Moab, Utah


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Moab Business Signs

Prior to American settlement, the Paiute people inhabited the area of southern Utah now known as Grand County.  The first American settlement in the area occurred in April of 1855.  This settlement was referred to as “Elk Mountain Mission” and was established by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  By September of that same year, however, repeated Native American attacks forced the missionaries to flee.  However, a new batch of settlers established Moab in 1878.  Moab was officially incorporated into a city on December 20th, 1902.

Moab was either named after an area of land on the eastern side of the Jordan River in the Middle East or it was named after the Paiute word for mosquito – ‘moapa.’  Additionally, according to a book about the pioneers to the area, Grand Memories, William Pierce, the first postmaster in the area “believed the biblical Moab and this part of Utah were both ‘the far country.’”

Today, according to a 2013 US Census Bureau estimate, the city of Moab has a population of 5,130 people.  This shows growth in the city, compared to its 2010 estimated population, which was only 5,046 people.

Moab is best known today as a tourist attraction.  In fact, there are two National Parks in the area.  Canyonlands National Park, which was established on September 12th, 1964, has 542,431 annual visitors, according to a 2014 report by the National Park Service.  Canyonlands’ main selling point is preserving “a colorful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas, and buttes by the Colorado River, the Green River, and their respective tributaries.”

Arches National Park, which was established as a National Monument on April 12th, 1929, attracts 1,284,767 people every year, according to a 2014 report by the National Park Service.  Arches is located on the Colorado River 4 miles (6 km) north of the city of Moab.  Arches is known for its “over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch.”

According to Stewart M. Green’s Best Easy Day Hikes Moab, local cowboys used to refer to Delicate Arch as “the Chaps” and “the Schoolmarm’s Bloomers” due to its distinctive shape.  Delicate Arch “is a 65-foot-tall (20 m) freestanding natural arch.”  In fact, it is one of Utah’s most distinctive landmarks.  So distinctive, in fact, that it is featured prominently on the state’s current license plates.

Moab offers many other attractions such as Slickrock Trail, a 13-mile (20.9 km) mountain biking loop spanning “over a landscape of ‘petrified’ sand dunes and the eroded remnants of ancient seabeds.”  Moab also hosts the annual Moab Jeep Safari, a 4-wheeler event.

Moab doesn’t have much in the way of sports franchises, but it has been the shooting location for many films.  These films include Stagecoach, Wagon Master, Rio Grande, The Comancheros, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Once Upon a Time in the West, Against a Crooked Sky, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Thelma and Louise, Geronimo: An American Legend, City Slickers II, RocketMan, Con Air, Galaxy Quest, Mission: Impossible II, Nurse Betty, Joe Dirt, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Hulk (2003), Star Trek (2009), 127 Hours, John Carter, After Earth, Lone Ranger (2013), and Transformers: Age of Extinction.  In fact, “the course for the pod races in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) is a computer-generated imagery montage of Moab area landmarks, including Angel Arch.  

Do you own a small business in the Moab, Utah area?  Thinking about it?  These resources could help you:

Apply for a Business License in Moab

Moab, Utah: Business and Economic Development

Moab Chamber of Commerce

Looking for Moab business signs?

Get the word out there about your small business!  Contact one of our authorized members:

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