(CASCADE, Colo.) —Starting in the month of May, the North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop welcomes visitors of all ages.
The amusement park has been serving the community for over 66 years, opening its doors in June of 1956.
“This actually came to be to the Pikes Peak region because a similar park opened in Lake Placid, New York in 1953,” a manager of North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop, Austin Lawhorn, said. “And a bunch of local businesspeople here in Colorado Springs went ‘if it works in Lake Placid, it has to work on Pikes Peak’.”
The park offers over 20 rides, bites to eat, and a unique village with a glassblower and post office to send letters to Santa.
“Well, so we are a vintage park. So what we do is we collect unique old rides and restore them,” Lawhorn said. “So most of the rides that you’re going to see here at the North Pole, our rides that you’re not really going to find at other amusement parks, because we have collected these over the years. We have an incredible maintenance team, and they take a lot of care into refinishing these so a lot of our rides are almost one of a kind.”
With Christmas two days away, the park was filled with visitors getting ready to tell Santa their last-minute Christmas wishes.
“Well, I’ll say it’s an honor, it feels like these days families have to make choices where they spend their money with inflation, and everybody else is adjusting to a new normal,” Lawhorn said. “And the fact that they choose us feels like an honor and it feels like something that we need to take very seriously to keep going, because the fact that we do sell out over the holidays does mean a lot when people need to make choices with what they’re going to do.”
After the cold front hit earlier this week, the park was sprinkled with snow, making it feel just like the North Pole.
“And even though it’s not the way that we want with the temperatures being this cold, it does show that family memories are so important, especially after the last couple of years,” Lawhorn said. “I think that everybody that is here, you know, they really care and it’s a wonderful family thing.”
For Lawhorn, the magic of the North Pole runs in her blood, with her family also working at the amusement park.
“I work with my mom and my dad and my brother,” Lawhorn said. “We’re all up here and we grew up this way. My grandfather was one of the original investors in the park and so we haven’t known anything else…. so it’s wonderful that we have each other, that we are together during the holidays, even though in maybe a different way than the families visiting here.”