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Grand Junction’s Lost Landmarks: Remembering the ‘Giant Cow’

Britton Crone

Truth be told it’s actually not a cow, its referred to by the owner as a bull or steer. For those of you that don’t remember this cow, it holds a special memory for most of us that grew up in Grand Junction.


The “cow” originally had a home on 12th and Orchard at a little buffet called Prime Cut, where Kannah Creek currently is located. It stood outside Prime Cut for many years right where the Kannah Creek sign is now. It became known as the Prime Cut Cow. It made it easy for people to find the restaurant and it’s a historical landmark. The Cow is made of 3/8″ thick fiberglass and stands about 12 ft. tall and about 16 ft. long.

When Prime Cut closed its doors about 8 years ago, they auctioned off everything in the restaurant including the cow. Lyle Nichols bought the cow, but not without a fight. Restaurant owners from all over the country, mainly Texas, came into town to try and buy this historical landmark for their restaurants and BBQ joints. Lyle wanted the cow to stay in the Grand Valley and was successful at doing so.

Britton Crone

For many years, Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) students would climb up inside of the cow. There is an access hole in the belly of the cow and you can only wonder what the college kids were doing inside the belly of the Prime Cut Cow. I was one of those kids that had climbed up inside of the cow. I was in high school at the time. I later found out that they put chicken wire on the access hole to keep the kids and chickens out.

So where is the cow now? Lyle Nichols has it out on his property in Palisade off of 35 1/2 Rd. You can see the cow from the road and take pictures of it. Lyle originally was going to put it in his goat pasture and put two single beds inside the cow and run a Bed and Breakfast out of it. The marquee that is on the side of the cow comes off and Lyle was thinking about making that hole a window and running a milkshake stand.

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad Lyle purchased the cow and kept it here in the Grand Valley. If you remember this cow, share this story with your friends so they can reminisce about the good times at Prime Cut, like the Ice Cream Bar.

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