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History of Moab, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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Arguably Moab's largest industry, at least for the last quarter century, is the tourist industry. As early as 1906 the Grand Valley Times began promoting the tourism possibilities of the area, and in 1909 the Moab Commercial Club was organized to advertise the scenic attractions and recreational advantages of the Moab region. A significant boost to tourism came with the designation of Arches National Monument in 1929; however, the Great Depression and World War II brought few visitors to the Moab area. After World War II the river-running craze began slowly in the 1950s, gained momentum in the 1960s, and became a staple of the region's tourist industry by the early 1970s. The establishment in 1964 of Canyonlands National Park, for which Moab serves as the northern gateway, was another milepost along the way to Moab's becoming an important tourist and recreation destination. During the 1980s Moab, with its hundreds of miles of slickrock trails, gained worldwide fame as a mountain-biking center.

While the greatest number of Moab residents are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the community's diversity is reflected in the significant number of other churches in Moab, including Assembly of God, Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, and Seventh-day Adventist churches. By 1980, Moab's population had reached a high of 5,333, but by 1990 it had dropped to 3,971. More recently, the population appears to again be on the rise as Moab increases in popularity and notoriety as a recreation destination.

See: Raye C. Ringholz, Uranium Frenzy--Boom and Bust on the Colorado Plateau (1989); Fawn McConkie Tanner, The Far Country--Regional History of Moab and La Sal, Utah (1976); and Grand County Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Grand Memories (1972).

Margaret S. Bearnson

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