By Brice Wallace
The notion of requiring reservations for all Zion National Park visitors is “a horrible idea” and “a huge mistake” that would hamper park visitation and nearby businesses.
That’s the conclusion of Steve Neeleman, a member of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) board and whose family owns the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort adjacent to the park.
At the board’s August meeting, Neeleman took aim at some of the National Park Service’s preliminary concepts designed to address overcrowding and traffic congestion in and near Zion. Two of the three concepts being considered would require that visitors make reservations in advance online. One concept calls for reservations covering all frontcountry areas, while another calls for reservations for heavily used trails and other crowded areas in frontcountry areas of the park, with all day-use hikers needing permits.