From Water to Ice and Back Again

Life has its flow. People come and go in our lives, the economy dips and rises. We are children, then have children. In a culture of advanced technology and continual change, we sometimes hold deep nostalgia for the way it has always been. Not so in the village of Jukkasajärvi, Sweden, 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, where the people celebrate as their greatest achievement melts away each April.  Jukkasajärvi is the site of an annual construction project called the Ice Hotel.

A Deluxe Suite in the Ice Hotel

For centuries, the amazing summer experiences offered by the “Land of the Midnight Sun” were offset by dark, sub-zero, “we can’t do anything but hibernate” winters. But Jukkasajärvi’s winter life was reborn when Åke Larsson and his team created the first Ice Hotel in 1990. Now in its 18th year, the Ice Hotel is redesigned and rebuilt annually, using only snow and ice from the River Tome. Artists and artisans from around the globe vie for the honor of sculpting one of 80+ rooms, and international travelers book their rooms years in advance.

The Ice Hotel is a marvel of architecture and human resilience that shimmers through the winter and melts into the River Tome year after year – an example of how human spirit and creativity can change the face of the earth, and sculpt new life – a new industry – in a remote village.

Life has its flow. Much needs to change here in metro Detroit, and it will. People will come and go in our lives, the economy will dip and rise, and our children’s children will have children. If it is possible to amaze the world by building a hotel out of ice and snow in a small village 200 kilometers inside the Arctic Circle, it is also possible for the people of metro Detroit to once again change the face of the world.

What will you do today?