Goodbye, Bedrock City: Arizona's Flintstones Theme Park Has Closed After Nearly 50 Years
Fred, Wilma, and Pebbles have been evicted from Bedrock. Arizona’s Bedrock City has been welcoming fans of The Flintstones for nearly 50 years, but all that has come to an end, according to the Arizona Republic. The quirky roadside attraction along Route 64 in Valle has shut down.
The property is located about 30 minutes from the Grand Canyon, so it’s a prime spot for attracting tourists who are passing through the area, but this isn't the end of its run as a roadside attraction. The paper reports that the pterodactyl statue at Bedrock—and almost everything else in the park—will be replaced by other winged creatures.
The current owner, Troy Morris, is a raptor breeder, and he plans to open an attraction called Raptor Ranch on the site. The park will become a showcase for birds of prey like falcons, hawks, and eagles, with daily performances highlighting the birds' hunting skills.
These plans mark the end of an era for Bedrock City, which opened in the 1972. The site’s owners erected replicas of the Flintstone and Rubble residences, as well as a schoolhouse, jail, and theater. Guests could go down a brontosaurus-shaped slide, drive through a “volcano,” and snap photos with lots of recognizable characters from the classic cartoon.
The park originally hired actors to entertain the guests, but the site’s remote location made it difficult to retain employees. Over the years, the park fell into disrepair, and the property was eventually put up for sale in 2015.
The mid-20th century was a great time for pop culture-themed roadside attractions, and Bedrock City was one of many. Another Flintstones-themed park opened in Custer, South Dakota in 1966, while 1970 brought a Wizard of Oz theme park to North Carolina. Unfortunately, many of these parks didn't last. South Dakota's Bedrock City shut down in 2015, the same year the Arizona park was put up for sale. The Land of Oz in North Carolina lay abandoned for decades, though it occasionally reopens for special events.
There’s one small consolation for Bedrock fans, though: The Valle park's signature dinosaur slide will be kept intact, as will the saber-toothed cat and woolly mammoth statues, which will become part of a children's playground that the new owner, Troy Morris, plans to build.
"I understand people's emotional attachment, but it's time in a business sense for something new," Morris told the Arizona Republic. "But we're definitely going to keep a little piece of Bedrock."
[h/t Arizona Republic]