Jane the Dinosaur

By: Rebekah Baum
By: Rebekah Baum

It's been 66 million years most of us wouldn't look so good, but Jane’s look is still drawing crowds...

"If you do a search for Rockford and Jane on the Internet, you're going to see it in newspapers, the Associated Press did stories, CNN did something last week--people now know there's a town called Rockford," says Burpee Museum Collections Manager Scott Williams.

Today was a colossal day for the Burpee Museum, they welcomed in the 20,000th visitor since Jane opened a month ago. Pre-Jane, it took about 12 months on average to reach the number.

Gary Altenbernd and his family were surprised to hear they took the honor as the 20,000th visitors, but even more excited to see Jane up close.

"They see it in books, and read it in books, and kids all talk about dinosaurs...so now they get to see one first hand," says Altenbernd.

Collections manager Scott Williams says Jane has made the local tourism economy roar...and the museum is hoping to build on Jane’s dino-mite impression...

"I'm happy to say we have the potential for a couple new dinosaurs to be added...They're not meat-eaters, they're the horn dinosaurs you see T-Rex's fighting with. So we have a couple good sights in Montana that we intend to excavate," says Williams
And come September, T-Rex researchers from all over the world will descend on Rockford. “We intend to have a T-Rex symposium in September. Bringing in 30 of the best-known paleontologists in the world to talk about research they do on T-Rex's," says Williams.

Williams says he feels like a godfather to the young T-Rex, he was there when she was first discovered and helped put Jane back together and he says being involved in the process, and seeing the impact she's had, is a lifetime achievement.

The Jane exhibit has exceeded all expectations. Since it opened, Burpee has generated more than $35,000 in admission revenue, and more than $26,000 in museum shop revenue.

Friday night is "Jane’s Debut Party" at the museum. Tickets are $75 dollars.
For more information, contact the museum at 965-3433 ext. 1005 or you can visit www.visitjane.com>


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