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The Zion Park Motel is located in Springdale, a small town in southern Utah situated directly outside the entrance to Zion National Park. The motel itself is roughly one mile from the park and near the Springdale Shuttle, which can bring them there. Zion National Park and the surrounding area is a widely-recognized nature reserve famous for hiking, mountain biking, canyoneering, camping, ATVing, and other recreational activities. Springdale has an abundance of dining and shopping options visitors can go to as well. The Zion Park Motel has 21 guest accommodations available for people to reserve, varying from single bed units to triple queen bed layouts to apartment-style floorplans with full kitchens. It also has a heated pool and a barbecue area its patrons can use at their leisure. The motel is centrally located in Springdale and within a few minutes’ walk from restaurants, gift shops, galleries, and other establishments.
The Zion Park Motel is a single-story motel located in Springdale, just one mile from the entrance of where it gets its namesake—Zion National Park. It is advertised as the closest motel to the park. The building itself is constructed from brick, stucco, and stonework. The parking lot comes right up to the room entrances, with each respective unit having its own private parking space right outside the door. There are 21 guest accommodations available for visitors to stay in varying in occupancy size and layout. Each of these is decorated with light wood and tile on the walls, carpeted floors, and a tiled bathroom.
Among the accommodations, there are several options guests can choose from depending on their needs during their stay. The most common floor plan is the Two Queen unit. There is also a Two Queen unit with an adjoining Single Queen room and Three Queen units. Beyond these, there are a few king rooms with just a single king-sized bed and the Family Suites, which have a king and a queen-sized bed in separate bedrooms. The family suites also come equipped with a full-sized kitchen and dining room combo, a furnished living room, and a back balcony. Regardless of the floor plan guests choose to reserve for their stay, they have access to the various amenities and features the property has to offer.
The amenities located in each room of the Zion Park Motel include a mini-refrigerator, a microwave, a phone, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, a television, a table with chairs, a private bathroom with a tub and shower combo, and access to ice. There is also a covered sitting area outside each accommodation visitors can sit on and enjoy the views of the red rock mountains and hills in the surrounding area. In addition to these amenities, the property features a covered barbecue area with picnic tables, a little playground, a heated pool powered by solar power, an outdoor living area on a balcony above the pool, a small grassy area, and a fish pond out front. There is also a coin-operated laundry facility that is owned by the motel proprietors that guests can utilize at their leisure.
Springdale is a relatively small town, with a population size somewhere between 300 and 400 as of 2019. It is known for its proximity to Zion National Park, which in turn is famous for its views of nature, hiking trails, ATVing, and other recreational activities. Though described as "boutique," Springdale still has many places that visitors might enjoy going to. Zion Park Motel itself is located centrally in town and, as such, is within walking distance of most places people might want to visit in Springdale. Connected to the same building as the motel is a t-shirt shop called Canyon Outfitters, a candy store called Springdale Candy Company, and the laundry facility owned by the motel. Beyond these, there are several galleries nearby, such as Sorella Gallery across the street, and gift shops, such as Mountain Huggers, also across the street from the motel. Patrons of the Zion Park Motel are given complimentary coupons to Zion Park Gift & Sweet Treats, an ice cream shop owned by the motel owner’s daughter. The bus station is located right outside the lodging place for those traveling by the Springdale Shuttle.
Some of the more well-known and popular attractions in town are the O.C. Tanner Amphitheater which puts on various theater productions and other shows, and the Bumbleberry Theatre—known for its original musicals and other performances. Though the Zion Park Motel doesn’t serve food itself, there is an abundance of options nearby that visitors can walk to. Some of these options that Chris recommends include Oscar’s Cafe, Zion Pizza & Noodle, Casa Del Amigos, Porter’s Smokehouse and Grill, and Blondie’s Diner. Because Springdale is so small, the town has tried to encourage walking.
Chris, the property manager of the Zion Park Motel, says that the primary goal of their lodging place is to be “clean, affordable, and a place where people can come visit Zion National Park." She mentions that they have had these goals since they opened 50 years ago in 1972. One guest who stayed at the motel said, “This place is fantastic. The pool is amazing. It has a water slide on it that is so much fun. And the view of the mountains are fantastic while you get to swim. The rooms were very impressive. So clean and so cute. They have a mini-fridge and microwave and everything you need to have a wonderful stay in Mount Zion.”
The Zion Park Motel is family-owned, something that reflects one of the management's goals: Treat each of their guests like family. Chris says they want their patrons to feel like they are at home and help them feel comfortable. The staff hopes to be able to make their visitor’s stay as convenient as possible. A review left by a customer reads, “The staff is extremely friendly and really goes the extra mile; they helped us out when we accidentally booked for a different day and they even gave us a call when we left a towel.” Another aspect of the motel that perhaps helps its patrons have a more convenient stay is the central location, both in the town of Springdale and its proximity to Zion National Park. One guest talking about the property’s location said, "Amazing location within 1 mile of Zion entrance, good parking, very easy to check-in / check-out. The rooms are large with a clean bathroom and comfortable bed, a good place to spend the night after hiking all day at Zion. Loved that we could simply walk to eat or do some fun window shopping in the evening.”
Chris describes the Zion Park Motel as an old, “50’s style,” motel, or even “vintage.” According to Chris, the lodging place is the only single-story motel in Springdale and the closest one to Zion National Park. It should be noted that guests cannot bring pets to stay with them on the property. There is also a no-smoking policy in force on the premises. The staff asks that its patrons observe their quiet time hours, which start at 10 PM and go until 8 AM. The lodging place is open year-round though the highest occupancy months are from April to October due to that timeframe being Zion’s busiest tourist season. The motel is in its off-season through December and January and offers much cheaper room rates, some of them being as low as $60 per night.
Likely the primary reason people come to Springdale, Utah, and stay at the Zion Park Motel in the first place is because of its proximity to Zion National Park. The property sees many repeat guests, many of which come to Zion National Park each year and book their reservations a year in advance. The motel itself is only a single mile from the entrance to the park. Because of the location and the diverse tourist crowd drawn to the area, Chris says that “I don’t have to go to the world; the world comes to me. And I get to meet people running all over the world and get to know their stories.” Perhaps the primary reason Zion National Park draws people in from all over the world is the abundance of attractions, activities, and unique views available there.
Many people who come to the area are seeking to hike or bike on the dozens of trails Zion National Park offers. Some of the more popular ones include guided tours on multi-day journeys, complete with canyoneering, repelling, climbing, swimming, rafting, and more. There is also horseback riding available, as well as an abundance of places people can go riding in their own all-terrain vehicles or take an ATV-guided scenic tour. River Tubing and photography are also popular pastimes in the Zion area. Chris recommends that new visitors try the trails on the east side of Zion National Park, the Kolob Terrace, and the Kolob Figure Canyons. She also suggests that guests go to Grafton, a ghost town 20 minutes from Springdale, and the Grand Canyon, 40 minutes away. Bryce Canyon is 2 hours from the Zion Park Motel but is a day trip some guests have made in the past. Many people come to the area hosting family reunions, weddings, celebrations, hiking trips, and other personal events.
The Zion Park Motel is relatively old, having first opened sometime in the 1950s. It was owned by both the Madson and the Daily families. They eventually sold the business to the Bumbleberry Enterprise, where it still served as a motel but under their name. The current owner of the property—who is the mother-in-law to Chris, the property manager—is part of the family that bought the property from the Bumbleberry Enterprise back in 1972. Her brother had always wanted to own a business in Springdale, and when he came looking, he found that Bumbleberry Enterprise was selling the motel, the grocery store, a restaurant, and a gift shop. He purchased them all and renamed the lodging property the Zion Park Motel, reinstalling the same sign from before Bumbleberry Enterprise owned the lodging place.
After buying the properties, he talked his sister (the current owner) into coming down and looking at what he had acquired, with an invitation to get in on the business should she desire to do so. She and her husband, who were ranchers at the time, came down in February and were immediately drawn to the area due to the warm weather that was present in the winter months. Two weeks later, they had sold their ranch and entered the business with her brother. In 1981 the company split, and she took the grocery store and the motel.
Chris came to work at the property full-time starting in 1987, after marrying into the family. Originally from the Salt Lake area, she went south to work at a lodge near Zion, where she met her husband-to-be. They promised his parents that they would help with the businesses in Springdale and have been there ever since.
Over the years, many changes have been made to the Zion Park Motel and their other properties in town. They continually upgrade and renovate the rooms so as to provide the industry-standard amenities and features expected of lodging places. They have also made sure to keep up with the times, adding Wi-Fi, microwaves, and refrigerators. Chris’s father-in-law died in 2005, after which they closed the grocery store, converting it into a leasing space where several businesses now exist—namely a t-shirt shop, and candy store, and a book-in-stock shop. They have also added more and more accommodations, including the family suites. In 1982 a big flood came through the area and destroyed the pool and another building on the premises which have since been rebuilt.