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Route 1 miniature golf course to stay open for one more season

The owners of Route 1 Miniature Golf & Batting Cages announced Thursday that they will remain open for one more season before the family-friendly entertainment venue closes for good. Dina Rudick/Globe Staff/File

The giant orange dinosaur that towers over Route 1 in Saugus isn’t going extinct quite yet.

The owners of Route 1 Miniature Golf & Batting Cages announced Thursday that they will remain open for one last season before the family-friendly venue closes for good.

“It’s a lot of work to get it ready on short notice, but the net is up and the baseballs have been ordered, and everything will be pulled together,” said Diana Fay, a second-generation owner of the Saugus business. “We’ve had a lot of memories here, and now we have an opportunity to let people come back and enjoy the business and make a few more.”

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The company had originally announced last year it was closing after Michael Touchette, a Lynnfield developer, purchased the 3-acre site to make way for two hotels, 256 apartments, restaurants, and retail space. Touchette and a business partner had previously purchased 7.5 acres of land next to the miniature golf course in 2013.

Fay said the final sale of the property will occur this fall, allowing for a farewell season of putting and practice swings. The iconic destination also includes an arcade and ice cream stand.

“It’s going to be a sad day when they start to bulldoze things, but right now everything is in place. The landscapers are coming in, the painters are coming in, and we are getting ready,” said Fay.

Touchette said he expects construction on the new development to start in September.

“They just felt like if it was going to sit there for a few more months, they might as well open,” he said.

Route 1 Miniature Golf is famous for its glaringly orange Tyrannosaurus rex, which has guarded the property for more than 50 years since it arrived on the back of a flatbed truck from South Boston.

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Fans of the 12-foot-tall landmark rallied last October and started a Facebook group dedicated to preserving the dinosaur.

Last September, Touchette said he was open to keeping the dinosaur at the redeveloped site, complete with a mini putting green.

Opening day for the 18-hole mini-golf course has not been announced, but the owners expect to be up and running by sometime in April.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear. Kathy McCabe of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.