The Grand Canyon has one less competitor to worry about: Bedrock City, the little-known roadside attraction in Arizona where fans of The Flintstones paid homage to America’s favorite Stone Age cartoon, is closing after 43 years.
Visitors to the 6-acre theme park were invited to tour furnished replicas of the Flintstone and Rubble residences, snap family photos next to statues of Fred, Wilma, and the rest of the beloved cast, drive through a Stone Age-styled volcano — and even slide down the tail of a brontosaurus, just like in the opening credits of the show.
While Bedrock maintained a steady flow of foot traffic through the decades, it was never enough to turn a sizeable profit. By 2015, the park had become rather dilapidated, according to Mentalfloss, and the owners decided to put the 30-acre property up for sale.
The new owner, Troy Morris, doesn’t plan to keep Bedrock City going — but he does have big plans to start a public attraction of his own. Morris, a raptor breeder and a falconer, is opening a park where visitors can wander through the habitats of hawks, eagles, and other birds of prey. He’s named it Raptor Ranch.
While raptors may be a far cry from the fantastical pterodactyls of The Flintstones, the legacy of Bedrock City will live on. “I understand people’s emotional attachment,” Morris said to the Arizona Republic. “We’re definitely going to keep a little piece of Bedrock.”
Rather than start from scratch, Morris plans to renovate parts of the park, including the gift shop and diner, so that he can be ready for the tourist season of 2020. He’s also keeping a saber-toothed tiger, a woolly mammoth, and that famous brontosaurus slide for a children’s playground.