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Snow, staffing shortages are affecting Santa Claus in Colorado

Mr. Claus hopes to open his Colorado workshop this weekend, but with fewer rides than usual.

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — Santa Claus is short a few helpers, but he will still open his Colorado workshop as planned this weekend.

The North Pole: Santa’s Workshop said it will have a soft opening on Sunday, May 22.

> The opening was planned for Saturday but was delayed due to expected snow. See The North Pole's website for the updated opening.

Home to Santa's village and the jolly old elf himself, the vintage amusement park, located at the foot of Pikes Peak west of Colorado Springs, traditionally opens the weekend before Memorial Day and remains open through Christmas.

The park said prices will be discounted this weekend because not all rides will be open due to a staffing shortage. The North Pole said available rides will change daily on a rotating basis as it adds more helpers to Santa's team.

Colorado’s North Pole amusement park first opened on June 16, 1956, and the first rides opened in 1958. The village was designed to look like the 1940s-built Santa's workshop at Lake Placid, New York.

While the park has expanded over the years, adding rides and a few new shops, it has largely stayed true to that original aesthetic and feeling.

Many of the buildings are still the original ones that opened more than 60 years ago, the park has authentic antique band organs that still play Christmas tunes heard throughout the park and many of the rides have been running for generations.

There are 28 rides at the North Pole, most designed for children. The most prominent is the Giant Wheel, which opened in 1967 and can be seen poking above the trees while driving by on Highway 24. According to the owners, at 7,500 feet in elevation, the Ferris wheel is the highest in the world.

LEARN MORE: You can visit the North Pole without leaving Colorado

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