What if Houston Were to Get A Live Dinosaur Theme Park?

It was a historic week at the box office. The Jurassic Park sequel, ‘Jurassic World,’ became the first movie to have a $500 million worldwide debut and all talons point to another record-breaking weekend at the box office. Clearly there’s a lot of money in dinosaurs. So, if scientists wanted to build a real-life dinosaur theme park, where would they put it? CityLab’s Kriston Capps says Houston has just the right clime for a live T-Rex or two.

By Brenda SalinasJune 19, 2015 3:24 pm

Capps on why Houston would be the best place to host the park:

“I think Houston is the incontrovertible choice,” he says. “Texas is big. It has an incredible range of geographies. If you look at some of the dinosaurs in Jurassic World… we’ve got some big monsters in this movie, and a lot of them were either native to Texas, or were discovered in Texas. So that definitely narrows it down to the state. I think Houston’s just got some advantages economically that make it the right place to build a Jurassic park.”

How did you go about conducting this very scientific analysis — did you have to talk to dinosaur experts?

“It was an extremely scientific analysis. I decided what cities I liked and what cities I didn’t, and where I’d like to see dinosaurs kind of run wild,” Capps says. “Houston is a really large city and that’s one of the reasons that I thought it should get the nod. It can accommodate large-scale events, like a Jurassic park. At the same time it’s a low-density city, so when the velociraptors start wrecking havoc… you can expect the casualties to not grow too out of control.”

On why the park wouldn’t work in emptier West Texas:

“I think that you have to look at the economy, too. What Houston has now is an economy that has both unskilled workers and highly skilled workers,” Capps said. “I think a Jurassic park is going to need both. You’re going to need the academic expertise, you’re going to need the technical know-how and you’re going to need a lot of hands on deck.”