Red Rock Magic and Magesty
Anyone who’s traveled through southern Utah can speak firsthand to the majestic and magical red rock splendor of the area. Visitors travel from all over the world to see the stunning red cliffs and towers of orange sandstone juxtaposed with bright blue skies.
Twenty years ago, Dixie and Mike Burbidge, came to Tropic from Northern Utah to start a bed and breakfast near Bryce Canyon. Today, the Stone Canyon Inn’s 80 acres bordering the east property line of Bryce Canyon offers beautiful accommodations and up-close and personal access to particular breathtaking views of the area. The Stone Canyon Inn has 15 rental units that include Family Cabins, Bungalows, Tree Houses and Deluxe King Rooms. The property also boasts the best restaurant in the Bryce Canyon area–the Stone Hearth Grille.
A Friendship Forges a Natural Fit
“Dixie’s daughter, Angie, and I were friends and worked together in the accounting field,” explains April Roberts, who purchased the Stone Canyon Inn with her husband Riley in February of 2018. “My background is in finance and business management and Riley’s is in human resources and management. So it was a nice fit for owning our business.”
In 2017, Dixie began talking about retiring and selling the business, but really wanted to sell it to someone local or someone she could trust to keep the family owned feel she had cultivated.
“Angie and I began reviewing the financial history of the property with thoughts of putting together a proposal for some of the investors we work with in our accounting jobs,” Roberts said, but the more she looked into the company’s strong financial history, the more she and her husband Riley thought about buying the property themselves.
Roberts explained that Dixie really wanted the property to benefit someone local. “Riley and I grew up in Garfield County—me right in Tropic and Riley 45 minutes away in Antimony,” she said. “We went to college in Phoenix, Arizona and then decided we wanted to raise our family in Southern Utah. So we moved back home after our first of five sons was born in 2003.”
An Insider’s Insights
Roberts says that local connection not only helped them with acquiring the property from Dixie, but also gives them unique insights to help customers have the best experience possible.
“Riley and I are both local to the Bryce Canyon area,” she says. “We grew up hiking, fishing, hunting and enjoying this majestic area which we live in and have a deep love for its peace and beauty. We continue to enjoy the area with our five boys and have gained a deeper love and appreciation for its uniqueness as we share it with others from around the world.”
It’s not surprising Stone Canyon guests feel the difference. “Because the property is smaller and locally owned, we are also able to give insider tips on where to hike and how to get to areas that most people don’t see,” she says. Noting that “our guests love the personal tips and attention they get while staying at the Stone Canyon Inn.”
The Reviews are In
One particularly delightful Stone Canyon touch is the online guestbook, which Roberts says is one of many special touches from Dixie’s legacy. “She used to have little guest books/journals in each of the rooms when it was a bed and breakfast,” Roberts explained. Guests left their experiences for future guests to read and Dixie expanded the physical book into an online blog format. Roberts says they are currently redesigning the website, but would like to keep the blog feature on the new site.
But it’s not just their own website’s blog that are receiving high praise. Stone Canyon Inn performs well in ratings from guests on travel sites ranging from Trip Advisor, Google leads, Booking.com and Travel agents. “We are highly recommended by the Garfield Travel Council,” she explains, “and they bring international tour operators to our property as top choice for accommodations and dining in the Bryce Canyon area.” As previously noted, the Stone Hearth Grille in unparalleled for fine dining in the Bryce Canyon area.
While Roberts says they’re still learning the business, right now the focus is on building cash flow and paying down their debt quickly. (The purchase of Stone Canyon Inn came through financing with State Bank and MWSBF.) But with demand remaining high for the Stone Canyon Inn experience, Roberts says plans down the road could include a couple more tree houses and another 4-plex building. But in the meantime, they’ll focus on maintaining the impeccable level of customer service Stone Canyon Inn has been know for as their guests take in the awe-inspiring views and experience the best of southern Utah splendor.
Learn about Stone Canyon Inn on their website at www.stonecanyoninn.com.
Did you know?
More than 2.5 million people visited Bryce Canyon National Park in 2017 to see the world’s largest collection of hoodoos, the unique tall sandstone formations the park is famous for.