Sign outside Logan RV park causes uproar on social media

Posted at 10:07 PM, Jun 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-19 00:07:06-04

LOGAN, Utah -- Tattoos and people with piercings are banned and asked to stay away from a Logan RV park, at least according to a sign that is posted at its entrance.

A sign at Riverside RV Park and Campground reads: “Stop!!! Tenants and Visitors if you have exposed tattoos, body art, or piercings Do not Enter! This is private property.”

Despite the fact the sign has been up for at least 10 years, it’s only been in the past two days that people have called to complain after a picture of the sign began circulating on Facebook.

Rex Petersen, owner of the RV park, was surprised by the attention, especially since the sign had been up for so many years with no complaints.

Petersen said he knows now the situation has changed and there are more people with tattoos and body art.

But, Petersen said, men used to come around the park and he didn’t like the looks of some of them.

“I found out a lot of them were on parole, and that the tattoos come from being in prison, so that sends up a red flag,” Petersen said.

Because of that, the park owner decided to post a sign.

“I’ve had a lot of people compliment me on doing so,” Petersen said. “I try to keep the place comfortable for them to walk around at night, be out and about without being scared by somebody whose a scary person.”

Over the past two days, Petersen has been bombarded with phone calls after someone took a picture of the sign and put it on Facebook.

Petersen said a woman called and told him that it was discriminatory and that he had no right to limit her personal freedoms.

“These people were very abusive. Right off the bat they called me ugly names,” Petersen said.

Since the sign is on Petersen’s private property it is not illegal to post, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU says if a city were to post a similar sign in a public place it could be a civil liberties issues.

The sign hasn’t seemed to deter people away from the park over the years, including those with and without tattoos.

Rachel Jensen has been staying at the Riverside RV Park since the beginning of February. And Jensen has several tattoos.

“Everyone here is really welcoming,” she said. “It’s definitely one of the better parks we've ever stayed at.”

Jensen didn’t notice the sign until Wednesday when the picture was circulated on Facebook.

Angela and Shon Laughlin checked into the park Thursday. Neither of them have tattoos.

“It’s the property owner’s sign, so if they want to risk that maybe that’s hurting their business, it’s their right to do that,” Angela Laughlin said.

Petersen said he only tosses people out of the park for bad behavior, and the sign serves as more of a message of what the Riverside RV Park is all about.

When he has a problem, Petersen calls the police and lets them deal with the individual.

There hasn’t been a call to the park in at least two years, according to Logan police.