The idea for this business started with some unique experience and a great aspiration: to hold the Guinness World Record for the largest ice maze created.
For six winters, Cory B. Livingood and his family traveled around the U.S. and Canada building 1-2 acre ice structures. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Livingood researched the World’s Largest Snow Maze, but since he has more experience with ice, he was inspired to build the World’s Largest Ice Maze. The Ice Maze is an innovative installation at the Alaska State Fair Grounds (partners and operations support), located in Palmer, where guests can explore a maze with walls of ice just over six feet tall. This original construction was completed by one person in 9 days (186-hours) of ambitious love. Surveyors visited the site, officially measured the square footage, and confirmed this maze is larger than the previous one on record. Now it is just a matter of Guinness World Records accepting the paperwork.
Livingood contacted the Alaska SBDC from the conception of this goal:
“Trisha Sims [Mat-Su Center] helped guide me through writing my business plan, how to get financing via loans, grants and sponsorship (without which this wouldn’t be happening), and even advised me on contracts with the Fairgrounds and a patent attorney. I am very grateful to her. “
Since its public opening in mid-January 2022, the Ice Maze has welcomed a consistent and steady stream of visitors – many choosing to explore every corner of this frozen wonder more than once. Livingood entertains young visitors by explaining the care of “yeti eggs” (frozen spheres) as he uses them to patch any gaps or imperfections in the walls. He plans to keep the maze running as long as the weather permits.
Future plans for the Ice Maze include maintaining its hold on the world record by increasing the square footage and continuing to expand the maze with the help of a team each year, not only in size but also by adding special features, creating a different experience year after year. Livingood plans to continue to consult with the Alaska SBDC to help find business partners for financial and operational support and advice on hiring employees.