April 23rd, 2021

Tourism Medicine Hat come up empty in online robo-dino auction

By MO CRANKER on August 7, 2020.

A look at an animatronic T-Rex that Tourism Medicine Hat had the chance to bid on Thursday. Unfortunately, the price proved too steep.--PHOTO VIA ABLE AUCTIONS

mcranker@medicinehatnews.com@mocranker

It was an interesting Thursday afternoon for the folks at Tourism Medicine Hat.

The team spent the day in an online auction bidding on animatronic dinosaurs that were for sale in British Columbia.

While Tourism Medicine Hat came up empty handed at the end of the day, executive director Jace Anderson says it was a thrilling afternoon.

“Live auctions are intense,” he said. “Animatronic dinosaur auctions are quite rare, but they are no less intense.

“I’m thankful for our team and our board who allowed us to put ourselves in the position to take part in this auction.

“This could have played out really well for us.”

For Anderson, price was the main sticking point.

“The shortlist we had of the ones we felt would work for our community just got too expensive,” he said. “The bidding and the prices got too high. One of the T-Rex models we were looking at got to around $38,000.

“That was out of our range.”

The auction featured more than 70 animatronic dinosaurs, as well as other paraphernalia.

Anderson says the team did not end up making a bid. He added that the dinosaurs could have been a great fit for the area.

“As a gateway to the Canadian Badlands, we welcomed the opportunity to purchase these,” he said. “We’re about an hour from Dinosaur Provincial Park which is a premier dig site. We also have Drumheller a little further up.

“The Canadian Badlands are iconic for international travellers. We are in that space and could make good use of these.”

Anderson says the organization did not have any firm plans for the dinosaurs.

“We thought of maybe having one at the Visitor Centre. It would have been cool for people to pull over off the highway to check out,” he said. “We got a lot of different ideas from people.

“We signed up for the auction because we didn’t want to be sitting out and missing out.

“The excitement around the auction has been a lot of fun. It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime thing for us.”

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