. “There was a guy who stayed inside for five hours straight, but that’s been the max.” While inside Minus5’s frozen surroundings (seats, glasses, walls and tables all made of ice), indulge in a cocktail or two. Choose from one of seven signature drinks, including a popular pick, the Frosty Mojito, mixed with Don Q mojito rum, peach schnapps and lemon-lime soda.