Towering life-like dinosaur turns into tourist draw near Nanaimo

WatchA Nanaimo area man is planning to build a small Jurassic Park on his Lantzville property and has landed his first towering dinosaur for the project. As Skye Ryan reports, the roaring, breathing beast is already bringing in crowds.

An animatronic dinosaur with a huge roar is turning heads and drawing crowds to a quiet Lantzville street.  

“It’s so real,” said Jayda Young as she visited the moving dinosaur Monday.

“I think it’s just the greatest. I love it, ” said Lantzville resident Dianne Beaumel.

The dinosaur’s owner Stan Pottie said he likes to watch the little kids’ faces light up.

“And then when he starts growling, they run underneath their dad’s legs no matter how old they are,” he said.

Pottie said the dinosaur is part of a life-long dream.

“To get an actual full-blown big dinosaur was so exciting it’s not even funny,” said Pottie.

The 63-year-old Lantzville man won two of the life-like former PNE dinosaurs at auction earlier this month. 

“It sinks in a little to understand what that means, to own a dinosaur,” said Pottie.

It also gave the dinosaur fan and construction contractor an even bigger idea. He wanted to set them up outside his cannabis and CBD shop, Country Buds Dispensary on Clark Drive West, to take a bite out of the tourist market.

And it has worked. Since setting up one a week ago, traffic’s never been busier.

Though visitor Sydney Blackey said she had no idea where she was bringing her toddler to until she was there.

“I didn’t even know it was a CBD store to be honest,” said Blackey.

It’s just the beginning of Pottie’s plans for his Lantzville property. He said he intends to buy four or even five more dinosaurs by the end of the summer.

“I’m going to build a whole Jurrasic scene in there with palm trees,” said Pottie.

“I think I’ve found my calling. I’m gonna go get a whole pile of them and put them in the woods here,” said Pottie.
Though after multiple run-ins with Lantzville’s bylaw department over zoning in the past, Pottie’s dream park may need approval first. Permitting for a pyroraptor, sure to be the rarest application around these parts yet. 

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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