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New Moab hotel, movie milestones and more

January 25, 2019 Visit USA No Comments Email Email

Awards season is underway, and with the Sundance Film Festival approaching (January 24-February 3, 2019), Utah is gearing up for a year of movie milestones. With striking natural scenery, Utah has appeared in everything from Thelma and Louise to Forest Gump, and the Utah Film Commission continues to attract both small and big screen productions. Here are the significant anniversaries to look out for and how to visit their Utah filming locations:

  • Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, 50th Anniversary: Starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford this seminal Western is based on the wild adventures of Robert Leroy Parker born in Beaver, Utah. Fans of the film can visit filming locations in Zion National Park, St. George, Grafton Ghost Town, Snow Canyon State Park and stay at Robert Redford’s Sundance Mountain Resort
  • Easy Rider, 50th Anniversary: Visitors to Monument Valley can join Goulding’s Resort & Tours and take a Navajo-guided jeep tour to follow in the tracks of Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, the stars of this quintessential, hippy road trip film
  • Forrest Gump, 25th Anniversary: Monument Valley is no stranger to appearing on the big screen, its remarkable sandstone buttes and red rock landscape feature in everything from The Lone Ranger to Doctor Who. It was here on Highway 163 that Forrest Gump ended his epic run around the USA and visitors to Utah can plan a similar Road to Mighty itinerary
  • Dumb & Dumber, 25th Anniversary: Fans of this cult comedy will immediately visit a filming location upon arrival in Utah as the Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) – opening a new terminal in 2020 – is just one of many locations throughout Salt Lake City, Park City, Orem, Sandy and Heber City where this movie was made
  • Stagecoach, 80th Anniversary: A landmark Western shot in Monument Valley, Stagecoach was directed by John Ford and saw John Wayne in his breakthrough role. Visitors can stay at Parry Lodge founded in 1931 to host cast and crew that were filming nearby, including John Wayne, Frank Sinatra and Ronald Reagan. The barn is now a western theatre where guests can watch some of the films made in the area
  • Union Pacific, 80th Anniversary: Directed by Cecil B. DeMille, this film tells the story of a plot to derail the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. Coinciding with the 150th anniversary of driving the ceremonially “Last Spike” at Promontory Summit in Northern Utah, “Spike 150” celebrations will take place over the May 10th weekend and throughout Summer 2019

With a new year comes many new hotel openings including:
In Spring 2019, Hilton will open a new Curio Collection hotel in Moab, Utah. The Hoodoo Moab will feature 117 guest rooms and suites blending modern décor and luxuries with Western flair authentic to its location. The hotel will also include Josie Wyatt’s Restaurant and Bar serving steak, cocktails and fine wines, a full-service day spa, outdoor heated pool open year-round, fitness centre and meeting space for 200 seated guests. The Hoodoo Moab is located minutes from the red rock landscapes of Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse State Park, and one block from Downtown Moab’s Main Street.

And another unique and new hotel opening in Jan 2019: Opening the doors on Jan 1, 2019 is the boutique Compass Rose Lodge. Located in Huntsville in the Ogden Valley in Utah’s north. This 15 room, 900m2 hotel also boasts one of only two hotels in the country with it’s very own observatory.

Utah’s Distilling Underdogs
As visitors to Utah are looking to raise a glass in the new year, there is still a perception that Utah is a dry state. Not true. However, until Park City’s High West Distillery was founded in 2006, there were no operating Utah distilleries in the state since before Prohibition. High West paved the way for developing distilling operations at every level in Utah, and there are now just over a dozen Utah-based producers licensed in the state. Salt Lake City’s Distillery 36 is the latest to make it big winning several international awards. Called “D36” by rum enthusiasts, bartenders and restaurant owners, their Brigham Rum has quickly gained a devout following amongst lovers of pure cane sugar-based rum (rhum agricole). Visitors to Utah can sample craft spirits throughout Utah, tour the distilleries and read more about Distillery 36’s unique cane-to-glass story here.

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