Small businesses taking it slow after Zion National Park reopening

May 13, 2020, 5:15 PM
small businesses Zion National Park...
Business owners near Zion National Park are cautiously optimistic tourists will return following the park's reopening Wednesday. Receipts have been down by 90% or more for most places since the COVID-19 pandemic closed the park. (Photo: Hoodoos General Store website)
(Photo: Hoodoos General Store website)

SPRINGDALE, Utah – Julie Gregoric owns Sol Foods Supermarket and Hoodoos General Store in Springdale, Utah. Business has been down about 90% since the COVID-19 pandemic forced Zion National Park to close

Another tough reality for Gregoric has been laying off her staff. 

Still, she has mixed emotions about Zion reopening. 

“If the visitors don’t return, our businesses will not survive. If visitors do return, our county will see a spike in [COVID-19] cases. I certainly don’t want to go out of business, but I don’t want anybody getting sick,” Gregoric says. 

That’s why she and other businesses in the area are taking it slow and not expecting a rush of customers. 

Small business safety measures

Like many others, Gregoric’s stores have already introduced safety measures, such as requiring employees to wear masks and making sure everything has been properly sanitized. 

Despite some reservations, Gregoric has a hopeful outlook about Wednesday’s reopening of Zion National Park. 

“I’m kind of optimistic that it will go as smoothly as it can,” Gregoric says. 

Stan Smith is the mayor of Springdale and also owns the Bumbleberry Inn. 

Smith says the city has taken a $500,000 hit to its budget since Zion closed, money it does not expect to recoup this year. Springdale’s total budget is $6 million, meaning they will most likely dip into their reserves to get them through.  

“One of the things that the town will be missing out on this year is international travel, which is a huge market for us,” Smith says.

Paycheck Protection helped, but just a little

Smith, like many business owners in town, got a Paycheck Protection Program federal loan, which has helped him keep his staff. 

But business at the Bumbleberry Inn was still down over 99% in April from last year. 

Despite all this, there is reason to be optimistic. 

“Last Sunday at my place, I had one more reservation than a cancellation. That was the first time in two months that that had happened,” Smith says.  

Today’s Top Stories

All News

The Air Force is set to unveil the newest stealth bomber aircraft on Dec. 2. Photo credit: Northrop...
Haley Britzky and Ellie Kaufman, CNN

Air Force unveils newest stealth bomber aircraft

The newest stealth bomber was unveiled on Friday in California.
22 hours ago
Former astronaut and Utah Sen. Jake Garn will be honored Saturday with an art installation tribute ...
Mark Jones

Former Utah Sen. Jake Garn to be honored with art tribute on Saturday

Former Utah Sen. Jake Garn will be honored with an art installation tribute Saturday at the Salt Lake City International Airport.
22 hours ago
A west valley police car is pictured. Police are investigating a hit and run...
Mark Jones

Fire in West Valley City home contained to one room in basement

A fire inside a West Valley City home Friday was contained to one room in the basement, according to fire officials on scene.
22 hours ago
Authorities in Washington County are investigating the discovery of the body of a 36-year-old man e...
Mark Jones

Staff member at school in southern Utah arrested for alleged sexual abuse

A 22-year-old staff member of a school in southern Utah was arrested Thursday by the Washington County Sheriff's Office for alleged sexual abuse.
22 hours ago
President John F. Kennedy signs the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Cente...
Curt Gresseth

Is forcing the homeless into treatment the answer?

NYC Mayor Eric Adams has announced a program that involuntarily treats homeless people in "psychiatric crisis." A BYU psychologist weighs the New York approach against the ethics of patient autonomy.
22 hours ago
NBA Ice Buckets...
Devin Oldroyd

NBA fans invited to show “ice in their veins” at NBA Ice Buckets challenge

The NBA and Utah Jazz invite you to play NBA Ice Buckets, a free-to-play indoor basketball shooting challenge at Trolley Square.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Small businesses taking it slow after Zion National Park reopening