This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah found out how valuable its national park gateway communities are to its economy when the partial government shutdown closed Arches, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Zion and Bryce.

The state lost an estimated $30 million in tourist dollars.

Many of the communities and their leaders will meet at Sundance Thursday for the Gateway Community Forum.

The event is being hosted by the National Parks Conservation Association and a team of representatives from city and county governments, business, tourism and economic development professionals, public land managers and national park friends groups.

Workshops will be held at the Rehearsal Hall at the Sundance Resort from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

According to the group, more than 100 leaders from communities neighboring Utah's national parks and monuments as well as federal land managers will attend.

The goal is to share new ideas and create solutions to help gateway communities such as Springdale, Torrey, Moab and Tropic. Organizers hope the gathering will serve as a starting point for future discussions about resolving current challenges, solving difficult problems and working together to develop their communities.

Twitter: @tribtomwharton

comments powered by Disqus