Our View: Dinosaur park needs to roar

Thursday , June 12, 2014 - 12:31 PM

Editorial Board

There’s a significant drop in visitors to Ogden’s Eccles Dinosaur Park. The solution, it seems, is to start raising fees at the park beginning next year.

That does not make complete sense to us. If admission income was down 16 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, will a higher admission fee result in the same number of visitors? To be fair, even an increase to a flat rate of $7, as Ogden city leaders are mulling, is not too expensive. But is that the only solutions -- raising prices and cutting staff? (There has been a $68,000 reduction in the park’s payroll)

We suggest that a strong marketing effort -- focused on the park -- be started. To neglect that aspect of the park’s fortunes is to lose another opportunity to boost interest in and attendance at the dinosaur park. Here are some key questions that should be addressed:

Is the dinosaur park effectively branded as an Ogden attraction, something that tourists to Junction City think about visiting?

And, why is the dinosaur park’s popularity lagging as an option to visit for Ogden families? How can it regain primacy as a preferred location for locals to visit often?

If prices are raised, we’ll still visit the park. But we want to be assured that Ogden city is looking at the park’s long-term future. To spend a little more now to improve the park’s success is the most important goal, not a short-term hope of more blank ink.

Ogden’s dinosaur park is a wonderful place to visit. It combines education with recreation, and one would be hard-pressed to find a child who doesn’t love visiting there. If attendance has lagged, it’s time for the city to improve its marketing efforts and get the word out on what the park offers our Top of Utah residents and tourists.

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