|DATE 10/28/2005 11:38 AM|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
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.
New Loan Program Opens Doors for New B&B, Other Projects in Rural Utah
|The opening of the Slot Canyons Inn, a new bed and breakfast in Escalante, was a significant event on many fronts. Not only did it fulfill a life-long dream for owners Jeff and Joette Marie Rex, it’s also another indicator that Utah’s small towns are increasingly becoming tourist destinations. In addition, the new inn is an example of how a new, unique loan program is helping rural areas.
The Slot Canyons Inn was supported by the new “One-Doc” program, a simplified loan guarantee program designed to assist lenders making business and commercial loans in rural areas. It’s is financed through a combination of U.S. Department of Agriculture Funding, Utah Business Lending and the Five County Association of Government’s Revolving Loan Fund.
“This is an unusual pairing of three lenders on the front end of a project,” says Gordon Holt, president of the Utah Business Lending Corporation. The One-Doc program reduces some of the risk to make a rural loan because the USDA can guarantee loans up to 90 percent.
“It allow lenders to make more rural loans because the guarantees do not count against the lender’s lending limit,” Holt says. The loans are for construction of business buildings, business acquisitions, purchase of machinery and equipment, remodeling projects and working capital.
The Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance and Utah State Extension Service are working closely with Holt’s organization to identify businesses in Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane Counties that might benefit from the program.
“In particular, this program will help Sen. Robert Bennett in his efforts to assist businesses along U.S. Highway 89 through the creation of a national Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area,” says Monte Bona, a member of the highway alliance. The designation would mean that the six counties involved would receive funds for projects designed to retain and enhance the area’s natural beauty and promote heritage tourism. Heritage tourism is known as one of the fastest-growing segment in the tourism industry in America.
The Slots Inn is a perfect example. The new bed and breakfast incorporates the area’s history, heritage and natural beauty. The Inn is surrounded by Monument, Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands. It’s 40 miles from Bryce Canyon, the Dixie National Forest is adjacent to the property, and the Aquarius Plateau, the highest plateau in North America, is located 17 miles above. Three major canyons, the Escalante River and North Creek also come together at the site. “We have wanted to develop this 160-acre parcel of land since we purchased it several years ago,” says owner Jeff Rex.
“We believe this spot is unique to Southern Utah and have chosen to build an eight-room Pueblo-style inn to fit with the significance of the site,” he says. A 110-year-old pioneer cabin built by Isaac Riddle and rebuilt in 1999 will also become part of the guest accommodations.
For more information about the loan program, contact Gordon Holt at Utah Business Lending, (801) 654-2213.
# # #
|For more information Contact: