Quantcast

Santa's Land saying goodbye - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Santa's Land saying goodbye

Tim Wells Tim Wells

Putney, Vermont - December 4, 2011

A longtime holiday landmark in Putney is closing it's doors.  Santa's Land, a 54-year-old attraction along Route 5, is going out of business.

At Santa's Land in Putney, riding the Santa train has been a tradition among families for nearly 60 years.

"We remember eating pancakes in their little igloo pancake house a long long time ago and the igloo slide I remember doing that and the cho-choo train is what my kids are loving this year," said Debbie Urban, a visitor at the park Sunday.

Like the Peckham family from Connecticut, who've been making the drive to what they affectionately call the North Pole, for three generations. But this year will be their last visit because Santa's Land is closing in just two weeks, according to owner, Tim Wells. "The cost of business has gone up and at the same time that revenue has gone down, and I think the economy is directly attributable to what's happened," he said.

Santa's Land has wintry decor reminiscent of the North Pole -- a petting zoo, and fun for kids of all ages. It opened its doors 54 years ago, but has been owned by the Wells Family for the past seven. "It's a tradition in Vermont that's going to be closed and gone, and I think that's the hardest part for us," he said.

Wells attributes the cost of gas as one reason for the decline in business.

"We would love to come back. We schedule it in to our Christmas every year -- we always do," said visitor Lynn Peckham.

Unlike the Peckhams, who are an exception, much of Santa Land's out-of-state visitors have stopped coming and that, according to Wells, has caused revenue to drop by nearly 66-percent.

While the Wells are sad to see Santa Land go, Santa himself, a.k.a. Arthur Bailey, who is 92 years old, says he thinks maybe it's time for him to retire. "I'll do what every retiree does, watch some TV, fine (inaudible) with the neighbors and just enjoy myself," he said.

The park is up for sale, which the owners hope will keep the Santa train rolling down the tracks during holiday seasons to come.

Like the Peckham family from Connecticut, who've been making the drive to what they affectionately call the North Pole, for three generations. But this year will be their last visit because Santa's Land is closing in just two weeks, according to owner, Tim Wells. "The cost of business has gone up and at the same time that revenue has gone down, and I think the economy is directly attributable to what's happened," he said.

Santa's Land has wintry décor reminiscent of the North Pole -- a petting zoo, and fun for kids of all ages. It opened its doors 54 years ago, but has been owned by the Wells Family for the past seven. "It's a tradition in Vermont that's going to be closed and gone, and I think that's the hardest part for us," he said.

Wells attributes the cost of gas as one reason for the decline in business.

"We would love to come back. We schedule it in to our Christmas every year -- we always do," said visitor Lynn Peckham.

Unlike the Peckhams, who are an exception, much of Santa Land's out-of-state visitors have stopped coming and that, according to Wells, has caused revenue to drop by nearly 66-percent.

While the Wells are sad to see Santa Land go, Santa himself, a.k.a. Arthur Bailey, who is 92 years old, says he thinks maybe it's time for him to retire. "I'll do what every retiree does, watch some TV, fine (inaudible) with the neighbors and just enjoy myself," he said.

The park is up for sale, which the owners hope will keep the Santa holiday train rolling down the tracks during holiday seasons to come.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Vermont Health Connect down for repairs

    Vermont Health Connect down for repairs

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:52:02 GMT
    Gov. Peter Shumlin temporarily pulled the plug on the Vermont Health Connect website Tuesday. The governor says it's the best way to fix ongoing problems with the site. But critics say he's just protecting himself during campaign season.
    Gov. Peter Shumlin temporarily pulled the plug on the Vermont Health Connect website Tuesday. The governor says it's the best way to fix ongoing problems with the site. But critics say he's just protecting himself during campaign season.
  • 1 infected with hantavirus in Vermont

    1 infected with hantavirus in Vermont

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:58 PM EDT2014-09-16 16:58:55 GMT
    The Vermont Department of Health is warning residents to be cautious when cleaning up rodent-infested areas after someone came down with a potentially deadly virus carried by deer mice.
    The Vermont Department of Health is warning residents to be cautious when cleaning up rodent-infested areas after someone came down with a potentially deadly virus carried by deer mice.
  • Area hospitals track spread of enterovirus-68

    Area hospitals track spread of enterovirus-68

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:56 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:56:14 GMT
    Doctors in our region are preparing for a respiratory illness spreading across the country. So far, there are no confirmed cases of enterovirus-68 in Vermont or New Hampshire, but experts say it will likely arrive soon.
    Doctors in our region are preparing for a respiratory illness spreading across the country. So far, there are no confirmed cases of enterovirus-68 in Vermont or New Hampshire, but experts say it will likely arrive soon.
  • Respiratory virus spreads across country

    Respiratory virus spreads across country

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:32 PM EDT2014-09-16 16:32:31 GMT
    Rich Hinchliffe with Central Vermont Medical Center joins us to talk about Enterovirus D68.
    Rich Hinchliffe with Central Vermont Medical Center joins us to talk about Enterovirus D68.
  • Vt. man denied bail in murder of daughter's boyfriend

    Vt. man denied bail in murder of daughter's boyfriend

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-09-16 15:01:53 GMT
    A Vermont man accused of killing his daughter's boyfriend and burying his body beneath a manure pile will stay in jail.
    A Vermont man accused of killing his daughter's boyfriend and burying his body beneath a manure pile will stay in jail.
  • Police: Meth lab found in Hartford

    Police: Meth lab found in Hartford

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-09-16 23:09:06 GMT
    Police say they busted a meth lab in Hartford early Monday morning.
    Police say they busted a meth lab in Hartford early Monday morning.
  • Police search for man who stole donations from Williston rest area

    Police search for man who stole donations from Williston rest area

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:30 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:30:33 GMT
    Vermont state police need your help catching a crook who stole donations from a rest area.
    Vermont state police need your help catching a crook who stole donations from a rest area.
  • Pot found growing along St. Albans road

    Pot found growing along St. Albans road

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:46 AM EDT2014-09-16 14:46:15 GMT
    For the second time in as many weeks, police in St. Albans are trying to figure out who's behind a roadside marijuana grow operation.
    For the second time in as many weeks, police in St. Albans are trying to figure out who's behind a roadside marijuana grow operation.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.