The History of Santa’s North Pole Workshop In Colorado
Did you know that Santa's North Pole Workshop has been active in Colorado longer than the United States Air Force Academy?
Santa's North Pole Colorado Workshop and the Air Force Academy are practically neighbors, separated by less than 20 miles. Interestingly enough, the two entities came into existence at almost the exact same time in the Colorado Springs region, but as we look back in Colorado history, we see that Santa beat out Uncle Sam by the slimmest of margins.
Construction Begins In the 1950s
On March 10, 1955 it was announced that a 25-acre Santa's Workshop would be built at the foot of Pikes Peak. On June 16, 1956 Santa's Workshop opened for its first season. Meanwhile, the Air Force Academy was founded on April 1, 1954, but it wasn't ready for occupancy until 1958.
The Village Has A Connection To Walt Disney
Santa's Workshop village was designed by Arto Monaco, a former Walt Disney artist. The village was to be identical to the one built in Lake Placid, New York. It was in the 1940s that an eight-year-old girl told him what she thought Santa's home and the village looked like. Monaco took her description and turned those images into blueprints for an actual village.
What Is In the Village?
The village consisted of 12 alpine buildings including a house for Santa and Mrs. Claus, 3 workshops, a blacksmith shop, gate house, reindeer barn, souvenir shop, show house, Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, and a miniature chapel with a nativity.
Santa's Workshop Has Become An All-Seasons Amusement Park
The village has changed and grown through the years - and now more than 65 years later, Santa's Workshop North Pole Colorado has become an amusement park for all seasons featuring more than two dozen rides, numerous gift shops and eateries, and, of course, Jolly Old Saint Nick himself.