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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.