LOCAL NEWS

Eclipse may be the largest single event to draw people to Piute County in county history

Sep 5, 2023, 7:55 PM | Updated: 9:39 pm

MARYSVALE, Utah — When you own a small business, you do whatever you can to make it a success, even if it means doing the dishes.

“Whatever job needs to get done is the job you do,” said Robert Thompson.

He and his wife Kristal bought the Big Rock Candy Mountain Resort near Marysvale just last year.

Robert and Kristal Thompson washing the dishes at their resort kitchen. (Mark Wetzel/KSL TV)

Robert and Kristal Thompson washing the dishes at their resort kitchen. (Mark Wetzel/KSL TV)

It is a place they have visited before, so when they noticed it was for sale, they decided to give it a try.

“I had been working in corporate America for years and I was getting burnt out of doing that,” Robert Thompson said.

They knew buying the resort was a risk, but they also felt with lots of hard work, they could get people to stop by.

“Honestly, it is a magical place already. So, we’re just hoping to build upon that,” Kristal Thompson said.

Big Rock Candy Mountain resort sign

Marysvale, Utah, in Piute County will be host perhaps its biggest event in its history with an annular eclipse on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. (Mark Wetzel/KSL TV)

They bought the resort, which is in Sevier County just over the Piute County line, just in time. Because nothing brings people in like something you don’t see every day. Or, in this case, every decade.

“We have actually been booked out since the end of April. We are opening some spots for people to camp and bring their RV so there is more room for everybody,” said Robert Thompson.

Marysvale is one of many Utah communities that are right in the middle of the path of the big annular eclipse coming on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 14. It just might be the single biggest event that draws people to Piute County in county history.

Sign reading Welcome to Marysvale

Marysvale, Utah, in Piute County will be host perhaps its biggest event in its history with an annular eclipse on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. (Mark Wetzel/KSL TV)

“I think everyone is a little bit nervous, right? We just don’t know what’s going to happen. We saw what happened in Idaho a few years ago and were hoping to avoid that but we won’t know until it happens,” said Darin Bushman, a Piute County Commissioner. “The businesses have been getting ready and we think we will be ready for the crowds.”

With events, music, food, and portable restrooms, Bushman feels the county and businesses have been doing a great job of preparing.

Bushman also thinks the eclipse is a great opportunity for people to discover the area, which maybe doesn’t get the tourism attention it deserves.

“Frankly, we have the most beautiful scenery in the state,” Bushman said . “We see this an opportunity to expose people to Piute County and hopefully they will be making reservations for next year.”

That’s what the Thompsons are hoping for.

A staff worker repainting a sign in preparation for the Solar Eclipse event. (KSL TV, Mark Wetzel)

A staff worker repainting a sign in preparation for the Solar Eclipse event. (Mark Wetzel/KSL TV)

“Our number one thing when we bought was raising awareness of, one, that we are here and what we have to do here,” said Kristal. “Many other businesses in the county are on board as well to show off what we have.”

Who knew that a big shadow just might put them, and the area, in an even bigger spotlight?

“We heard through the grapevine that the sheriff’s department is expecting more than 30,000 people to come to the area,” said Robert. “That is a lot of people considering about 30,000 people live within a 50-mile radius of the Big Rock Candy Mountain.”

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Eclipse may be the largest single event to draw people to Piute County in county history