Marshall warms to ice-hotel idea

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- The Aurora Ice Hotel here -- the first ice hotel built in the U.S. -- is set to open for guests this week after an unexpected setback: It didn't have approval from the Alaska State Fire Marshal's office.

According to officials here from the Chena Hot Springs Resort, which built the ice hotel, expert opinions on engineering, architecture and ice sculpting allayed the marshal's concerns about the structure's safety.

The hotel, however, is required to install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in its rooms.

"Don't laugh," a statement from the Chena resort said. "Something could forseeably catch on fire and, rather than have someone throw an ice sculpture on it to put it out, the fire extinguisher would be a quicker, easier way."

To contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].

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