Want a richer experience when visiting Garfield County? Find a ‘Take Your Time’ certified businesses

Hikers in Bryce Canyon, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Utah’s Patchwork Parkway, St. George News

PANGUITCH — Garfield County is providing local businesses the opportunity to become “Take Your Time” certified in order to better the tourist and visitor experience.

In 2016, the award-winning “Take Your Time” campaign brought many visitors to the area, and the addition of the certification is building upon the campaign to help expose travelers to all that the county has to offer.

In the Garfield County Tourism year-in-review 2017 report, Bryce Canyon National Park saw 2.3 million visitors, an increase of 35.5 percent from the previous year. With the addition of visitors, Garfield County started an internal “Take Your Time” certification to give county members, employees and travelers alike the opportunity to learn and experience more.

Just like the original “Take Your Time” campaign, the certification is showing visitors that there is always a new attraction or activity to experience in Garfield County.

“The ‘Take Your Time’ initiative has brought incredible success to the community,” said Falyn Owens, executive director of Garfield County Office of Tourism. “Now paired with the certification, local businesses are able to gain more knowledge about the area and connect and inspire customers to experience one more day in Garfield County.”

Three businesses have completed the certification including Boulder Mountain Lodge, Rockin’ R Ranch and Red Ledges. With a sticker in the window to inform travelers, these businesses are better prepared to answer questions and give travel suggestions for Garfield County.

Each business is supplied with multiple resources to assist in this process, including quick answer guides for questions, maps of the area, activity lists and travel brochures to showcase various options of adventure. These materials are helpful to employees and visitors alike.

Success to the community has come in more ways than the “Take Your Time” initiative. The initiative brought more people to Bryce Canyon National Park and those people helped boost the economy as a whole. Last year 2.3 million people visited the park and spent $213 million, according to The National Park Service. The money spent by visitors supported 3,119 jobs in the area.

These employees, through the certification, are investing time back into the visitors that come to Bryce Canyon.

The four-step “Take Your Time” certification teaches employees more about areas that are farther away from their location. Employees that know the area are better able to help answer questions. When an employee helps adventurers, the employee assists in creating a more enjoyable and memorable trip, which in turn, brings more people to the county.

“I asked our front desk staff to take the quiz, and I think we all learned about a couple new activities in the areas of the county that are a bit further away from Boulder,” said Susan Heaton, from Boulder Mountain Lodge. “The ‘Take Your Time’ certification is a good reminder not only of what tourism in Garfield County is about, but also of the many fun things to do in this amazing part of Utah.”

Heaton encourages other businesses to join the initiative and become certified in order to help their customers have the best experience possible.

“If you have a few extra minutes, go through the information provided,” she said. “It is easy, and you might learn something new too.”

About Garfield County:

Garfield County is located in Southern Utah and provides access to nearly a dozen national and state parks and forest areas, including Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef national parks. Visitors enjoy epic road trips while exploring Scenic Byways 12 and 143—highways so spectacular they’ve been recognized by the Federal Highway Administration for their one-of-a-kind features, according to a press release from the Garfield County Tourism Office. The area is only an hour drive from a commercial airport and four hours from either Las Vegas or Salt Lake City. To plan your vacation, visit BryceCanyonCountry.com or call the Garfield County Tourism Office, at 800-444-6689.

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  • tazzman August 23, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Bryce saw an increase of over a third of its total visitation year over year? Wow. I don’t know how the NPS does it. They are chronically underfunded, understaffed, and asked to protect more and more National Monuments, Parks, etc each and every year.

    But bravo to them for serving the American people by protecting and preserving our crown jewels.

  • JJODL August 25, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    It will be interesting to see the visitor count for 2018. They were going to repave the campground roads starting in June but that didn’t happen for some reason. However the reservation system was closed so you couldn’t make a reservation. I didn’t want to drive there and not have a campsite but I finally took a chance last week and found the campgrounds were only about half occupied. Apparently others didn’t want to take that chance either. Someone really made a mistake in managing the campgrounds this year.

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