Under Canvas wants to open up a 200 acre “glamping resort” near a popular climbing area in Utah and locals are none too pleased. Under Canvas offers safari-style canvas tent accommodations for those looking for an outdoor experience but aren’t into roughing it ($250-$600 per night). Some locals see it as exploitation of Looking Glass Rock area’s incredible natural resources for corporate profit and have created an online petition to halt the process which has been signed by 2,451 people so far (SEE BELOW). FOX13 sat down with Salt Lake Tribune reporter Zak Podmore to talk about concerns surrounding the proposal:
Citizens Against Moab Under Canvas at Looking Glass Rock:
We stand against the exploitation of Looking Glass Rock area for the corporate profit of Under Canvas. We demand that Under Canvas and SITLA pull out of their lease agreement at Looking Glass Rock area, and stop all plans of developing the area, keeping it in its natural state for all to continue to enjoy for generations to come. Immediately, we demand a delay on all proceedings with the deal until proper engagement with the community has transpired. (FYI!!! donations prompted here go to the website, and not to this movement. If you want to donate to the grassroots campaign to stop this development, go to:https://givebutter.com/saveLGR instead ).
Under Canvas is proposing to develop 75 glamping individually heated and cooled “tent” units, EACH with pull-chain running water showers/sinks/flushable toilets, a centrally located permanent 4,000 sq ft air-conditioned restaurant/lobby area, leach field, septic tank, large parking lot, and dipping pond immediately adjacent to Looking Glass Rock. This is not a low-impact development as they love to tout- this is a hotel-like establishment circumventing the process of building an actual hotel, while trying to climate control an open air tent. This is akin to trying heat the moon and cool the sun- and not sustainable development. Their development would create roughly 60 acres of disturbed land, with 25 acres of graded land, engulfing the valley immediately to the East of Looking Glass Rock. (To compare, an actual hotel with similar occupancy would only disturb a few acres.)
When you visit Looking Glass Rock, and sit in its alcove, you can stare at corporate America’s smoke stacks (75 of them, to be exact). Under Canvas will profit off of Hilton-style pricing for renting these trendy “tents” by way of exploiting this treasured geological wonder. They do not plan to restrict access to the rock, but that is far from the point. The bottom-line, we believe this development would collapse the viewshed and experience of this special place. Visit @daileysbaileys to see the development map with overlays showing the current proposed lease agreement boundary, development area, and structure layout.
SITLA sold the leasing right to this parcel to Under Canvas at $1,000 an acre. Pressure Under Canvas to leave the contract and enter the leasing process again in a space that is more neutral and a better use of the SITLA land, offering respect to the community and to this special landscape. Under Canvas has communicated they have good intent “for the land and partnership with the local community.” Where is this partnership with the community when the community was not engaged, and where is the intent for the land when they will bring this sprawling hotel-like development to the base of one of our cherished spaces?
image from UnderCanvas Facebook