CASCADE, Colo. — Santa’s Workshop North Pole reopened on Saturday after getting health department approval.
The manager of the park stated they were only approved to open four of their several rides but the entire park along with shopping and eating spots were opened.
“The state allowed four rides to open and they aren’t classified as amusement rides. Our slide, our sky ride our train and our zip-line are all open under public health orders,” Austin Lawhorn, the manager of the North Pole said.
Since they opened in the 1950’s the park was only ever closed once before this and that was due to the Waldo Canyon Fire, according to Lawhorn. This time she said the closing was significantly longer.
“We had to lay off 90 people. That was horrible and we still cant bring all those people back,” Lawhorn said.
She said they are remaining hopeful that as visitors increase at the park, they can bring back more staff members. Visitors are required to wear face-masks in all indoor areas of the park and Lawhorn said they are encouraged to wear them while walking throughout the park as well.
“I am hoping we can provide some family time and time to forget everything else going on,” Lawhorn said.
Since there are only four rides open she said they are doing a $10 wristband for unlimited rides on each one. She said the park admission is free to those who just want to come in to shop, eat and see Santa.
“Santa is here. Santa is someone we can talk to when we feel scared and sad and when things aren’t going right,” Lawhorn said.
This comes after last month Santa’s Workshop was told they couldn’t reopen because they were considered an Amusement Park.
The owner however, said they should be considered a park.
“Today, we stand here, heartbroken. The idea of constant mingling of non-household contacts is occurring at Zoos, Royal Gorge, other parks, and not being applied the same way it’s being applied to us,” said Tom Haggard, owner of Santa’s Workshop in a press conference June 30.
Haggard said the park was taking all necessary precautions. The park opened for nine days, installing hand sanitation stations, blocked off seats on rides to promote 6 feet social distancing, and told FOX21 that they were cleaning the rides after every use while they were operating.