New facilities bolster Dinosaur National Monument visits

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The opening of the new Quarry Visitor Center and Quarry Exhibit Hall in October 2011 at Dinosaur National Monument pushed the year’s park visitation numbers beyond the previous year, Dinosaur National Monument Superintendent Mary Risser said this week in a news release.

“Visitation increased from 198,544 visits in 2010 to 214,291 in 2011, a 7.93-percent increase,” she said in the release.

“For just the month of December, we recorded 1,629 visitors at the new Quarry Visitor Center, compared to 144 at our temporary facility the previous year. Many of these visits came during the weeks around the holiday, as area residents brought family and friends visiting from out of town to the new facility.”

The new facilities at the park are expected to increase visitation numbers as time passes, Risser said.

“While there is no way to predict what the monument’s visitation may be in the future, having the dinosaur quarry open to visitors again definitely increases the monument’s draw,” she said. “We are preparing for what we hope will be a busy summer.”

Dinosaur National Monument covers more than 210,000 acres along the Colorado and Utah border.

In addition to the dinosaur fossils, the monument also features two rivers renown for white water rafting and boating, numerous petroglyph sites and other evidence of human habitation extending back more than 7,000 years, an array of plant and animal life, campgrounds, trails and scenic drives.

For more information about Dinosaur National Monument, visit www.nps.gov/dino or call (435) 781-7702. The monument can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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