In your June 4 story about a Jump in Tourism, you quote the Recreational Director of the UT Office of Outdoor Recreation talking about the $646 billion that Americans spend on outdoor recreation. He goes on to cite the Dead Horse Point example as a successful balance of industry with recreation.
Having just returned from an early-morning road-bike ride there, I would challenge the success story. In the first mile after leaving Highway 191, we encountered seven huge tanker trucks, two long flatbeds, a water truck, and numerous pickups. We chose to turn around because it was so unpleasant. One friend commented that Highway 313 used to be her favorite ride, but she no longer rides it because of the heavy traffic.
As we are all discovering, there aren’t many places left to ride road bikes even as the sport becomes increasingly more popular with aging Boomers. Sand Flats is over-run with obnoxiously loud and smelly UTVs, Arches has too many large RVs to make it safe to ride, and truck traffic has made wash boards of many roads south of here. Ride The Rockies, which is going on right now, has thousands of riders who spend on average a quarter million dollars per night at each town they visit (and many also return later as visitors). The ride raises a lot of money for the community, and the towns aren’t over-run with traffic, pollution, noise, and no one trashes the land around the towns.
If Moab hopes to continue to attract non-motorized visitors (runners, bikers, hikers), it will have to start reining in the growing craziness.