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The St. George Municipal Airport is Now Open

St. George Municipal Airport
4550 South Airport Parkway
St. George, UT 84790
www.FlySGU.com

Nice!  Now it’s even easier for you to visit your favorite Utah vacation rentals.  You know,  St. George Condo Rentals at Las Palmas in Green Valley.

St. George officials, Orrin Hatch, and Gary Herbert, officially opened the new St. George Municipal Airport on January 11, 2011.  The new airport is expected to bring considerably more visitors to Southern Utah and hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue for Utah’s Dixie.  Now, you don’t have to book Las Vegas flights to get to St. George – you can make it directly to Utah’s Dixie.

On January 12, 2011 the new airport will start flying to and from Salt Lake City, UT.  However, larger Canadian Regional Jets can now be utilized instead of the 2 propeller airplanes solely used at the old airport.   The St. George Municipal Airport will also start flying to and from Los Angeles starting March 6 via the Delta Connection and United Express operated by the local company Skywest Airlines.

A brand-new exit off I-15 was recently opened called “Southern Parkway” to accommodate the airport.  The airport is strategically poised for growth with 5 times the acreage of the previous airport.  Good news for taxpayers and others that footed the airport bill – total cost of the airport come in at about $159MM, roughly $1MM under budget.

You don’t have any more excuses.  You can visit Southern Utah more often now, and of course stay with us at St. George Vacation Rentals. We’re much better than a hotel, but you already knew that.

127 Hours Movie Makes A Star Out of Southern Utah

The movie 127 Hours is already on the list of one of the “5 buzz-worthy films from the Toronto Film Festival.”  The movie has also received early talk of multiple Oscar nominations.

Update:  127 Hours received 6 Oscar nominations including Best Picture & Best Actor.  Unfortunately, the movie didn’t win any awards.  The 127 Hours Movie DVD & Blu-ray are now available for purchase as of March 1, 2011.

And no wonder; the acting of James Franco and direction of Danny Boyle are both excellent. But what impresses me most is the gorgeous, sun-drenched, red rock canyon country of Utah. The Utah scenery is stunningly beautiful. 127 hours did an amazing job showing Southern Utah’s beauty, majesty and remoteness.

Check out the 127 Hours movie trailer to get a feel for how well the Southern Utah landscape was captured:

The movie is a true story about Aron Ralston, the young man who cut off his own arm after being pinned by a boulder against the wall of deserted Southern Utah Blue John Canyon in 2003. Ralston wrote a book about his life altering experience.  The movie, based on the book, is exceptionally well done. In fact, the arm amputation scene may be even a bit too realistic (people fainted at the premier!).  Outside of the 3 gory minutes, the movie is actually uplifting.

The movie is more than just spiritually uplifting … it’s also lifting people’s interest in Utah tourism.

There’s no question the movie will bring more visitors to Utah as soon as this spring. In fact, some people even think 127 hours will help Southern Utah tourism just as much as the Winter Olympics helped Northern Utah.

Utah Office of Tourism Managing Director Leigh Von der Esch is using the 127 Hours movie story to promote tourism to the state. “There is no bigger billboard than the movie,” she recently said in a Fox interview. “127 Hours showcases the best outdoor recreation in the world.”

Aron Ralston’s unfortunate hiking trip was in Canyonlands National Park in the Robber’s Roost area in Blue John Canyon.  Canyonlands is located in south-eastern Utah near the city of Moab. As you saw in the movie, Canyonlands has a colorful redish landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado River and the Green River.

If you’re planning a 127 Hours inspired trip to Southern Utah, here’s our suggestion:

  • Fly into Las Vegas, Nevada.  Play a bit in your casino of choice before hitting I-15 North.
  • Drive the 100 miles to St. George, Utah’s largest southern city.
  • Stay the night with us – the best place to stay in our beautiful Las Palmas condos.
  • Visit Snow Canyon Park, golf at one of St. George’s well known courses, and/or spend some time soaking up the sun at our pools.
  • Drive 40 miles from St. George to Zion National Park and spend a day there
  • Take Scenic Highway 12 as part of your commute from Zion to Moab, Utah to visit Canyonlands National Park

 

Snow Canyon – Butterfly Trail

Butterfly Trail UtahButterfly Trail – 2 miles. Moderate. Some steep slopes, steps and uneven surfaces. Winding along the west side of Petrified Dunes, this trail leads to West Canyon Overlook and lava tubes.

Butterfly Trail Snow Canyon

The Butterfly Trail located in Snow Canyon State Park is one of my favorite trails in the park. We had only been hiking for about 10 minutes when we spotted our first adventure. Petrified dunes! This geological formation occurs when sand dunes harden into stone over a very long period of time. On this particular dune there were trees and bushes growing up through cracks in the rock and small caves to crawl inside. After we had had our fun exploring  the side of this dune we climbed to the very top where we could look out and see for miles of the canyon. It was gorgeous! Our next adventure took us to a large underground cave that we found almost by accident. The entrance was marked with a sign “Enter If You Dare!” Creepy! Well, we dared. It was a bit of a climb to get down into it but once we were inside and using our cell phones to light the way we realized that it wasn’t a very large cave at all but it was definitely a fun experience. Another small cave branched off of the larger one and we crawled into that one as well. On the way back i stepped on a cactus and a prick went through the very thin sole of my shoe! So don’t forget to wear good shoes while you hike through Snow Canyon! I loved the hike so much that i went back the next day and the park ranger suggested that i do the Hidden Pinyon trail. It was also very beautiful. I loved hiking through small sections of canyon walls that go  straight up over your head. I can’t wait to go back and do more of the hikes in this beautiful canyon.

Lex

Snow Canyon State Park

snow canyon state park

Snow Canyon is located just outside of St. George Utah. The canyon itself is surrounded on both sides by the Red Mountains and the White Hills. Inside of the canyon you will find a variety of wildlife and flora. Among the different types of wildlife are 3 endangered species: the Gila Monster, Peregrine Falcon and the Desert Tortoise.

There are many  trails that wind throughout the park. Lava flows and caves, red sandstone cliffs, large sand dunes, and Indian petroglyphs are just a few of the amazing things you will see as you hike through the park.

The day-use fee is $6. A friendly park ranger will greet you at one of the two entrances to the park. The Johnson Canyon trail (to a large arch) below the toll gate at the south entrance to the park may be accessed without payment of fees, but it is closed to hikers most of the year, to protect nesting bird populations.