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With sale of 'welcome center' (and cabin too cold), OCCA's Santa on the move again this year

Nov. 7, 2018
       It's not as long a trip as the one he takes on Christmas Eve, but the Santa Claus in Old Colorado City will be relocating this year from the east end of the historic district to the west end.
       The move is tied to the recent decision by the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group to sell the converted house at 2324 W. Colorado Ave. that
People wait in line outside 2324 W. Colorado to see the Old Colorado City Associates' Santa during the Christmas Stroll in 2017. The OCCA owned the house then, but sold it to Front Range Barbeque in August.
Westside Pioneer photo
had been its “welcome center” (see Westside Pioneer article at this link).
       The house had also served as Santa's OCC headquarters in 2017. For over a decade before that, Santa had greeted youngsters in Bancroft Park's cabin, but OCCA board members decided they were tired of it being so cold - and besides, they had the welcome center then.
       This year, the jolly old elf will be four blocks west, in the former office of Old Town Propane at 2725 W. Colorado Ave., which closed in October (see Westside Pioneer article at this link).
       “We're going to fix up the office like Santa's wonderland,” said Julie Fabrizio of the OCCA.
       Santa's schedule will be the same as in past years, stationed in the building on weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as on Christmas Eve.
       His first day will be Small Business Saturday (the first Saturday after Thanksgiving - Nov. 24), which the OCCA celebrates annually with its Christmas Stroll, featuring street performers and shops open late.
       Regarding the former welcome center, the OCCA gave it that name after purchasing the 2324 building in 2014. At the time, the house was to be like a
The Old Colorado City Associates Santa Claus will be set up this Christmas season in the 2700 block of Colorado Avenue, using the former office of Old Town Propane.
Westside Pioneer file photo
chamber of commerce for tourists while supplying needed space for OCCA offices, meetings and storage.
       However, the plan didn't work as well as planned. Volunteers were supposed to man the center, but few stepped forward to do that. Also, according to information from OCCA leaders, the center was east of Old Colorado City's core (so out of the way), building costs were an issue, and the group found other places for meetings and storage.
       Still, a new location was needed for Santa.
       Prior to 2017, the OCCA had used the historic cabin in Bancroft Park, but the OCCA board decided after 2016 that even with space heaters, the cabin was too cold.
       Fortunately, OCCA President Franco Pisani closed in October on the property at 2725 W. Colorado, which is just across the avenue from his Paravicini's and Sopra restaurants. He then offered to make the property's office available for Santa this year.
       As for a future OCCA welcome center, there was a preliminary discussion with the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) about using the basement of its History Center at 1 S. 24th St., but no deal has been worked out, according to Fabrizio. Susie Schorsch of the OCCHS added that the logistics would be awkward (considering that the basement is where historic archives are kept), and insurance would also be a factor.

Westside Pioneer article
(Business: Changes)

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