Aug. 1 is target date to reopen Santa’s Village in Lake Arrowhead

By Jim Steinberg, San Bernardino Sun

Posted: 02/07/15,

LAKE ARROWHEAD >> Skypark at Santa’s Village, an ambitious remake of the long-closed but still remembered Santa’s Village, will open on Aug. 1, its project manager said this week.

“This is a monumental undertaking,” said Bill Johnson, whose vision for the 153-acre site covers every activity from fly fishing to weddings. “This will be a year-round recreation center for the entire family.”

Johnson gave an update on his project at the Lake Arrowhead Municipal Advisory Council Thursday night.

To make that “incredibly ambitious” opening date, Johnson said he would need the approvals of myriad state and federal agencies plus San Bernardino County.

“Let’s keep Aug. 1 in our minds” he told the council and members of the public inside Lake Arrowhead’s Fire Station 91.

A sign posted on the Santa’s Village property, which is in the mountain community of Skyforest, said it would be opening next month.

In addition to being able to buy Christmas decorations and other items on a year-round basis, the attraction will feature mountain biking, Zip lines, hiking, fly-fishing lessons, trout fishing, climbing walls and camping,

“This will be a mixed-use adventure park for the whole family,” he said.

While adults and small children may have liked Santa’s Village, “teenagers were bored,” Johnson said, adding that his concept remedies that.

Johnson said that on weekends employment would run in the “two hundreds.”

“We are going to have a giant HR (human resources) department,” Johnson said, because elements of the park will be open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., meaning there will be multiple shifts of some 200 employees.

Some of the other activities will include an area where children can play in treehouses, use swings attached to trees and a restaurant, Johnson said.