minus5 Ice Bar

November 2017 update:
minus5’s Monte Carlo location has closed, but the Mandalay Place and Venetian locations are still open

I’ve been curious about this place for a while, but I usually just walk by. After all, it looks like a very plain build-out just off the casino floor and seems a little out of place between the Blue Man Group Theater and Diablo’s Cantina. I took advantage of a myVEGAS Reward to check it out.

Souvenir Photo taken by the photographer at minus5
Souvenir Photo taken by the photographer at minus5

From the outside it is very nondescript. Inside it is a winter wonderland. The entire space is made of ice. They have ice carvings on the walls (including a Welcome To Las Vegas sign), ice statues, an ice island and an ice luge carved in the form of a female torso. Even the “glassware” is made of ice. There is a side room which looks to fit about a fifteen people comfortably. It has an ice chandelier and carvings representing a lot of the old school casinos like The Dunes, Frontier and Stardust. There is another small alcove which could fit a half-dozen people. The rest of the space is open. All of the seating is in the form of benches carved from the ice along the walls and then covered with fur. It is smaller than I expected. The capacity is limited to 120 people, and that would be a very tight fit.

You can find some photos on their website. I had planned to take my own photos, but they do not allow patrons to bring in cell phones or other electronics in the ice bar due to the heat they generate. They have free lockers where you can put your phones and other items. You might wonder how they light the space if heat is such a concern. They use LED lighting panels which give off very little heat. That LED lighting also allows them to add some color to the space since most of the ice is either clear or frosty white.

I was disappointed that I couldn’t take my own photos, but  they had a really good staff photographer on hand to take photos. I didn’t catch her name, but she did a great job. You are not obligated to buy the photos they take, but you can buy them for $20 each when you exit or go online and get the digital image and other photo sizes as well as key chains, coasters and even iPhone cases with your photo on them.

Minus 5 Price List
Minus 5 Price List

When you arrive, you’ll need to decide which package to buy. The Basic entry is $17  and gets you a parka and gloves. They include boots, too, if you need them. As long as you have your toes covered, you should be fine. The next step up is the 2 cocktail package. It is $37 and gets you the regular entry plus 2 drinks. Since the specialty drinks included in that package are $10 anyway, it doesn’t save you anything. The next step up is the VIP package. It is $55 and gets you an upgrade to a fur coat, a souvenir hat (you get to keep it) and one cocktail. The Total VIP package is $75 and gets you the fur coat upgrade, souvenir hat, 2 cocktails and a souvenir photo.
It seems like most people just get the regular entry and pay as they go for drinks. I was there on a Saturday afternoon, so it was kind of slow, but I was the only one with a fur coat (which made me feel a little more like a VIP).

myVEGAS minus5 Entry with Fur Coat Reward
myVEGAS minus5 Entry with Fur Coat Reward

I used a myVEGAS minus5 Entry with Fur Coat Reward. That got me the regular entry (no drinks included) and a fur coat. They do allow you to upgrade, so they treated the myVEGAS Reward as a $40 credit and allowed me to upgrade to the VIP level for $15. I highly suggest going this route if you can.

They have a half-dozen vodka based specialty drinks which are $10 each. They do have a few higher end liquors (like Hendrick’s gin), but they don’t have many mixers other than their premix for the specialty cocktails. They really want you stick to the specialty cocktail menu.  You can use cash, credit or your drink tokens at the bar. There is no obligation to drink while you are there. Non-alcoholic versions of the specialty drinks are available, too.

Minus5 opens at 11am every day and is open until 2am during the week. It is open until 3am on Friday and Saturday night. For more info, visit the minus5 website.

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