Despite, or thanks to, wonderfully unseasonable weather, Santa's Castle has been very busy during their thirty-three day run.
As of Wednesday, December 19, almost 5,700 visitors were documented to have toured the castle. The castle has also brought in more than $6,300 in donations. Many businesses and individuals provided donations to help.
Santa's Workshop did not materialize as the chamber of commerce had hoped. Challenged by finding volunteers, it was open on a limited basis. The chamber got a good response when it was open so it will be working at refining the effort for 2002.
The chamber has big plans for the Castle, according to CEO Chris Nolte. It hopes to have the Castle open year-round on a limited basis for group tours. "We see this as a significant opportunity to become a tourist attraction and one that will bring group tours to our community," a chamber statement said this week. "This leads to the next phase - which is very exciting! In our investigation of the displays we are learning a great deal and we are planning to host Mr. Lou Nasti... in the latter part of January. He is planning on spending a couple of days examining our units and giving us an appraisal of their worth as well as sharing with us his knowledge of restoration. From Brooklyn, NY, he has been in the business of designing mechanical displays for over thirty years and has designed displays for major department stores. In a recent New York City magazine, Mr. Nasti was called Mr. Christmas. With this new information on the displays we will be putting together a brochure that will be more historic in nature and, hopefully, give folks some insight into the collection," the statement said.