Dear Editor:

I feel heartbroken because I see a clear and tragic view of what is happening to our community and surrounding landscape. We’re being overrun by tourists. And it’s not just the sheer number of people; it’s their lack of respect for our small town, friendly neighborhoods and the beautiful scenery that drew them here in the first place. Noise and exhaust from revving engines and speeding UTVs on our streets, loud music and parties in our neighborhoods, knobby tires ripping up soil and vegetation because no one is on site enforcing “stay on the trail” — this bad behavior is becoming the norm. It is not acceptable but is starting to happen in other resort destination areas as well. What influences tourists to think they can raise hell and mayhem in neighborhoods and the backcountry? Monkey see, monkey do.

The State of Utah, our city and county governments and travel council, a few greedy developers and social media are all to blame, or are complicit, in the ruination of Moab and the surrounding region by exploiting and selling the hell out of the place. Where was the forethought about what would happen if you throw millions of dollars into advertising it? Duh.

Millions of people came to Moab and a free-for-all attitude ensued. Residents are expected to receive this mass of humanity with open arms because of the money it brings. Now we’re forced to deal with gridlock traffic, unmitigated noise on our streets and in the backcountry, lines everywhere, empty grocery store shelves, jacked-up prices, overworked employees, nightly rentals infecting our neighborhoods and creating a housing shortage for those who actually live here, so many new hotels … this is idiocy. The greater Moab area’s been sold!

Citizens are saying enough is enough, and requesting that promotional advertising be reduced so more money can be spent in our community to educate and manage tourists and mitigate the impacts from tourism. Folks can’t move out of town or go away on busy weekends to avoid the invasions and chaos. We need to work on a real solution.

I am heartbroken over the loss of this place I love so deeply. Moab’s tourist promotions have worked, and the least we can do now is to undertake an equally compelling effort to educate and better manage them to preserve our community and world-class scenery.

Kiley Miller