New mountain bike trail system opens in Moab

MOAB, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Tourism pumps big money into the states economy in 2012 it was more than $7 billion.

National and state parks play a big role in that.

Moab is certainly one of the top tourist hotspots in the state just miles from two national parks and Dead Horse State Park. That's where Utah’s second in command was Tuesday to help officially open up a new mountain bike trail system.

The ribbon is cut and the mountain bikers are ready to roll. The new, Intrepid trail ties together miles of single track at Dead Horse Point State Park.

"Grand County Trail mix opened up an extension of the original intrepid trail, we'll call it intrepid 2 to double the mileage up here so you could come up and do a full day ride," said Scott Escott, Trail designer.

About 18 miles now fully connected, Lt. Governor, Spencer Cox R- Utah is one of the riders for the ceremonious first run.

"I’m excited, I’ve talked about the trail, it's a great trail, really a beginner trail which is important," said Cox.

It’s more than pedaling the trail and taking in the breath taking views. There is a much bigger picture here.

"Unfortunately, are one of the best kept secrets here in Utah, but word is finally getting out. We have visitors from all over the world here. It means a real economic boost for the state of Utah and surrounding communities."

Dead Horse Point is one of 43 state parks. The system operates on a $28 million budget. It generates $24 million of that annually.

This park has seen an increase in visitors and the new trail system is expected to draw even more guests from far and near.

"I was here with my family on our family vacation just three weeks ago, we come here every other year; it’s incredible."

Officials say tourism is one of the only investments in the state budget that makes money. For every one dollar spent there is a return of about $5 dollars.

That $7 billion spent by tourists in 2012 resulted in $960 million in state and local tax revenues.

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