Even the conservative estimates by the Royal Tyrrell Museum show the attraction had a strong summer 2017.

Executive Director Andy Neuman revealed the museum's visitor counts in early September.

"What I have here, I'm not sure if these are audited yet, but to the end of August: just over 380,000 so far. That is up about 7.5 per cent from the average. I'm going to say we're going to go well over 450,000 this year."

Amazingly, even a seven per cent increase over average isn't enough to beat a record summer in 2015, the year Jurrassic World revived many people's love of dinosaurs.

"I think our record year two years ago was somewhere around 480,000," said Neuman. "I hate to say that we're going to beat that just yet because we're only halfway through the year so, we've got a ways to go yet."

Many Drumheller attractions were busier than average this year, thanks to Canada 150 and new marketing efforts by Travel Drumheller. Neuman says the Royal Tyrrell had a different hook this year.

"I think the overwhelming interest is for the new exhibit, Grounds for Discovery, and especially the Nodoasaur that's been all over the media. The fact that it was highlighted in the June issue of National Geographic sure didn't hurt."

The museum website describes the Nodosaur as "the best preserved armoured dinosaur in the world, including skin and armour, complete from the snout to hips." The specimen was found in 2011 by a worker at a Suncor mine and underwent 7,000 hours of preparation ahead of its display at the Royal Tyrrell.

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