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North Pole Colorado Where Christmas never ends!


Located outside Colorado Springs, USA, is an unpretentious Christmas-themed family amusement park. Paul Ruben visits North Pole Colorado


area a destination, we are very good at all working together."


The season starts each year in May and, unlike most large parks that close as the weather cools, North Pole stays open right up until Christmas Eve – for obvious reasons. "We have good attendance on the weekends from September through Christmas Eve," reports Haggard. "October is a little slow but we run a lot of groups through the park then. It is easier on our staff to just stay open the whole time then put the park to bed and start our maintenance projects once we close for the season."


ituated on the way to Pike’s Peak at an altitude of 7,500ft (2,285m), the park has been in existence in the town of Cascade since 1956. Christmas music fills the air as visitors browse the village and its variety of gift shops.


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Dispersed throughout the park are more than 25 rides and other attractions. Rides include North America's highest located Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel, the Candy Cane Coaster by Molina, Santa's Sleigh zip line from Soaring Eagle, a Herschell-Spillman Carousel, Flying Scooters by Bisch Rocco, the Space Shuttle and CP Huntington train from Chance, a Sellner Tilt-A-Whirl, OD Hopkins Sky Ride, Eli Bridge Scrambler, Dartron Paratrooper, the Peppermint Slide and Antique Autos (built in-house), together with the Christmas Tree Ride – pictured above – built using an Allan Herschell Helicopter Ride. The highlight of everyone’s visit, of course, is a visit to Santa’s Workshop. During the day, Santa’s house also hosts magic shows.


Little competition North Pole Colorado markets to surrounding states such as Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Nebraska and Oklahoma, and owner Tom Haggard doesn't believe he has much competition. "If someone wants a big park they will go to Denver for that,” he says. “We are lucky to have a variety of family-friendly attractions in the region that makes the


JANUARY 2015 51


Half a decade of fun The park traces its history back to 1955 when a 25- acre (10 hectare) Santa’s Workshop was announced for the slopes of Pike’s Peak. A village of 12 alpine buildings was planned, including a home for Mr & Mrs Claus, three workshops, a blacksmith shop, gate house, reindeer barn, souvenir shop, show house, Mother Hubbard’s cupboard and a miniature chapel with a nativity scene. One of the main attractions became a “frozen” North Pole that remains in the centre of the village today – as pictured below left. No matter how hot the temperature, the pole remains frozen. On June 16, 1956, Santa’s Workshop/North Pole opened for its first season. 1958 brought the first rides. North Pole Colorado has grown through the years, but pure enjoyment of the Christmas spirit has remained the same for more than half a decade. As for the future, "We have no plans to deviate from who we are,” confirms Haggard. “We will keep adding new family friendly rides and attractions as we are able."


northpolecolorado.com


ABOVE: Park owner Tom Haggard


‘You don’t need the biggest rides to have fun’


The Peppermint Slide – pictured above – is North Pole Colorado’s most popular attraction. "We think it's because it has been here for a long time and everyone remembers it," says park owner Tom Haggard of this self-built construction. "It hasn't changed and it is nice for people to share this with their children. Kids love slides. You don't need the biggest and fastest rides to have fun.”


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