PAROWAN, Utah - A small southern Utah town is hoping to attract big business. They've launched a new effort to get travelers off I-15 and onto one one of the state's scenic byways.
Parowan, established in 1851, is the oldest city in southern Utah.
"We'd love to have people come to Parowan. We think that this is just the best community in the whole world," said Parowan Mayor Don Landes.
This week, the city installed two massive welcome signs to let travelers along I-15 know that they're welcome.
"The people here are very, very proud of their heritage and that's an important part of the community. And the substance of these signs I think is a reflection of that," Landes said.
The signs are part of a $300,000 project designed to bring tourists to State Road 143, also known as the Patchwork Parkway.
"There's a lot of people who come here, and they go through, and they don't realize they're on a national scenic byway. So now through our interpretive master plan, we're now putting together facilities that will help to alert them to where there's special places to go and see," said Nancy Dalton, coordinator for the Utah Patchwork Parkway.
The majority of the funds came through federal grants, and the city and county made up the difference. Landes says it's money well spent, especially if it brings some business along with it.
"That's my fondest dream, to be able to build more of a business structure here that would enable our kids, when they graduate from high school, they need a place to work, a place to develop a career," Landes said.
Crews will put in some natural rock and kiosks to explain some of the history of the area. It should be completed next month.