Santa s Land in Putney. (Zachary P. Stephens/Reformer file photo)
Santa s Land in Putney. (Zachary P. Stephens/Reformer file photo)
Tuesday October 30, 2012

PUTNEY -- Santa's Land is making a comeback.

Nearly 11 months after the owners of the popular holiday-themed park announced its closure, word surfaced Monday that Santa's Land will reopen this season after all.

While park administrators could not immediately be reached for comment, the announcement was made via the Santa's Land Facebook page.

"For 11 days only, you'll be able to experience the joy of Christmas at Santa's Land with your family," the online post said. "The park will open the Friday after Thanksgiving and will be open that Saturday and Sunday and every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 23."

Santa's Land hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Facebook post said additional details would be released "closer to Thanksgiving."

The park has been operating in Putney along Route 5 since 1957. But in December, owners Timothy and Leslie Wells announced that persistent financial issues would force them to close for good.

In an interview with the Reformer at the time, Timothy Wells cited rising costs and revenues that were "off by two-thirds." Lower ticket prices did not attract enough people to keep the park going, he said.

It was not clear on Monday what led to the park's expected reopening.

But it was good news nonetheless for Santa's Land enthusiasts. That includes Daniel Urban, a resident of Orange, Conn., who has been maintaining a "Save Santa's Land" Facebook page.

Urban said his mother-in-law recalls visiting the park as a child, and he has taken his children on a three-hour drive to experience Santa's Land several times.

"You're talking about 50 years of history there," he said.

Urban was visiting Santa's Land last year when he learned of the park's impending demise. Soon after, he started the Facebook group, which has attracted 141 members.

"I have a lot of friends here in Connecticut who have taken their kids there," he said.

"A lot of people are kind of in the same boat," he added. "It's a family thing. It's about tradition."

Urban termed the park's reopening "excellent." And he already was planning a trip to Vermont this holiday season, possibly right after Thanksgiving.

"We've been there three years in a row, and our kids really enjoyed it," he said.

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.