SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why The Capistrano Dispatch is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.

Zoomars Dinosaur

By Brian Park

Juan the Zoomars dinosaur has a new home.

Zoomars owner Carolyn Franks has agreed to give up the 13-foot-tall, 36-foot-long apatosaurus replica to the owner of the Grand Canyon Caverns, located on historic Route 66, in Peach Springs, Ariz.

The Grand Canyon Caverns encompasses 800 acres and is the largest dry cavern in the country, according to a press release. It was formerly known as “Dinosaur City” and still features several dinosaur replicas.

“It was really important that I put it in a place where people were going to love it and it wasn’t going to move again,” Franks said. “It’s just a really cool place. It’s an old fashioned family place, and I just felt right about it.”

An appeal to save the controversial dinosaur structure failed to pass on the City Council’s 2-2 vote on Tuesday, April 2, bringing to an end a nearly 10-month debate over its place in the Los Rios Historic District.

Following the council’s decision, Franks said she was flooded with phone calls, emails and letters from interested buyers, including theme parks, car dealerships and schools. Franks said she decided to give up the dinosaur to Grand Canyon Caverns at no cost—despite remaining payments on an initial $12,000 purchase—because of the attraction’s previous life as Dinosaur City.

“I had a lot of big offers, but I didn’t feel right selling it. It was more important for me to find a good home,” Franks said. “It’s bittersweet.”

The city has given Franks until May 3, at 1 p.m., to remove the structure. Franks said arrangements are currently being made to transport the structure.

BECOME AN INSIDER TODAY
Trustworthy, accurate and reliable local news stories are more important now than ever. Support our newsroom by making a contribution and becoming a subscribing member today.

About The Author Capo Dispatch

comments (4)

  • I am so sorry to see Juan go, but very happy that he will be in a place that he will be loved by people from around the world. He will be with other dinosaurs that will love and adore him, unlike the dozen or so narrow minded dinosaurs in the City of San Juan Capistrano. Isn’t Route 66 on the National Registry of Historic Places? I guess their historians had no problems with a Dinosaur Statue!

    • Jim & Pamela Schuler

      DINORSAUR REMAINS INCLUDING LARGE BONES WERE FOUND TEN MINUTES FROM SAN JUAN CITY HALL IN 1986. DINORSAUR REMAINS WERE ALSO FOUND AND RECORDING IN THE EARLY 1900’S IN IRVINE WHICH IS ALSO TEN MINUTES FROM SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO. THESE ARE THE SAME DINOSAURS THAT USED TO FLY AROUND AND SWIM IN SAN JUAN CREEK LOOKING FOR A PIECE OF LAND THAT THEY COULD ENJOY. FOR SOMEONE TO BE SO SURE THERE WERE NOT ANY DINORSAURS IN SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO 200 MILLION YEARS AGO, WOULD MEAN THAT THEY HAD BEEN THERE IN A PREVIOUS LIFE. PEOPLE SEEM TO FORGET THAT THIS DINOSAUR IS JUST A SYMBOL, LIKE A PHOTO, OF ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ANIMALS TO WALK THIS EARTH.

  • I’m sadden by what the politicial machine does to business, and yet they claim they are business friendly, sad day for Zoomars. Its hard enough making a business go without haveing the city put more presure on them. But the council has no skin in the game. I do thank them in a round about way, because the business lost in their city will be business gain in my place in AZ.
    I’m thrilled to have it move to the Grand Canyon Caverns, milepost 115, Historic Route 66 in northern AZ. The new location is around 80 miles from Laughlin NV, 60 miles east of Kingman AZ. It will be placed right on route 66 so it will be seen from both directions. The caverns offers cavern tours, RV park, airport landing strip (L37) hiking and biking trails a very cool 48 room motel. You can even spend the night in the world oldest (65 million years) and largest motel room 220 underground. Property is 800 acres, has bar and restaurants pool etc, in other words a nice weekend family vacation spot… It is at an elevation of 5,200 feet (same as Lake Arrowhead) not to hot in summer, not to cold in winter. Sounds like I’m pitching the place. I am! Come see Zoomar the Dinosaur. We will get some photos on him on our website when he arrives.

Comments are closed.