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May 21, 2013

Santa's Village - Skyforest

There were two Santa's Villages in California - today they are both closed. One was near Los Angeles, at Skyforest, near Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains. There was another Santa's Village near San Francisco, at 6348 Santa Cruz Highway, Santa Cruz, California.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Santa's Village was a winter-themed amusement park in the Skyforest section of Lake Arrowhead, California. Opened in 1955, it was the first franchised amusement park, one of three built by developer Glenn Holland. The other franchises, also defunct, were in Scotts Valley, California and East Dundee, Illinois. The East Dundee park re-opened in 2011 under new ownership as Santa's Village AZoosment Park (see Santa's Village (Illinois))
Opening more than a month before Disneyland, the 220-acre (0.89 km2) park was one of Southern California's biggest tourist attractions. It boasted kiddie rides, including a bobsled, monorail, and Ferris wheel; a petting zoo; live reindeer; and shops that included a bakery, candy kitchen, and toy shop.
Reduced attendance and revenue shortfalls caused Santa’s Village to close on 1 March 1998.[1] The property sold three years later for $5.6 million, and now serves as a staging area for local logging operations.[2] The faded candy cane signpost and dilapidated buildings of the park have become a ghost town along the Rim of the World Highway.[3]'s_Village_(Lake_Arrowhead)

Opened: 1955
Closed and Abandoned: March 1, 1998
Today: Abandoned

Google Earth Images


Early 2003


December 2003

January 2006



Abandoned Ruins Photos
Modern Day Ruins Contributors Josh Stephens and Lovely Kuppio captured some amazing photos (2013) of the ruins.  Here are just a few of them (follow the link below the web album to view them all):

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Beehive when the park was open

Thank you Josh and Lovely Kuppio!


Historical photos of Santa's Village

"Like" Santa's Village - Skyforest on Facebook!

Article - A Lake Arrowhead "Icon" Passes Away
Mr. Putman "Putty" Henck.   His family was responsible for building and managing Santa's Village in Sky Forest.

Plans to reopen SkyPark at Santa's Village as of May 2014 - check out these videos!

May 13, 2013

Rock-a-Hoola Waterpark - Lake Dolores to Reopen?

Recent talk is that a group is attempting to reopen Rock-a-Hoola as Oasis Theme Park.  Is it true?

According their website, a group called White Water West has been attempting to lease and reopen the park.  The earlest post is from 2011, the latest, at the time of this blog update, from April of this year (2013).

"We have not given up in our efforts to reopen Lake Dolores. What we face now is still much easier then what we faced when we first started our Lake Dolores efforts in April 2011."

An article from May 5, 2013 in the Daily Press, outlines the challenges the group faces.

Reposted from the Daily Press:
Shea Johnson, Staff Writer

NEWBERRY SPRINGS • A new owner and a group called Oasis Theme Park are in negotiations to bring life back to the Lake Dolores water park as early as 2015.

The facility sits in a patch of desert northeast of Barstow near Interstate 15. It was most recently named the Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark, but it’s been closed for nearly a decade.

A Friday morning visit to the property — now a haunting, almost surreal visage of its former glory days — garnered the attention of a friendly man driving a pickup truck who identified himself as a security guard.

The guard was an associate of a man named Om Garg, the park’s new owner. Garg closed escrow on Lake Dolores in January, according to Inland West Development Project Manager Spike Lynch.
Lynch has been tabbed by Garg to oversee the cleanup of the dilapidated, graffiti-daubed structures inside the park, and a more protected perimeter of the area is expected soon.

Garg’s group recently received a permit for temporary power, Lynch said, which will help with what he called a “phased” project.

A call to a number believed to be Garg’s was not immediately returned.

The group is working with Chris Jackiewicz, the head of Oasis Theme Park.

“We’ve been working on getting this project started for some time,” Jackiewicz said earlier last week. “Before we even got started on this project, we did a little background research. There were millions worldwide who knew something about the property, whether good or bad.”

Jackiewicz is banking on that recognition — if only for its prominent location along the interstate — to entice investors.

He is convinced Lake Dolores, which was last open in 2004, can be a profitable entity and to do that, he said, he will build it out slowly.

“We want to start smaller and build interest over time,” he explained. “(People) see more added to it, they’re going to be interested in coming back.”

Both Jackiewicz and Lynch noted their interest in adding jobs to the community as well, with Lynch saying he would try to hire as many local sub-contractors and individual laborers as possible.
Currently, Jackiewicz and Garg have yet to reach an agreement on leasing terms, yet Jackiewicz and Lynch are optimistic they can.

“I believe it will come to fruition, because we’re dealing with two good people,” Lynch said.


Excited?  Empty hope?  Post your thoughts in the comments below!

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