An exciting time for the Canadian Fossil Discovery Center CFDC, as the center breaks new grounds in attendees.
Over the 2017 year, the prominently marine reptile museum received over 13,000 guests, an increase of seven percent over 2016 and double the attendance of 2013.
Executive Director for the CFDC Peter Cantelon attributes this to their work to create a new exciting experience at the museum.
"Over the past five years, we've been focusing on adding new exhibits, changing things up in the museum. Having very focused communication and marketing, to ensure that people knew we were doing these things."
More than 85 percent of visitors have come from outside the region says Cantelon, in the past year the CFDC has seen visitors from 74 countries, 38 American states, every Canadian province and one territory.
2017 had a number of new changes at the CFDC, the establishment of the Dr. Elizabeth 'Betsy' Nicholls Award for Excellence in Palaeontology, the new dinosaur exhibit featuring an Allosaurus, and two mobile apps.
In August the city unveiled a life-size replica of an Archelon turtle, which lived 80 million years ago in the Western Interior Seaway which covered Morden.
The CFDC held a vote to name the turtle, after over 200 submissions with overwhelming suggestion to name the turtle Archie the Archelon.
Cantelon says without the support from residents, businesses and the city of Morden they would have never been able to sustain their growth.
over the past 20 years, 158,000 visitors were welcomed by the CFDC to the city of Morden and the Pembina Valley translating to more than $9 million in tourism revenue to the local economy.
Looking forward to 2018 Cantelon is very excited saying they have plans for two new exhibits of national significance and more work in the community.