An Isle of Wight Council attraction is close to reaching a huge landmark in its history. Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown is expecting to welcome its one millionth visitor since it opened its doors for the first time back in August 2001.
Based on current visitor numbers, staff are predicting the millionth visitor will walk through the doors by the end of the year.
A surprise prize will be given to the lucky millionth customer, while all visitors to the museum can now enter a competition to win a break on the Isle of Wight. The winner will be drawn on the day the millionth visitor is revealed.
Since opening in 2001, Dinosaur Isle now holds over 30,000 fossils, covering the breadth of the Island’s geology. It regularly welcomes schools from the across the country on organised trips, and hosts hugely popular fossil walks. These walks have in the past turned up newly discovered species of dinosaur, such as a prehistoric crocodile and a spider.
Peter Pusey, general manager at the museum: said “Reaching one million visitors is a great tribute to those early fossil hunters who, in the 1820s, had the foresight to lay the foundations of the collection that is still being added to today.
“We wanted to have a bit of fun and share our excitement this summer, and get our one millionth visitor party started”.
Councillor Shirley Smart, Executive member for tourism and economy, said: “It is incredible to think Dinosaur Isle is approaching the one millionth visitor mark.
“This is a fantastic achievement for the museum which continues to attract tens of thousands of visitors every year and I send my congratulations to the staff.”
David Thornton, Chief Executive Visit Isle of Wight Ltd said “Dinosaur Isle forms one of the cornerstones of the Isle of Wight’s heritage branding and is a key aspect of what makes the Island distinct and different.
“Over the past couple of years the museum has been phenomenally successful and we are delighted to be in involved with the celebrations to mark its millionth visitor”. The museum building was designed to look like a pterodactyl when constructed.
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