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Tourism runs dry in Moab, hurts small businesses

Posted at 6:18 PM, Mar 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-28 20:18:44-04

MOAB, Utah – Small businesses that rely on tourism are feeling the sting now that almost everything has come to a stop because of the coronavirus.

The latest blow to the eastern Utah tourism economy was the indefinite closure of Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park.

“I’ve seen a lot of boom and bust over the years and maybe this is one of those cycles,” said Dan Mick, the owner of Dan Mick’s Guided Tours. “It’s going to have a very, very big impact on our business.”

Mick has owned the business since 1992. He is stunned by the emptiness all around Moab during what would normally be one of the busiest seasons of the year.

“You can shoot a cannonball down main street on any night. It is really slow,” Mick said. “It has put a damper on some plans everybody had in the Moab area.”

If things don’t turn around, and the tourism industry doesn’t come back to life by the fall season, Mick stands to lose $100,000. It is a grim reality that others in the community are facing.

“It’s going to be tough to get a rebound. We are praying that it will come back,” Mick said. “There’s a lot of hurt going around.”

“The saying going around is, we are all in this together,” added Richard, Mick’s son.