Family Bonding Opportunities Along U.S. Highway 89 to be Promoted at Family Expo – Press Release 5/2/2003

DATE 5/2/2003 6:41 PM

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

Family Bonding’ Opportunities Along U.S. Highway 89
to be Promoted at Family Expo

Looking for a way to strengthen your family’s bond? Kanab resident Bud Barnes and other promoters of U.S. Highway 89 have a suggestion: take a trip down the Heritage Highway.“We want to develop the highway as family bonding’ area,” says Barnes. “We have the greatest concentration of natural wonders any place in the world along this highway. But it’s also a great playground, a wonderful place to bring the family.”Barnes hopes to get that point across to the thousands of people who are expected to visit the Gung-ho Family Expo being held at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy May 23 & 24. There will be a booth at the event promoting the Heritage Highway, staffed by Barnes and other enthusiastic volunteers. “We are going to highlight all 230 miles of the Highway 89 corridor with our display,” he says. “At each major point along the highway where there is something of interest, we will have pictures showing people what they can experience.” The booth will also have brochures, videos that explain historical events in the region like the Black Hawk War, and other handouts and materials.“We hope that while people experience the national parks, river rafting, ATV trails and the many other offerings along the highway, they will notice something else about the area,” Barnes says. “There is a history here, a culture, that needs to be explained.”

Barnes, 76, who runs the Utah Trails Resort in Kanab, has been working closely with other highway promoters to draw attention to the area. His focus is on developing seven “magnet” sites along the highway and bringing in groups from Las Vegas and other areas outside the state on a daily basis to tour the historic route. “But there are so many people from around the state and even in this region who don’t know what the highway has to offer them and their families. So we want to show them some of the places they can visit and some of the things they can do here as a family.”

Barnes says the highway attractions include adventures like ATV riding and horseback riding, to white water rafting, to visiting attractions such as the Big Rock Canyon Mountain and the Fairview Museum. To get the word out to families across the state, Barnes and others will be doing various promotion efforts, starting with having a booth at the Gung-ho Family Expo. Barns says the message of the expo is similar to the one highway enthusiasts hope to promote: that family is the cornerstone of society. “Learning and growing as a family creates a special bond that is strengthened with each new experience shared,” the Expo’s mission statement says. The two-day event will include family-oriented activities such as storytelling and musical performances, products and services, as well as learning opportunities, crafts and family workshops.

“We thought this was a good place to start promoting the region as a family bonding’ area,” Barnes says of the expo. He adds that with the reintroduction of a proposal in Congress to have the highway region designated as a National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area, there may be government funds available to expand and continue such promotional efforts.

The Gung-ho Family Expo runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, May 23, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 24 at the South Town Exposition Center.

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502
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