Bismarck couple gets engaged in an igloo

Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 12:07 PM CST
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MANDAN, N.D. (KFYR) - Restaurants on the river are popular in the summer, but business often slows way down during winter months. One Mandan business has found a creative solution to curb the winter slump.

Frosted-over igloos next to the Missouri River are there as a subtle reminder: riverside restaurants are still there in the wintertime.

“A lot of people think of us as a summer destination and then they forget about us for the winter months, which is most of the year here in North Dakota,” said Michelle Kaufman, co-owner of the Paddle Trap.

Michelle Kaufman and her business partners found a cozy solution they spent all last winter hoping for: igloos.

“If it’s cold outside, I mean it was negative 30 and everyone was really comfortable in there with the heaters going,” said Michelle.

The igloos were a hit from day one and there’s at least one couple who had the experience of a lifetime in one of them.

“We were both kind of shaking, it was exciting but yeah, it was definitely nerve-racking,” said Christian Clausnitzer of Bismarck.

Christian proposed to Raylee in a Paddle Trap igloo at the end of December.

“You know, I don’t really remember a lot of it after he asked me. Honestly, I don’t, even looking back at the pictures, I was blacked out, I feel like,” said Raylee.

Raylee might not remember it, but everyone else who was there does.

“The whole kitchen staff was behind the - they came out and they were all like looking, and it was pretty cool.”

Michelle says patrons like Christian and Raylee have made this winter extra-special at the Paddle Trap.

“What’s been shocking to me is all of the feedback that we’ve gotten, all of the comments that we’ve received, and it’s been thousands so far, have absolutely loved it,” said Michelle.

The Paddle Trap has expanded their patio area, which means next year, they’ll have even more igloos available to rent.

One service the Paddle Trap has implemented is communicating with the staff via text, so your server isn’t popping in and out unnecessarily. If you’re looking to rent an igloo, visit

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