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Santa's Workshop was closed on Tuesday after they were ordered to shut down their rides because of state restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Photo Credit: Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette.

Santa's Workshop, other Colorado amusement parks must remain closed despite state variance for El Paso County

There may be no stopping Santa, but apparently his workshop can be shuttered.

Santa's Workshop, a North Pole-themed attraction in Cascade, has been told to close after the state classified it as an amusement park in a variance approved Monday, the business stated in a Monday evening Facebook post.

"We do not know how long this is going to take," the post stated. "We will be working on this everyday until we get a final answer. We appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm and support for our park."

The state has "concerns regarding the opening of any amusement park in the state," given the "sheer volume of high-touch surfaces such as park rides and the likelihood of constant mingling of non-household contacts throughout the park," regardless of the park's desirable outdoor location, the state health department's executive director, Jill Hunsaker Ryan, said in the variance.

The state is not approving the re-opening of any amusement parks at this time, she wrote.

The variance designates Cave of the Winds and Santa's Workshop as amusement parks, and the indoor waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge as a personal recreation facility. The Manitou cliff dwellings and Flying W Ranch are classified under indoor and outdoor "events."

The variance will allow indoor gatherings of up to 175 and outdoor gatherings of up to 250 in the county, and gatherings of 50% capacity with no cap at personal recreation facilities like gyms and bowling alleys; indoor and outdoor events like museums and malls; and amusement parks.

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