ST. GEORGE — Even though rain fell for the majority of Saturday, it did not dampen the enthusiasm of the hundreds of attendees eager to see the sights of the 2020 St. George Area Parade of Homes in its closing days.
The 10-day event provided the opportunity for locals and out-of-town visitors to stroll through 30 new homes throughout Southern Utah. The homes ranged in price from $399,900 for a 1,544-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath home to a $4.5 million 6,625-square-foot mansion.
This year, more than 42,000 tickets to the Parade of Homes were sold, with more than 450,000 visits – both which were record-setting numbers for the event. The majority traveled in from northern Utah, with some coming from as far away as Texas, Idaho and other states.
One of the more popular homes was the Tree House in the Estate at Burke Springs, just off the Interstate 15 Hurricane exit. The 3,794-square-foot home, featuring four bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths, was priced at $749,900. Most visitors were wowed by the finishes, the warm, inviting feel, the craft room and especially the kitchen.
“OMG,” said St. George resident Karen Jones when strolling through the kitchen. “This is just wonderful. I can really see myself making dinner here.”
Although not everyone could afford the high-end homes, it was the smaller homes that caught the eye of people considering moving to St. George, said Mari Krashowetz, executive officer for the Southern Utah Home Builders Association.
“It was a great event,” Krashowetz said. “We estimate 50% of the people that come are outside of the area.”
For those looking to relocate, Krashowetz added, the most popular homes were smaller and more attainable in price.
“Not everyone is looking to relocate, but we market the event for people to discover the great quality of life we enjoy here in Southern Utah,” Krashowetz said. “The parade also gives a chance for our builders to showcase their talents.”
The parade, not only a way to demonstrate what is possible to build out in homes — including indoor/outdoor floorplans that can host a party of hundreds, to cozy homes with a casita that is just perfect as a mother-in-law suite — but the event also has a positive impact on the local economy.
“The builders were reporting good traffic,” Krashowetz said. “But, many of the lodging options, restaurants and entertainment were also extremely busy. There are millions of dollars that are brought in because of the event.”
Krashowetz estimates that since the parade started in 1991, it has brought in $750 million in direct economic impact to Southern Utah.
“Not only this, these homes create jobs,” Krashowetz said. “There is definitely an economic ripple effect. This is a very positive event for our community.”
The final economic component of the Parade of Homes is for nonprofit organizations.
Although some of the proceeds help pay to market the annual event, which takes approximately $100,000, many others benefit, including the Home Builders Care Foundation — which pays for $30,000 in education scholarships — Switchpoint, Doctors’ Volunteer Clinic of St. George and Habitat for Humanity.
Along with its philanthropic activities, the Southern Utah Home Builders Association hosts a day of service that typically sees 400 hours of service donated to local nonprofit organizations. There are 715 members in the association, making it the largest association of its kind in the state.
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