When the summer temperatures heat up, so do Moab Ice’s sales.
The plant at 2650 S. U.S. 191 produces six tons of cubed ice and four and a half tons of block ice each day during peak season, said plant manager Trevor Mott.
“We have quite a water bill,” co-owner Brenda Christensen added.
She and her husband, Brent, purchased the company in 2009. Their son, Nathan, also is a partner in the company. He works there during weekends in addition to his weekly job with the city of Moab.
Pete Doles owned the plant from 1986 until 2007 when his health failed, Brenda Christensen said. Doles’ daughter then purchased the plant and operated it until selling the business to its current owners
City Market is Moab Ice’s largest customer and sometimes four deliveries are made there daily, Christensen said. The firm also sells to the river running outfitters in town, she said.
Christensen explained that most ice companies make shaved ice and then compress it.
“That melts really quickly,” she said.
Leon Whitney of Tag-A-Long Tours and Travel attested to the staying power of the locally produce ice.
“We use quite a bit of it every day and I haven’t had any complaints from guides,” he said.
Tag-A-Long buys deliveries of 50 blocks twice each week, Whitney said.
Moab Ice had 95 customers when the family bought the business and now has 120 regular clients from La Sal to Crescent Junction, Christensen said. There are three delivery trucks, and up to seven workers are employed during the busy season.
Ice sales generally run from March to early November. Mott noted that, in addition to regular customers, “Restaurants call us when they run out.”
Christensen said her family had been coming to Moab for recreation for 25 years before deciding to buy a retirement home here in 1998. Nathan and Brent were partners in a commercial construction company in Salt Lake City, but when the economic downturn slowed that industry the family decided to move to Moab permanently and give the ice business a try.
The Christensens have steadily built their business, constructing a new ice production facility in time for the 2011 season. The former plant is now used for ice storage.
They own land that can be used for further expansion behind the plant, and hope to add more freezer space in the future, Brenda Christensen said.
She said the company enjoys supporting the local community and is a sponsor for several local events each year as well as the GCHS girls softball team.
The community is supportive of the business, too, she said.
“Our customers have been loyal to us,” Brenda Christensen said.