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Vernal residents raising money to refurbish iconic dinosaur statue

Posted at 9:03 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 00:12:54-04

VERNAL, Utah — A grassroots fundraising campaign is underway to "save and repair" a dinosaur statue that has been an iconic landmark in Vernal for more than 50 years.

The city recently opened an online survey about what should be done with "T-Rex" — a large, green dinosaur that stands on the side of U.S. Highway 40.

The figure was designed and built by George Millecam in 1969 to display outside his local business, the Dine-A-Ville Motel.


Since then, however, poor Rex has "fallen into disrepair and needs to be resurfaced and painted," according to a page on the Vernal City website.

The city said most of the survey respondents expressed a desire to repair the iconic dinosaur — as well as "a willingness to donate to the effort." The city council said it supported this, and "Project Save T-Rex" was launched.

Last week, a GoFundMe page was set up to raise the funds necessary to restore T-Rex to his former majestic and ferocious glory.

After only four days, donors have pitched in more than $10,000. The goal is $30,000. The funds will go to Charitable Friends of Ashley Valley, a registered nonprofit, on behalf of the city.

"If donations exceed the goal, the funds will be used for landscaping on T-Rex's island and safety measures," the page read.

Click here to view or donate to the GoFundMe campaign.


Vernal is one of the closest populated areas to Dinosaur National Monument, and one of the last places people might stop if they're traveling there from the west.