While it might not be a novelty to people who spend their days in meat lockers or hiking across a frozen tundra or stuck in one of those offices where the thermostat is set so low your nipples break HR rules (we've all been there), for everyone else, Minus 5 at Mandalay Place is definitely an innovative concept.
This is the Sin City version of the establishment that's also become popular in Orlando and, somewhat inexplicably, New York City. We'll just sort of overlook why people who have a real winter would need an ice bar and focus on how much we love this place in the summer when the sun is hitting on you harder than that drunk guy at the bar who just can’t take a hint.
The experience goes a little something like this: You check in and pay your admission, which includes the use of cold-appropriate clothing like parkas and gloves, or you pay more for premium fur coats and included drinks. Then you head into a room that's just sort of chilly. In that room, you watch a little video, learn some stuff you'll need like, you break it, you buy it, and only lick something if you're the only one drinking from it. That last one is just our general rule in the Vegas.com office. Then it's on to the main event.
Inside the main room, there's ice everywhere. Huge bricks make up walls of the room, while elaborate ice sculptures adorn everything. This is a room made of ice. If Ice T and Ice Cube were taking ice dancing lessons from the superhero Iceman on the ice planet of Hoth, well it would be awesome and we'd pay way more than $17 to see it. But Minus 5 is still pretty darn icy.
Common sense should dictate that there are mostly vodka-based drinks in a room where temperatures are so low, but the Minus 5 folks are constantly tinkering with other drinks to get them to stay in liquid form in the frigid air. Although, common sense would also probably dictate that you shouldn’t combine alcohol and potentially dangerous temperatures. But if we followed that rule this whole city would shut down.
The drinks are served in ice glasses made of (obviously frozen) New Zealand water and if you have more than one drink, you're encouraged to reuse the glass, as it belongs only to you, ever, before it melts. And be mindful of where you set that glass by listening to your mom's old advice and using a coaster. If you don't, you could find your drink has fused to the bar. But don't try to take a pic of that, Minus 5 doesn't allow phones.
Once you're done, you're ushered into a much, much warmer room to re-acclimatize yourself and strip back down to whatever clothes you came in with. And of course, if you're too much of a hot head to actually go in, you can always get a frozen drink at the outer bar. But then you'll never know just how cool it is to sit on ice, drink from ice, be surrounded by ice and constantly annoy your friend with every cold pun you can possibly think up.