base of the county has changed significantly over the years from its
agricultural foundation to a much more diversified mix. Zion National
Park (established in 1909 as Mukuntuweap National Monument) has always
been one of the state's premier tourist attractions. The trade and service
industries have grown steadily to accommodate not only increasing numbers
of tourists but the development of the area as a major retirement center.
Communities such as Bloomington, south
of St. George, as well as numerous condominiums and trailer parks housing
thousands of winter residents. Two-year Dixie College with some 2,300
students is a major employer as well as a cultural and sport focal point
in the area.
During the past
three decades, Washington County has been one of the fastest growing
counties in the state. In 1970 the population stood at 13,669; during
the 1970s it nearly doubled to 26,065 in 1980. It nearly doubled again
during the next ten years hitting 48,560 in 1990. Projections for the
1990s are that this growth rate will continue. The county is host to
several outstanding events each year, including conferences and conventions,
art festivals and art shows, golf tournaments, the Dixie Rotary Bowl
Football Game, the St. George Marathon, and the World Senior Games.