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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, June 20, 2011

Grand Opening Set For New Quarry At Dinosaur National Monument

The quarry at Dinosaur National Monument has traditionally been the key visitor attraction, but it has been closed for the past couple years because the old building that housed it was deemed unsafe.

Now, a new visitor center and exhibit hall are being built at the quarry and are scheduled to open to the public with a big cerement on Oct. 4, 2011. They will provide an outstanding opportunity to see dinosaur bones and other fossils exposed in native rock.

Visitors will once again be able to see the classic cliff face where hundreds of bones are clearly visible - the sight that made the quarry famous and drew visitors from around the world.

The National Monument provided the news release below.

Grand Opening Scheduled for new Quarry Visitor Center and Quarry Exhibit Hall

"On October 4, 2011, staff at Dinosaur National Monument invite the public to celebrate the Grand Opening of our new Quarry Visitor Center and Quarry Exhibit Hall," stated Superintendent Mary Risser. "October 4th will be the 96th anniversary of the creation of the original 80-acre Dinosaur National Monument. Hosting a grand opening of our new buildings is an exciting way to celebrate our Founders Day."

The Quarry Visitor Center will provide information to visitors through new exhibits, an auditorium where visitors can view movies about the monument, and staff who can answer questions about the Monument and surrounding area. Exhibits in the new visitor center will introduce visitors to natural resources, homesteading history, petroglyphs, geology, paleontology, and the rivers of Dinosaur National Monument. They are designed to stimulate visitors' interest and encourage visitors to get out and discover Dinosaur National Monument on their own. Interpretive and educational sales items will be available in the Intermountain Natural History Association's bookstore.

Located over the site of the world famous Carnegie Dinosaur Quarry, the new Quarry Exhibit Hall will provide public access to the 1,500 dinosaur bones found on the cliff face as they were deposited approximately 149 million years ago. The exhibit hall will also feature exhibits and displays about the Jurassic environment and its inhabitants.

"The American Rehabilitation and Recovery Act provided the funding for these buildings. As soon as we learned that we had the money for the project, we began the contracting process," stated Risser. "Because of the complexity of this project, the contract was issued for an 18-month construction period. Advanced Solution Group out of Kaysville, Utah received the notice to proceed with the project the middle of March 2010. Eighteen months takes us into September, when we anticipate that construction will be finished."

"Although the grand opening is planned for October, once both buildings are finished and the exhibits are installed, we will open them to the public as soon as possible. This will allow us to start up operations and learn the intricacies of the buildings," continued Risser. "We are in the initial stages of planning for the Grand Opening celebration. Uintah County and the Intermountain Natural History Association are partnering with us to plan the day's activities." More information about the Grand Opening will be provided as it becomes available on a special webpage. You can also find us on facebook or follow DinosaurNPS on twitter for updates.

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