Two hotels are being constructed, six more are planned, condos are being developed, and a downtown lot will soon be home to 14 food trucks as construction continues around the city and county.
MOAB FOOD TRUCK PARK
Business partners Justin Mabey and JJ Wang are turning a nearly two-acre lot at 39 West 100 North into the “Moab Food Truck Park.”
The first phase of the development will accommodate up to 14 food trucks on the property, said Mabey.
The food served and the hours of operation will be determined by the individual food truck operators.
“We saw a huge need for more food options, and we wanted to create a fun, funky experience,” Mabey said.
Mabey said more information about the Moab Food Truck Park will be released closer to the park’s opening, which is expected to happen sometime in June.
CURRENT OVERNIGHT RENTAL CONSTRUCTION
Two large hotels in the City of Moab are currently being constructed: the Hoodoo Moab and the Hyatt Place Moab.
The Hyatt Place Moab, at 890 North Main Street, is nearing completion and will open in July. The resort-style hotel will have 126 guest rooms, a full-service bar, a pool and a spa.
Hoodoo Moab, at 51 North 100 West, is part of a collection of international hotels by Hilton Worldwide known as “Curio – A Collection by Hilton.” The hotel will have 117 guest rooms and a restaurant.
PLANNED OVERNIGHT RENTAL CONSTRUCTION
Six additional hotels are in the pre-planning stages, with one formally submitting plans to the county to obtain a grading permit. A seventh proposal for a new hotel is “just talk” at this time, Grand County Building Department Chief Inspector Jeff Whitney said. A condominium project is also going up; it’s expected to include overnight rentals.
In downtown Moab, adjacent to U.S. Hwy. 191, Whitney said a small-scale hotel may be developed on an empty lot behind the Eddie McStiff’s restaurant and across from the fire station.
“It’s just talk right now,” Whitney said.
Whitney said that of the six hotels planned, the county has received a set of plans from the developers for Wingate by Wyndham, and has begun grading on land south of Moab just off U.S. Hwy. 191.
Plans are also being discussed with the building department and city planners for the development of a hotel at 471 S. Main St., where the current shopping plaza is located downtown that includes the GearHeads Outdoor Store.
“They’re setting up to ensure GearHeads still has a place in that property,” Whitney said.
Whitney said that the property’s developers have to work out some big issues before construction can begin.
“Parking is a big issue for that location,” Whitney said.
Four more developments along U.S. Hwy. 191 are in the pre-planning stages. A hotel is proposed for a property next door to A & E Electric. A hotel will go up on the Knutson property on the south end of town, said Whitney. On the northside of town, a hotel will be built on the Doxol property, formerly the Ferrellgas property. Another hotel is planned for the location of the former King World Water Park.
At the south end of Moab, on the east side of U.S. Hwy. 191, Whitney said a big condominium project is going up. Whitney said the property, Sage Creek at Moab, is likely to have overnight rentals.
“They’ve got to get back with us with a few more corrections. Those plans are imminent. Construction is going to start. Grading and filling has been done on that property,” Whitney said.
CITY AND COUNTY BUILDING INSPECTIONS
The City of Moab is moving ahead with its plans to create a building department inspector for the city.
Currently all city inspections are managed by the county building department.
The city allocated funds for the new position as a part of its 2018-19 budget that was adopted at the city council meeting on Tuesday, May 22. The city is budgeting $130,375 for the new position, including salary and benefits in the amount of $50,375 for half a fiscal year.
The new city building department inspector position potentially means a transfer of building department inspections from the county officials to the new city official.
Whitney gave an annual report on the county building department earlier this year to Grand County Council, where he said that he doesn’t feel the city will accomplish all of the inspections it needs to do with just the one building inspector. The county has three inspectors.
Moab City Manager David Everitt said the city is confident that the one inspector can complete all of the inspections.
“The plan continues to be to hire one building official for city inspection and plan review work. Currently, the county has three building inspectors: One is dedicated to only San Juan County via contract, leaving two for the city and unincorporated Grand County, plus Castle Valley, et cetera. That means that essentially there is only one person’s worth of inspection services currently for the city,” Everitt said.
Whitney said, “I don’t know what service they don’t think they’re getting. We’re one of the highest-certified officers in southern Utah.”
Whitney said the county building department works with three planning departments: City of Moab, Castle Valley, and Grand County, which also oversees development along the northern part of San Juan County, since San Juan’s planning department isn’t as developed.
Whitney said he believes the Grand County Building Department is operating efficiently and meets the needs of developers and contractors in the areas that it serves.
“I don’t think they can do it with one,” Whitney said.
When asked if there have been any talks between the city and county to combine efforts and partner the one proposed city inspector with the county inspectors, Whitney said, “There hasn’t been anything like that, so I don’t really know what’s on their mind.”
Whitney said the city previously had a building inspector in the 1990s who worked together with the county. His name was Paul Seibert, Whitney said.
“After he left, the city and county got together and created one department,” Whitney said.
Whitney added that recently, the city hasn’t expressed to the county any issues they felt they were having with city-area building inspections.
“They (the city) said they felt they would get better communication with their own department. What communication did they feel like they aren’t getting?” Whitney said.
“There’s frequent contact with Grand County Council members about a range of issues and initiatives, and city staff continue to dialogue with county staff and council members about this and other local governance concerns,” Everitt said.
Eight hotels are yet to open