ST. GEORGE — Springdale’s downtown beautification plan took a step forward with the approval of a new downtown plaza, an outdoor area for residents and visitors to enjoy.

The site of the new downtown plaza on Zion Park Boulevard, Springdale, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of the town of Springdale, St. George News

The plaza will be constructed on the vacant lot near the Zion Prospector rock shop and the Best Western Plus on Zion Park Boulevard. The original home on the site was built in the 1950s and used as the lobby for the Canyon Ranch Motel. The home was torn down due to termite damage.

“The town is very excited to see this project move forward. The downtown plaza will be a great space for our residents and visitors to enjoy all that Springdale has to offer,” Mayor Barbara Bruno told St. George News. “Its location near shops, restaurants and hotels will make it a convenient place for visitors to rest and relax. The outdoor gathering spaces will provide a new place for residents to meet each other and visit.”

The plaza will feature shaded seating areas and interpretive information about Zion Canyon’s geology and history. Bruno said there will be comfort conveniences such as a public restroom and drinking fountain.

“This project will help the town continue to beautify the streetscape, based on the direction given in the town’s recently adopted streetscape plan,” Bruno said. “The plaza will become a key community location and something the town will be proud of for years to come.”

Bruno said she appreciates the partnership and generous financial support of Washington County and Greater Zion.

“The town is grateful to the county commissioners for seeing the vision of this project and allocating funding to make it happen,” Bruno said.

The Washington County commissioners approved the $390,000 to be used to construct or develop a history center.

This image shows the conceptual design for the downtown plaza to be constructed in Springdale, Utah | Image courtesy of the town of Springdale, St. George News

During Springdale Town Council’s February meeting, Rick Wixom, the town manager, said the lot was still vacant. Following much thought and effort, he said the history center was determined to be infeasible on that piece of property.

“As a part of our streetscape plan, our consultants developed a pretty remarkable concept for how that property can be turned into a pedestrian plaza that would include some bench seating, shade and restrooms,” Wixom said.

Wixom said the funds are estimated to be about two-thirds of the money needed to complete the project. He said the county Tourism Tax Advisory Board reviewed Springdale’s request and recommended approval. Then, the Washington County Commission reviewed the issue and approved it. Springdale then unanimously passed the interlocal agreement so they could access the funds for development in the future.

According to Springdale’s website, the town was established in 1864 after a group of pioneers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints settled there in 1862. In 1919, Zion National Park was created. The town remained isolated until the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway and tunnel was built in 1930, allowing more access to the park and Springdale.

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