Escalante Cabins & RV Park, is one of the many businesses that received a Mainstreet Preservation Grant.
Here is their story:
“We are very grateful for the funds granted to our business, Escalante Cabins & RV Park, and for giving us the opportunity to continue to contribute in a positive way to a local economy that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument was declared in 1996, an entrepreneur came to Escalante and bought the land we now own. He began construction of an RV Park but failed to get all of the required approvals and blessings from the local authorities. Disagreements escalated to the point that the City of Escalante would not allow him to continue building. In his frustration, he abandoned the project unfinished. For two decades, the unfinished site was an eyesore that greeted travelers on Scenic Byway 12 entering Escalante.
“Our business started in 2016 when we purchased acreage for rental cabins, RV sites, and a tent camping area. My husband was driving west out of town when he noticed a new real estate sign on the property after being for sale for 20 years. Having done plenty with real estate in the past, and knowing how quickly things can change, he promptly turned around and drove to the local real estate office to inquire. The Realtor explained that the previous owner had just passed away and the family wanted to sell the property. Steve made an offer on the spot contingent upon the City of Escalante’s approval of our development plans.
“After receiving approval and completing the purchase, we worked through the summer of 2016 to complete 27 RV sites, tent sites, and bathroom facilities. By the fall we were able to open and serve the traveling public. We started with 1 cabin, and in the 4 years since have added 3 more cabins and 2 vacation houses. Each year we have been able to expand and provide more facilities. The construction of our main building and the addition of landscape décor and plantings has created a much more visually appealing entrance to Escalante.
“We have totally enjoyed meeting people from all over the US and the world. The number of people we serve each year had been steadily increasing, until the COVID-19 pandemic struck. We anticipated having our best year ever but instead have suffered a 67% decrease in business year-to-date compared to 2019. As a seasonal business that depends heavily on the injection of March/April revenue after a long winter, the loss has been extremely difficult. The financial support from this grant will hopefully help us stay in business for another year and into the future.”
Learn more about Escalante Cabins & RV Park: escalantepark.com.
The Mainstreet Preservation Grant, provided by the Salt Lake Chamber’s Utah Job Opportunities Foundation, is made possible thanks to a $500,000 donation from WCF Insurance. The grant funds are used to support rural and/or minority small businesses in Utah that need immediate assistance due to the COVID-19 and before federal stimulus funding is accessed. These grant funds are intended to help businesses in the short-term. To donate or learn more about the Mainstreet Preservation Grant, visit slchamber.com/mainstreet-preservation-grant.