Zion National Park re-opened after a 10-day shutdown, but Springdale businesses continue to need local support.
National parks closed Oct. 1, which was the first day of the government shutdown. Gov. Gary Herbert announced Thursday that Utah would be paying $1.67 million to the government in order to open eight Utah national parks for 10 days, according to an official press statement.
“Utah’s national parks are the backbone of many rural economies, and hard-working Utahans are paying a heavy price for this shutdown,” Herbert said.
The re-opening of Zion has created more traffic for Springdale businesses, but Josh Wallis, a senior communication major from Eugene, Ore., and creator of the Support Springdale Facebook page, said the community can do more to help Springdale thrive.
Wallis created the page to promote awareness of the repercussions occurring locally from the government shutdown. The page acquired more than 1,000 likes nearly overnight and has become a place to give and receive information about Springdale and Zion. Wallis encourages Dixie State University students to support the community.
“We have these parks 40 minutes away from us, and we need to take advantage of them and the businesses dependent of them,” Wallis said. “Remember we are a community, and we are so blessed to live in one of the most beautiful places in the nation.”
Wallis said he is a small business owner, and he couldn’t imagine losing his bottom line instantly like so many Springdale businesses did.
Springdale businesses succeed when supported by locals, Oscar’s Cafe Owner Hank Moore said.
During the shutdown, Oscar’s sales dropped $3,000 to $4,000 below last year’s sales, and once Zion re-opened, sales instantly bounced back.
“The shutdown definitely affected us, but we have a great (community) following behind us,” Moore said.
To encourage DSU students to help support Springdale, Moore is offering a 20 percent discount at Oscar’s Cafe, located at 948 Zion Park Blvd., when students present their Dixie One Card.
Ciera Williams, a freshman general education major from Sugar House, said there are many ways to support Springdale, and students should not be apathetic to things occurring in the community.
“Students should keep up with what’s going on,” Ciera said. “So many students have Instagram or Facebook, and that can be used to spread the word.”
Bit and Spur Restaurant, located at 1212 Zion Park Blvd., was not numb to the effects of the shutdown. Restaurant Manager Trish Jennings said Springdale was a ghost town during the shutdown and immediately came back to life once Zion re-opened.
Jennings said the Bit and Spur is an exciting place for students to get fresh food, listen to live music, and show support for Springdale.
“Come up and visit us,” Jennings said. “It’s so beautiful here, and everyone should be a part of it.”