Chad Wright is the new Moab City recreation director. [Courtesy photo]

The City of Moab welcomed new recreation director Chad Wright on Monday, Aug. 4.

Prior to working in Moab, Wright worked with Provo Parks and Recreation, one of the leading recreation departments in Utah. He was also accepted into the Utah Parks and Recreation Leadership Academy program.

Wright said he was excited to see the job opening and applied because he saw an opportunity to grow professionally and was impressed with “the array of resources available.”

“It’s great to see facilities and employees that are dedicated to recreation, supportive administration, and a community passionate about the value of recreational pursuits,” he said.

City manager Donna Metzler said there was a strong pool of candidates for the position. The city chose Wright for the job because of his experience and background with city recreation in Provo.

“He has a lot of great ideas and the kind of energy we’re looking for,” Metzler said.

Wright is looking forward to moving to Moab soon. His family still lives in Provo and will move to Moab once their house is sold. Wright noted that it is hard to find a house in Moab, especially one big enough for him, his wife and their four children. He said what drew him to Moab was not only the new position as recreation director, but all the other opportunities Moab has to offer.

“I like being in the outdoors, in the fresh air and under a sky full of stars,” he said.

He said that even though he and his wife have lived in the Wasatch Front for a long time, his family has only been to Arches National Park once or twice. He enjoys hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, running, skiing and canoeing. He said he’s excited to explore Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and to spend time on the river.

Wright loves recreation because of its ability to change lives for the better. He said it improves a person’s life, his or her overall happiness and wellness.

He said he was impressed with the Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center and its staff, and likes that the community also supports the arts at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center.

“I’m really surprised and excited that for a town this size, how many recreational opportunities there are beyond the recreation that Moab is known for,” he said.

Wright’s goals for now are to become acquainted with the community so he can better meet the needs of Moab residents. He is focusing on fall sports and getting a handle on the systems and programs already in place in Moab. He said he wants to be able to reach as much of Moab’s population as possible with some form of recreation.

Wright said everyone at the city has been helpful in his training, especially recreation assistant Justin Marcus.

“The sports programming is different here, Justin has been incredible with helping me out with that,” he said.

Marcus is embracing the new director and what he has to bring to the table.

“When I first met him it seemed like he had a really positive outlook and fresh ideas,” Marcus said. “It’s exciting because we are such a well-established foundation, but to have someone new come in with a fresh perspective will help us continue to improve.”

He said that Wright is currently in more of an observational stage, getting to know the community and a feel for the programs already in place. He also noted that this would be a great time for community members to connect with Wright to make any suggestions about changes they might want to see.

“I hope to get up to speed quickly and continue to offer the recreational programs already in place,” Wright said. “I also hope to discover the needs and interests of Moab residents and, if the budget and staffing permits, try some innovative programs or clinics.”

To contact Wright with any comments, email him at

“I’m really surprised and excited that for a town this size, how many recreational opportunities there are beyond the recreation that Moab is known for.”

New boss brings years of experience from Wasatch Front