Glen Rose already is known as the “land of the dinosaur.” But soon it will be the home of a multi-media production that features life-like dinosaurs in a special effects extravaganza staged at the Texas Ampitheatre.
The Glen Rose City Council on Monday gave its approval to fund the “Land of the Dinosaurs” production. The Glen Rose 4-B Economic Development Tax Corporation had voted to invest in the project for $80,000. Connally Miller, the corporation’s president, sought council approval so the money could be transferred.
Jay Clayton, president of the Land of the Dinosaurs LLC, told the council the concept is aimed at helping boost tourism and encouraging visitors to stay overnight.
The production will feature animatronics, which uses electronics and robotics to simulate realistic movements and make the dinosaurs, including a 43-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus Rex, come “alive.” The shows also will include special effects and a cast of people.
Clayton described “Land of the Dinosaurs” as “Jurassic Park meets Swiss Family Robinson meets Andrew Lloyd Webber,” the English composer of musical theater known for such hit musicals as The Phantom of the Opera, Evita and Cats.
“More people coming to see these shows means more revenue coming into the area,” Clayton said. He estimated the show would add $6 million of revenue generated by the hotels in the area over the next 10 years.
To make its budget, Land of the Dinosaurs LLC needs to book 250 seats per performance. The ampitheatre has 3,200 seats.
“I’m planning to fill that thing up,” Clayton said.
Connally Miller said that even though the show will be at the ampitheater, it has ?“the potential to bring people downtown,”
Mayor Pam Miller noted that events at the ampitheater benefited the monthly Girls’ Night Out and brought people downtown as well.
Clayton added that square merchants “are the lifeblood of this community. We need to keep them.”
He said the show will benefit area merchants, as well as with the other dinosaur-related attractions, by co-branding tickets.
“We love co-branding,” he said. “Our ticketing systems will be working with them to co-brand and give people an incentive to stay here.”
In other actions, the City Council asked Huckaby to look into getting some additional highway signs to promote the downtown district and to look into requiring residents to put out their garbage for pick-up at certain times to avoid trash stacking up on streets.
Huckaby also gave the council an update on work at Oakdale Park. Two of the cabins have been finished and work is progressing well, he said.
Mayor Miller told the council that a meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 18, involving all local governmental entities and the Texas Department of Transportation to discuss the possibility of building another bridge over the Paluxy River. Because such a project could take up to five years, the mayor said it would help to begin talking “to see if it’s even feasible for us to have another bridge.”
The council also took up the question of how to drive more tourist traffic to downtown Glen Rose with signage.
“We’re all concerned about our downtown area,” Councilman Chris Bryant said.