Area man saying he hasn't been fully paid for building ice bar, hotel weighs in

DETROIT LAKES, Minn, (Valley News Live)- If you've visited lakes country the past couple of weeks, you may have stopped at the ice bar in Detroit Lakes. So far, it looks to be a big hit. But not everything is as it seems. The man who helped make this unique place contacted our Whistleblower Hotline to share his story about the ice bar.

"I just ask for payment, as peaceful as possible," says Tightwood Owner, Jeremy Walker.

This is what it's all about. It's a bar, not much bigger than the average fish house, and it's the brain child of Jeremy Walker. When he heard about the chance to help create the ice bar, he jumped at it. He thought this would be great for his business.

But that all changed, when he says, he didn't get fully paid for his work.

"This project alone, I've given up other projects to do to make this that big of a deal. I thought publicity would be my reward. However, it didn't really work out that way, obviously," says Walker.

Now if you don't know, the ice bar sits on Little Detroit Lake. The folks who run the Holiday Inn of Detroit Lakes asked Walker to build the 12x8-foot building attached to the tent. But he tells us, they aren't paying him what he says, should be coming.

"It puts me in a pretty tight predicament, especially over a long period of time. Its backed me into a pretty tight corner," says Walker.

A formal contract was never made, and a verbal agreement was used to seal the deal. So we checked in with the Holiday Inn. General Manager, Douglas Anselmin tells us, Walker didn't build what he wanted in the first place. He tells us, he already paid him for 60 hours of work.

But Walker is billing the Holiday Inn for the 140 hours he says, it took him to make the building. And that's where the case sits today, and a case indeed it might be. Walker says, if they don't pay him, he's taking them to court.

The Holiday Inn's GM tells us, more work was done than what was authorized. He says, all the materials used were paid for by the Holiday Inn.