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Z Fun Factory to be new venue for Yuma holiday event
YUMA, ARIZONA -- The fanciful village of kid-sized playhouses that's sprung to life amid the historic buildings of the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park for the past three years will have a new home next Christmas, it was announced today by the Yuma Visitors Bureau, which created its Christmas Village event in 2010.
Z Fun Factory and Waylon's Water World, a family entertainment complex and water park owned by Brice and Becky Zeller, will take over ownership of the event and the signature buildings that were originally designed and built by Bobby Lemmon of Tom Lemmon Drywall, Inc.
"We're excited to turn the keys to the Christmas Village over to Brice and Becky Zeller," said Linda Jordan, executive director of Yuma Visitors Bureau. "It's a great match with their business and the perfect 'forever home' for a great holiday event.
"The Zellers have the room and the infrastructure in place to nurture and grow the Christmas Village and the event, both for Yuma families and for out-of-town visitors," Jordan added. "We're delighted that Yuma Visitors Bureau could serve as an incubator for an idea that a private-sector business really can grow and take to the next level."
The Zellers plan to permanently site the Christmas Village on their property and possibly to expand it in the future. Having to move and store the buildings during the off season was a major hurdle with continuing the event at the historic riverfront park, Jordan said, as was parking capacity with redevelopment and building continuing downtown.
"We're excited about bringing this event to our place and continuing what's already a great Yuma Christmas tradition," Brice Zeller said. "When we bought the Fun Factory and built Waylon's Water World, we committed ourselves to creating fun opportunities for Yuma families, and this is just an expansion of that commitment. It's a great opportunity, and should be a win-win for everyone."
The Christmas Village houses will be moved tonight to facilitate installation of a special traveling exhibit on Alcatraz Prison that was created for the National Park Service by Alcatraz Cruises. The Alcatraz exhibit opens Jan. 12 and will remain at Yuma Quartermaster Depot through April 14. Entry to the Alcatraz exhibit is included in the regular park admission price ($4 for adults 14 and older, $2 kids ages 7-13, free for kids age 6 and younger).
* Recognized by Guinness World Records as world's sunniest spot, Yuma offered free meals to hotel guests "every day the sun doesn't shine" from Aug. 1, 2011 until July 31, 2012 as part of Arizona's Centennial celebration. Yuma's final score? Sunshine 365, Gloom 0.
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