Category Archives: Sanpete County Economic Development

Manti City Celebrates LDS Tabernacle Restoration with Open House





WHAT: Manti City celebrates LDS Tabernacle Restoration with Open House

WHEN: Sept. 12-13, 2015

CONTACT: Monte Bona 435-462-9002

WRITTEN BY: Linda Petersen

Manti celebrates LDS Tabernacle Restoration with Open House

A prime example of Mormon pioneer architecture has been restored in Manti. The historic Manti Tabernacle, which was dedicated in 1903 by Joseph F. Smith, has just undergone a 15-month renovation and will be open for the public to tour two days next week. The tabernacle will be rededicated Sept. 13 at 12:30 p.m.

The tabernacle, which is listed on the national historic register, is one of only three 19th-century LDS Church houses still in use as a meeting house. “The tabernacle stands as a glowing example of the tenacity, grit and skill of the Mormon pioneers who played an important role in the colonization of the West,” said Mormon Pioneer Nati onal Heritage Area Director Monte Bona.

“The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area greatly appreciates the commitment that has been made to maintain the character and significance of this magnificent edifice that exemplifies what we hope to preserve as a national heritage area.”

“In our modern age, when its sometimes more expedient to remove old structures and replace them with economical new ones, this act represents a major commitment by the LDS Church to honor the faith of its founding membership,” he said.

The open house, where the public can tour the restored tabernacle, will be held Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12 from 3 to 7 p.m.  The building will be rededicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Area Seventy Elder Michael Jensen on Sunday, Manti Tabernacle Sept. 2015, after renovations are completed, Sept. 13 at 12:30 p.m.

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The tabernacle has a rich pioneer history. In 1860, the impoverished Manti LDS church members laid its foundation, but delayed organizing a tabernacle construction committee for 17 years.

Work was ongoing on the Manti Temple, which was constructed from 1875-1888, during the same time period and most of the pioneers’ limited resources were used for that endeavor. It was finally completed in 1903.

“We are pleased to see this magnificent historic tabernacle rehabilitated with such care and skill,” said Don Hartley, Utah Division of State History historical architect.

“It was constructed in the late 1870s and has signifiance not just for Manti and Sanpete County, but churchwide as a symbol of faith and courage. For the Mormon pioneers in Manti to build both a temple and tabernacle possessing such architectural signifiance, and at such great material sacrifice and cost when even their own survival wasn’t a sure thing, reflects their devotion.

For the setters who worked on this building and maybe didn’t write letters or keep journals, this is their testimony, rendered in stone, still speaking to us across the generations.”

“It’s really significant that the church decided to do this restoration,” said Matthew Christensen, manager for the LDS church’s Manti, Utah facilities group, said. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints places great value on these historic structures which stand as a testimony to the skill, craftsmanship and the many sacrifies made by the early saints.”

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The tabernacle, which was designed by William H. Folsom, the architect for the temple, had two additions to the main structure in 1927 and 1958.

When the structure was built, the early Manti church members did not have the funds to include decorative fascias and soffits on the building. However, in anticipation of a time when they could add them, they left nailer strips embedded near the top of the north and south exterior walls and on the east and west gables.

“They didn’t know how long it would be before they would be able to have the money for them so the strips were left exposed for decades after completion,” Christensen said.

While renovating the exterior, the project team and the church historical department decided to leave the nailer strips exposed to help tell the story about how the building was constructed, Christensen said.

The original structure and the later additions have all been reroofed and the attic has been insulated to modern standards. To complete the exterior upgrade, new landscaping and site irrigation have been installed.

Inside, particular attention has been paid to restoring the chapel. The original fir timber columns of the 1920’s balcony were cored out and steel beams were inserted into the columns to maintain their historic integrity while stabilizing the structure.

Cracked walls in the chapel have been replaced, and the historic Christ at the Well mural and wall finishes have been restored.

Period finishes such as a 1900’s-style chandelier, carpets, paint, pew fabrics and wood and plaster finishes have been installed throughout the tabernacle.

For more information, contact MPNHA Director Monte Bona at 801-699-5065 or Matthew Christensen, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Manti, Utah facilities group manager, at 435-835-8887.


The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area includes 400 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, cattle and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89.

Annual ATV Tours Set For Aug. 10-11


This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Annual ATV Tours Set For Aug. 10-11

The annual Manti Scenic Mountain ATV Tours will be held Aug. 10 to 11 in Sanpete County and showcase the pristine vistas of Manti Canyon.

Manti and all of Sanpete County are known for beautiful, well-designed and well-managed ATV trails and trail systems. The now-yearly ATV tours attract all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts, dealers and others to the region for two-days of riding, exhibits and performances. Each day during the event, local guides help riders make their way through 40-miles of intermediate ATV trails and forest areas that run from 5,600 feet to more than 10,000 feet.

The Aug. 10 “Sheep Trail and Vicinity Run” begins with a continental breakfast and registration at the Manti LDS Stake Center, 300 South Main Street, from 7 to 8:30 a.m., with a departure time of 9 a.m. At noon lunch will be held at the 12-Mile Campground. The ride concludes at 4:30 p.m., and a Dutch Oven dinner will be held at 6 p.m. at the Historical City Hall picnic area. ATV equipment will be on display and musical entertainment will begin at 7 p.m.

The Family Day Trail Ride, intended for beginner and intermediate riders, will be held Aug. 11 and includes a “Poker Run” and Digital Camera Scavenger Hunt. It also begins with a continental breakfast and registration from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at the LDS Stake Center, with a 9 a.m. departure time. There will be a 10:30 a.m. rest stop at the Fox Jet Reservoir and lunch at the Duck Fork Reservoir. The ride concludes at 4:30 p.m., with prizes awarded for the Poker Run and scavenger hunt.

The cost of each ride is $25 per person, with a family rate of $20 per person for families of four or more. A portion of the fees are used to help maintain ATV trail riding.

The Manti Scenic Mountain ATV Tours were started to encourage tourism and to promote the trails in the region’s mountain regions, which are considered some of Utah’s most scenic areas. The event is sponsored by Manti City and the Sanpete County Office of Economic Development, with event hosts including the Manti Area Chamber of Commerce and the Manti City Economic Development Committee.

Applications and information about the tours are available by calling 435-835-5050 or 435-835-3923. Information is also available online at

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For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Snowkite ‘Masters’ Moving to Sanpete County

DATE 07/07/2006 7:15 AM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Snowkite ‘Masters’ Moving to Sanpete County

One of the only companies in the world that makes and sells equipment especially for the growing sport of snowkiting is moving its headquarters to Sanpete County.

Windzup, owned by Brian and Heather Schenck, will be moving into the industrial park in Mt. Pleasant. The company is purchasing a four-acre parcel of land and will relocate its primary offices and distribution warehouse.

“This will create a new world headquarters for Windzup, with all operations based in Sanpete County,” Schenck says. “In addition to corporate offices, Windzup will host our nationwide distribution facilities and in-house marketing at this new location.”

Snowkiting involves large kites pulling a skier or snowboarder across the snow. It’s a relatively new sport, about five of six years old, but it’s one of the fastest-growing sports around.

And one of the most popular destinations for snowkiting enthusiasts is Sanpete County, especially Skyline Drive, which has an altitude of 9800 feet and is located up Fairview Canyon.

“It’s at the top of a mountain range, the snow and wind conditions are excellent, and it has mind-blowing terrain. It’s ideal. Skyline Drive has quickly become known in snowkiting circles as THE best spot in North America,” Schenck says.

He and his wife, Heather, “discovered” Skyline Drive for themselves a couple of years ago while searching for locations for good snowkiting. They were impressed by the acres of open flats and hills of every angle and direction. “It offered the perfect ride, no matter what,” he says.

This past winter, Schneck helped coordinate the Ozone Snowkite Masters that was held along Skyline Drive. The public event was hosted by France’s Guillaume “Chasta” Chastagnol, one of the top snowkiters in the world. It featured races, demonstrations, freestyle and backcountry riding, clinics and workshops, information on the latest technology and more.

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For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

Plans for Equestrian Center Unfolding

DATE 02/10/2006 7:15 AM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Plans for Equestrian Center Unfolding

Mt. Pleasant Main Street Committee, in coordination with Sanpete County Economic Development and Kevin Christensen, director of the county’s Travel and Heritage Council, has unfolded plans for the development of an equestrian center that will serve all of the county.

The proposal, which was presented by the equestrian center committee at a Mt. Pleasant Main Street Committee this week, will be presented to the Mt. Pleasant Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Board on Tuesday, Feb. 14 2006.

“The centre will be a great asset for Mt. Pleasant City and Sanpete County,” Christensen said. “It has the potential to bring hundreds of visitors to various events sponsored by the community and to local clubs. The new complex will also provide stall space for lease. Riders will have the ability to escape cold weather during the winter, and during the summer months, they can head to the nearby mountain trails and experience the beauty of the Manti-La Sal National Forest.”

The equestrian center will be located on 55 acres of land on the north side of the Mt. Pleasant industrial park. Plans call for an indoor arena, two outdoor arenas, covered stalls, trailer parking, RV parking, a multi-purpose building with showers, a play area, tent area, and, possibly, a swimming pool. The adjacent airport, which focuses on recreational flying, will add another important dimension for tourism plan.

“This project, which will be developed in phases, will make an outstanding contribution to the economy of Mt. Pleasant and Sanpete County,” says Monte Bona, a member of the Main Street committee and Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council. The center’s development is part of an ongoing campaign by the heritage council to promote outdoor recreation throughout the region.

“Horse enthusiasts along the Wasatch Front need a place where they can participate in arena activities, as well as take advantage of the outstanding horse trails in a beautiful mountain terrain. Local trainers, clubs, schools and horse owners will be proud to host activities and invite fellow enthusiasts to visit the equestrian center in the Sanpete Valley.”

Bona says the Sanpete County region currently has more horses than it did back in the days when the animals were the main source of transportation, and horse enthusiasts are looking to construct a facility that would let them exercise, train and hold horse-related events and activities year round. In addition to horse enthusiasts and local business owners, Bona adds that all of the county could see direct and indirect effects from an indoor arena.

Benefits would range from bringing more tourists into the region to filling up hotels and motels, to expanding educational offerings for people inside and outside the community.

“We are continually looking for new opportunities that will allow Sanpete County to promote its many historical and recreational offerings,” Bona says. “This facility would complement the many other attractions we currently have.”

The center will also tie into a equestrian program at Mt. Pleasant’s Wasatch Academy. The Century-old private boarding school will be a major player in the project. Vern Fisher, Wasatch Academy’s director of development, is coordinating the Center for the school. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Wasatch and for the communities of Sanpete County,” he says, adding that the school’s growing equestrian program will link with the Center. Betsy and Pat Page, who direct Wasatch’s equestrian program, will also serve on the center committee with Fisher.

Kevin Stallings, who is heading the center committee, praised the effort and the expertise each of the committee members brings to the project. Other committee members are: Jared Nicholson, Ernie Booth, Dean Daniels, Juanita and Keith Ranch, Wanda Terry and Robert Olson.

Architect George Olson, who is located in Mt. Pleasant’s old caboose in the Railroad Depot Heritage Village, has prepared the design work on a volunteer basis. He has designed many other major recreational projects and will be crucial to the Center’s development.

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For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

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