Bedrock City has been delighting visitors en route to the Grand Canyon for nearly half a century. Last week, it was announced that the Flintstones-themed RV park known for its big dinosaurs and cartoonish pastel buildings had been sold—and that the new owners had big changes in store.
While the internet cried tears of nostalgia at the thought of another childhood memory biting the dust, we caught up with the new owners to see what’s in store for the place. And lucky for all of us, they have no intention of totally wiping away the kitschy RV park.
Instead, Bedrock City will be reimagined as Raptor Ranch, an educational wildlife experience and birds of prey breeding project. It will bring a new, much-needed attraction to the Grand Canyon area, while still keeping some of the most beloved parts of Bedrock City intact.
Raptor Ranch founders Troy Morris and Ron Brown had been trying for years to find the right piece of land for their project, and after a site only a mile up the road fell through, Bedrock City turned out to be just the right place.
“We were always familiar with the Bedrock property. They had 30 acres, highway access, and all the infrastructure,” Morris said. After some back and forth over the years, a deal was finally struck. “When everything is supposed to come together, it does.”
The vision for Raptor Ranch is to bring people face-to-face with birds of prey in both an educational and entertaining way. It goes way beyond just a guy with a big leather glove and a bird on his arm. The Raptor Ranch experience will be fast-action with actual falcons demonstrating how they hunt by chasing artificial lures, as well as classes on falconry, a breeding barn, and more.
Morris and Brown, with the help of their wives Debbie and Angela, hope to give travelers on their way to and from the Grand Canyon a memorable attraction to pair with the unforgettable views of the canyon itself.
“We hope to memorialize [guests’] visits to the Grand Canyon for the rest of their lives,” Brown said.
So what about Bedrock City?
Morris promises it won’t just be tossed in the dumpster. “This is something that’s almost a historical landmark after 45 years. Hundreds of thousands of people have come to Bedrock City. That’s a lot of nostalgia. There’s been a real outcry: ‘Don’t destroy it yet,’ and we’re listening to that.”
Instead, Morris and Brown hope to give the property a fresh look and new theme while still keeping some of visitors’ favorite pieces intact. For instance, the Brontosaurus slide as well as a few other statues will remain as part of a children’s play area.
So while some of the buildings will be repurposed, several of the roadside relics of Bedrock City won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
To quote Raptor Ranch’s tagline, “There’s something wild in the air” this year at Arizona’s Bedrock City.
Raptor Ranch will be located at State Route 64 and Highway 180, roughly 20 miles south of the Grand Canyon. They hope to open in part by summer 2019.