Santa's Village to reopen this year as outdoor adventure park

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An effort is underway to restore the once-popular Santa's Village in the Skyforest section of Lake Arrowhead back to its 1950s splendor. The park will reopen later this year as an outdoor adventure park with bicycle-riding paths and zip-lining.

The gate is locked, the parking lot is empty. Inside, Santa's Village looks more like a ghost town.

"Before it closed, I wanted to take my grandchildren here, never had the opportunity," said Curtis Newman of Lake Arrowhead.

But Newman, like many of us, has a lot of memories at Santa's Village. The winter-themed amusement park in the Skyforest section of Lake Arrowhead used to feature shopping, animals and rides. But money problems forced the place to shut down in 1998.

ABC7 Eyewitness News reporter Rob McMillan is seen with his family at Santa's Village in the Skyforest section of Lake Arrowhead in the early 1980's.

ABC7 Eyewitness News reporter Rob McMillan is seen with his family at Santa's Village in the Skyforest section of Lake Arrowhead in the early 1980s.

"When they originally closed down the park, in order to pay off debts and stuff, they sold all the rides," said project manager Bill Johnson.

However, most of the buildings are still in good shape.

"Things like the bakery hasn't changed," Johnson said.

He is now spearheading an effort to bring Santa's Village back with a twist.

"We'll probably have archery in the park, shooting galleries," Johnson said.

Instead of an amusement park, this time around, it'll be more like an outdoor adventure park, according to Johnson.

"Zip lines have become real popular, so we have a fantastic zip line coming," Johnson said.

The Bumblebee Monorail, built in the early '60s, is not coming back, at least not in the way guests probably remember it.

"It will be a peddle power bike," Johnson said, adding that the park will be the perfect setting for camping, hiking and mountain-biking.

"This Santa's Village will be a little bit more updated for a bigger range of the family," Johnson said.

Johnson's original plan was to open by spring, but he says more realistically, he'll open Santa's Village by the end of the year.


Related Topics:
entertainmenttheme parkhistoryLake ArrowheadSkyforest
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