MCTA hopes Dinosaur Diamond partnership drives tourists to Moffat County | CraigDailyPress.com
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MCTA hopes Dinosaur Diamond partnership drives tourists to Moffat County

The Colorado Welcome Center in Dinosaur greets travelers entering Moffat County on U.S. Highway 40 from Utah.
Federal Highway Administration/courtesy

In an effort to increase tourism, the Moffat County Tourism Association is partnering with Moab, UT and other towns in the “Dinosaur Diamond” to push more information to travelers.

The “Dinosaur Diamond” is a collection of towns along the Dinosaur Diamond byway, stretching 486 miles. The highway goes from Grand Junction to Price, UT, and was designated as scenic byway in 2002. According to Utah.com, attractions within the diamond include the Dinosaur National Monument, the Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry and the Utah Field House of Natural History.

Moffat County’s piece of the Dinosaur Diamond is a very small portion, in the southwestern corner of the county. The piece of the “Dinosaur Diamond” in Moffat County is part of Highway 64 into Dinosaur, before making it’s way into Highway 40 as it enters into Utah.

Moffat County Tourism Association director Tom Kleinschnitz is at the forefront of this effort locall, partnering with other towns in the diamond to put up a new website, which will have a section of information for Visit Moffat County.

Colorado Department of Transportation’s website already has a section on local chambers of commerce within the diamond. That section includes, Fruita, Grand Junction and Rangely.

Kleinschnitz spoke about the coalition between the towns and how they can all help each other with this agreement.

“There are a lot of historical and cultural and dinosaur resources in that corridor. So we will all have the ability to brag about what each of us offer,” Kleinschnitz said.

Kleinschnitz added that the people can further explore the “Dinosaur Diamond” now, more than they were able to because of a lack of knowledge before.

The area surrounding Moab is one of the premiere tourist destinations in the United States and the biggest tourist destination in the diamond. It is also something that Kleinschnitz hopes draws people north to the Museum of Northwest Colorado in Craig.

“I can tell you as a comparison that over 300,000 people visit the Dinosaur quarry just over the border in Utah. Our number one attraction in the city of Craig is our wonderful Museum of Northwest Colorado and there numbers are much less than that,” Kleinschnitz said. “So, as a matter of comparison, our community wisely has worked to support our museum. Can you imagine having access to 10 times as many people that visit the Dinosaur quarry coming to our community as a result of tying in our marketing with all these other communities?”

One of the main stops on the diamond is the Dinosaur National Monument located in Jensen, UT, which sits roughly 45 minutes from Craig. Kleinschnitz added that one of his goals is to get more people to come over to Moffat County and check out the Dinosaur Dash Hill monuments.

Along with the potential for tourism within the diamond, Kleinschnitz hopes that those wanting to study paleontology visit the area and come to this corner of Northwest Colorado to study at the paleontology program at Colorado Northwestern Community College.

The program started in February of 2015, and is spending this fall in Sandwash Basin.


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