Thursday, June 4, 2020

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Moab, UT

87.8 F
Moab
More

    Lodgings are seeing low-percentage occupancy despite reopenings

    Memorial Day might sell out; few visitors otherwise

    Featured Stories

    Leaving Guatemala

    I selected “send me where I’m needed most,” my desire to immerse myself in another country’s culture not affixed to any location in particular.

    Widespread testing is key to Moab’s path forward

    Once a person develops symptoms of COVID-19, it has likely already been days since they started unknowingly spreading the virus. As such, local health officials want to expand testing locally for the coronavirus.

    County to diversify post-virus

    The impacts of the pandemic have renewed local leaders’ focus on a topic many have worried over for years but must now confront in much starker terms: Economic diversification.

    Arches, Canyonlands to reopen May 29

    Arches and Canyonlands national parks will partially reopen to the public at the end of the month, according to a spokesperson for the parks, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities.

    The party is over at Imagination Station art supply store

    Cindy Sue Hunter serves a customer at her art supply store, Imagination Station, which has been reconfigured to allow shoppers to do what Hunter calls “door shopping."

    Where is broadband available in Moab?

    When the superintendent of Utah schools announced last month that school would...
    Carter Pape
    Carter Papehttp://moabtimes.awebstudio.com/author/carter-pape/
    Reporter Carter Pape covers news out of the Grand County Council Chambers, including housing, tourism, crime, and more.

    Business owners who sit on the advisory board of the Moab Area Travel Council said while sharing updates on Tuesday, May 12 that their hotels and RV sites were seeing no more than 20% capacity despite the city going into its second week of allowing visitors back to town. Commercial campgrounds, on the other hand, appeared to be in better shape due to the closure of public campsites.

    The parking lot in front of the Apache Motel has been vacant for the past two months. Photo by Carter Pape

    According to Moab Area Travel Council Executive Director Elaine Gizler, hotels specifically are seeing visitors check in for stays, but the amount of visitation for these businesses is “nowhere near what they anticipated.”

    “If they’re [allowed to fill to 50% capacity], they may only have 15% or 20% of that amount rented,” Gizler said. “I can imagine that their operation costs have got to be significant with the amount of rooms they’re allowed to rent.”

    Gizler said that she also believed there was confusion among potential visitors about what is open in Moab, since she has been getting calls from people asking about what amenities are and are not available.

    As of time of publication, businesses from outfitters to restaurants and hotels to shops are all permitted to open, even if with limited capacity or operations. The only major closures currently in effect in Moab are at Arches and Canyonlands national parks — which are set to open May 29 — and public campgrounds operated by the Bureau of Land Management.

    Cherie Major, an owner of ACT Campground, said during the travel council meeting that business at her campground’s tent sites was going “great” because public campgrounds are currently closed, pushing campers to instead stay at commercial campgrounds like hers.

    Major said that she was concerned with the lack of social distancing that visitors were practicing at the campsite and the large groups from which she was getting requests — for example, to put up to 10 people on a single site. She said she was not accepting large groups for the time being because of public health concerns.

    Major also reported success with keeping employees on payroll using Paycheck Protection Payment loans administered by the federal government, as allocated by Congress with the passage of the CARES Act. She also said she had secured a Small Business Administration loan that would cover six months of payments on the property mortgage.

    Conversely, Katie McKay, a sales manager for the local Homewood Suites, said that the hotel was having trouble rehiring employees that it had furloughed or laid off, most of them expressing concern about returning to work in the service industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Jason Taylor, the operations manager for the Moab Adventure Center, said that he had rented a total of two cars from the Canyonlands Field Airport over the course of two months, and off-road vehicle rentals from his Main Street location were also struggling.

    “It’s not good,” Taylor said.

    Share this!

    - Advertisement -

    Latest News

    City cuts jobs to bridge huge tax loss

    These steps are in addition to cuts made March 13 when 60 part-time employees were terminated.

    Youth spots fire, alerts authorities

    "They (firefighters) figured out where the fire was coming from … it started with a cigarette.”

    Broken bones in Left Hand

    All but one of the injuries involved jumping from rocks into a shallow pool at the base of a waterfall.

    Employment data confirms Grand is among worst hit in state

    The figures confirm earlier estimates that roughly one in five to one in six jobs in Grand County have been lost to COVID-19.

    Widespread testing is key to Moab’s path forward

    Once a person develops symptoms of COVID-19, it has likely already been days since they started unknowingly spreading the virus. As such, local health officials want to expand testing locally for the coronavirus.