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Home Care in Pine Valley, UT

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Pine Valley, UT is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

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Home Care Pine Valley, UT

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Pine Valley, UT. Always Best Care is here to help.

How does In-home Senior Care in Pine Valley, UT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 In-Home Care Pine Valley, UT

Types of In-home Care in Pine Valley, UT

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

 Elderly Care Pine Valley, UT

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
 Senior Care Pine Valley, UT

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading

Respite Care Pine Valley, UT

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community Events and Social Outings
 Caregivers Pine Valley, UT

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.

When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

Benefits of Home Care in Pine Valley, UT

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Home Care Pine Valley, UT
  • Age in Place
    According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to age in place within the comfort of their own home. With in-home care, seniors have a way to stay at home, receive the care they need, and maintain a sense of independence, improving overall wellness.
  • Peace of Mind
    If you or a member of your family have assumed the role of caregiver for your senior loved one, you know how stressful the job can be. Between caregiver burnout and constant worry, being a family caregiver is hard. In-home care relieves your burden and gives you peace of mind knowing that your senior family member is in expert hands.
  • Socialization
    Unlike many senior care facilities where the staff and residents rotate frequently, seniors can foster new friendships and build bonds with their caregiver. Seniors who socialize on a regular basis are often happier, which fosters positivity and leads to increased wellbeing.
  • Personalized Care Plan
    No two seniors need the same kind of in-home care assistance. That is why each of our care plans are tailored to meet our client's individual needs. We offer plans that cover everything from light housekeeping to more involved duties like transportation to doctor's appointments. Our Care Coordinators will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan to ensure your senior's needs are exceeded.

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for clients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

 In-Home Care Pine Valley, UT

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

Comfort

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Pine Valley, UT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

Independence

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

 Elderly Care Pine Valley, UT

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Pine Valley, UT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

 Senior Care Pine Valley, UT

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

  • Veteran's Benefits: Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
  • Private Insurance: Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
  • Life Insurance: Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Pine Valley,UT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

01

An assessment of your senior loved one

02

An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home

03

Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs

Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

Latest News in Pine Valley, UT

Beaver County moves to enforce deal with its neighbor over groundwater pumping

Iron County wants to take billions of gallons of groundwater from Pine Valley, which sits in another county.A simmering water war could be heading toward a boil in Utah’s West Desert, where an Iron County water district is looking to extract billions of gallons of groundwater in a neighboring rural county to sustain urban growth in Cedar City.Central Iron County Water Conservancy District says safeguards will be in place to ensure its Pine Valley groundwater pumping project won’t harm surface water sources, but Be...

Iron County wants to take billions of gallons of groundwater from Pine Valley, which sits in another county.

A simmering water war could be heading toward a boil in Utah’s West Desert, where an Iron County water district is looking to extract billions of gallons of groundwater in a neighboring rural county to sustain urban growth in Cedar City.

Central Iron County Water Conservancy District says safeguards will be in place to ensure its Pine Valley groundwater pumping project won’t harm surface water sources, but Beaver County leaders aren’t buying it.

Beaver has put the state on notice that it intends to file suit if the State Engineer, the bureau that oversees water rights, does not enforce key provisions of a legal settlement with the Iron County district concerning its claimed rights to 26,500 acre-feet of water under Pine and Wah Wah valleys.

In a letter sent Dec. 6 to Attorney General Sean Reyes, Beaver County Attorney Von Christiansen says the water district’s $260 million groundwater pumping and pipeline project, as described in a draft environmental review, has not identified measures that would ensure Pine Valley and adjoining basins aren’t left high and dry.

Meanwhile, new information developed by the U.S. Geological Survey casts doubt on how much water can be safely extracted from under Pine Valley. Its aquifers are fed by an arid region that receives only 6 inches of rain a year and are likely hydrologically connected to basins east into Nevada and as far north as Great Salt Lake, according to Beaver County Commission Chairman Mark Whitney.

“They had to monitor it. They had to manage it. And they had to mitigate their water usage in Iron County, and they’ve never done it. And the State Engineer has never enforced it,” said Whitney, who ranches near Milford.

Allied with Beaver County are Juab and Millard counties in Utah, Nevada’s White Pine County, the Great Basin Water Network and the Indian Peaks Band (IPB) of the Paiute Indian Tribe, which holds federally reserved water rights in Pine Valley. Tribal officials said they were not properly consulted by either the State Engineer or the water district.

“They are stealing our water for their project,” said Tamra Borchardt Slayton, the chairwoman of the Indian Peaks Band, or IPB. “This project is in direct violation of the federal government’s trust obligations to IPB. The state of Utah cannot allow this project to move forward.”

Beaver County officials have been contesting Iron County’s designs on Pine and Wah Wah valley groundwater for years — before the State Engineer and in court. The parties reached a 2019 legal settlement giving the water district the right to withdraw 26,500 acre-feet of water a year while reserving some for use in Beaver County.

This deal requires Iron County to submit a monitoring and mitigation plan, but the Beaver County letter alleges the plan falls short. Consequently, Beaver will sue the state and the water district as early as Jan. 5 unless the State Engineer initiates a public process to review the adequacy of the monitoring plan.

Behind the dispute is the Iron County district’s reliance on groundwater to meet the needs of fast-growing Cedar City. In past years, the district has been drawing more water from under Cedar Valley than is being replenished, a practice known as groundwater mining. The water deficit is so severe that land is sinking in places. The district’s controversial solution proposes a network of wells and pipelines that would extract water from Pine Valley and move it 66 miles south to Cedar City.

“They were wanting to mine our water to pipe it to Iron County when they had [other] sources,” Whitney said. “They could have went to Parowan and bought up farmland. … I don’t like to see the family farms go away, but with growth, you have to sacrifice something, like they’ve done in the Salt Lake Valley. If they want to continue to grow, they need to face those consequences basically do the same. Don’t come to your neighbor and steal their water.”

Iron County water officials, however, contend the Pine Valley proposal already features various safeguards to protect the interests of other stakeholders and they will likely get more protective as the project nears approval. Beaver’s objections are “misguided” and “premature,” said the water district’s general manager, Paul Monroe.

“We have to have this [monitoring] plan in place, before water is taken out,” he said. “There’s kind of a double layer of insurance. We have to reduce pumping if it proves that the [water] source is not there.”

And there’s the rub. How much groundwater is available for “safe” withdrawal under Pine Valley is not exactly known. Beaver County and its allies say new data indicate it may be far less than the amount that has been awarded. Accordingly, they insist the State Engineer reevaluate the volume of water Iron County may take.

“Once you start pumping water [from the ground], and once you start draining an aquifer, it’s like a train leaving the station. You don’t stop it,” Whitney said. “The thing is that before you can finally detect the real damage, the damage is already done and it’s irrevocable.”

But Monroe said his district has assembled a monitoring program involving a network of wells, meters to measure surface flows at springs and aerial photography.

Under an ongoing environmental impact statement, the Bureau of Land Management is analyzing this monitoring program along with a related mitigation plan to make sure problems are detected early and addressed before existing water users are affected, according to Monroe.

“And if we do impair or impact somebody, then there is state law, and there are things that we’re committed to doing to make people whole,” he said.

He noted that under Western water law, the right to water does not belong to the counties where it is found, but to whoever puts it to beneficial use first. In this case, he said, Iron County was the first to propose using Pine and Wah Wah valleys’ groundwater.

Beaver County ranchers, and Native Americans before them, however, have long relied on springs that are likely connected to groundwater sources. Officials fear if those springs disappear because of Iron’s project, they may never come back and the remote desert valleys could become uninhabitable for people and wildlife.

“We’ve got to protect that aquifer out there,” Whitney said. “We’re just making them live up to the agreement.”

RELATED STORIES

Feet of snow for Utah’s mountains this weekend

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Happy Friday, Utah! Moisture is streaming into the Beehive State today and will continue over the next several days. These storms will be able to tap into subtropical moisture from the atmospheric river moving into the western U.S. to allow significant moisture to move into the intermountain west.In our mountains, heavy snowfall is expected over the next few days while the forecast is a bit trickier in our valleys thanks ...

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Happy Friday, Utah! Moisture is streaming into the Beehive State today and will continue over the next several days. These storms will be able to tap into subtropical moisture from the atmospheric river moving into the western U.S. to allow significant moisture to move into the intermountain west.

In our mountains, heavy snowfall is expected over the next few days while the forecast is a bit trickier in our valleys thanks to a couple of warm fronts that will move through. This will result in a chance for snow, rain, and times of a wintry mix.

Due to expected heavy mountain snowfall, the National Weather Service has issued Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Storm Watches for our Utah mountains. The Winter Storm Warning begins this morning and will continue through 5 a.m. on Monday. The warning includes the Central Mountains, the Wasatch Plateau/Book Cliffs, the Western Uintas, and the Northern Mountains including all of the Wasatch. Within the warning, 1-3 feet of snow is expected, but in isolated areas like the Upper Cottonwoods, up to 4 feet of snow will be possible!

The Wasatch Back is also included in a Winter Storm Warning that will begin this morning and also continue through 5 a.m. Monday. The Wasatch Back will likely receive 6-12″ of snow with places like Park City potentially getting close to or even over 2 feet of snow!

Within these warnings, travel will become either very difficult or impossible so keep that in mind for any New Year’s plan. Also, given the warmer nature of this storm, snow in the Ogden Valley may transition to rain this afternoon which could lead to slushy conditions and impact snow totals. A Winter Storm Warning has also been issued for Bear Lake, the Bear River Valley, and Southwest Wyoming. This will run a little longer, starting this morning and continuing through 5 a.m. on Monday. 6-12″ of snow is expected, with up to 18″ being possible in southern Uinta County on the southern slopes of the Uintas.

The Winter Storm Warning for the Southern Mountains will begin Saturday afternoon and will continue through Sunday evening. During this time, 1-2 feet of snow is expected to fall with up to 3 feet being possible for the Pine Valleys and Brian Head.

We also have a couple of Winter Weather Advisories that will remain in effect through 11 p.m. tonight. The first is for eastern Box Elder County and Cache Valley. During the time of the advisory, 2-4″ of snow will be possible, potentially up to 8″ — mainly for the benches.

While heavy snow is expected in our mountains and higher terrain, the snow line in our valleys will be moving around thanks to a few fronts. Snow showers remain possible into the afternoon along Northern Utah, including the Wasatch Front. However, as we go through the afternoon, the snow line will gradually climb through the day, likely reaching over 6000 ft. by the afternoon in northern Utah and over 7000 ft. in southern Utah.

The snow line will continue to remain elevated through Saturday as the warmer air stays in place and on Saturday could be at or even above 6500 ft. in northern Utah and around 7500 ft. in southern Utah. This means from the second half of today through Saturday mainly valley rain and mountain snow are expected. Daytime highs the next couple of days will run about 5-10 degrees above average with mainly 30s and 40s up north and 40s and 50s down south.

As we move from Saturday into Sunday, a cold front will start to move in. This front will help bring widespread wet weather to Utah, but much colder air will move in behind it. While Sunday likely begins with mainly valley rain and mountain snow, the valley rain will likely change back to snow as the snow line drops down to the valley floors sometime on Sunday in northern Utah with it dropping to valley floors in southern Utah a little later.

How much snow we may see will depend on how much moisture lingers behind the front, but at this point, we could see some minor accumulations along the Wasatch Front with maybe a few inches or more being possible on the benches. While valley snow accumulations may not be too impressive, the water this system has the potential to be as several spots could see between 1-3″!

Lingering showers will have the potential to linger into early Monday morning, especially in the mountains, but skies will gradually calm through the day. The calm skies are not likely to stick around though as most forecast models have more active weather ramping back up by the second half of next week.

The takeaway? Very active conditions are hanging on through the weekend with heavy mountain snowfall totals into early next week.

The 5 big stories to follow in southern Utah in 2023

Southern Utah stayed busy in 2022, with the state's fastest-growing population and a slew of new construction projects.Not that the area doesn't face its challenges. The fast-paced growth has many residents grumbling about the traffic. The pandemic-fueled flood of tourists slowed, if only a little. And the threat of worsening drought and battles over the shrinking supplies of the Colorado River basin loomed over everything.So where does southern Utah go from here? Only time will tell, and here are the stories tha...

Southern Utah stayed busy in 2022, with the state's fastest-growing population and a slew of new construction projects.

Not that the area doesn't face its challenges. The fast-paced growth has many residents grumbling about the traffic. The pandemic-fueled flood of tourists slowed, if only a little. And the threat of worsening drought and battles over the shrinking supplies of the Colorado River basin loomed over everything.

So where does southern Utah go from here? Only time will tell, and here are the stories that could mean the most in 2023.

Population growth

For the first time in a long time, Washington and Iron counties saw their rates of population growth slow in 2022. But just because the growth was slower doesn't mean it wasn't growing at all.

Nearly 7,000 new residents moved into those two counties from July of 2021 to July of 2022, according to estimates published in December by Kem C. Gardener Policy Institute at the University of Utah, the entity tasked with doing the state's major demographic work. That represented a slowdown, technically, but only compared to the torrid pace set in previous years, with the longer-term trends suggesting the growth is likely to continue.

Washington County has gone from an estimated population of 160,000 in 2017 to more than 193,000 this year. Neighboring Iron County was growing at a similar rate, up from under 50,000 in 2017 to nearly 64,000.

Utah's long-term trends suggest the state will continue to grow its population, especially in the St. George and Cedar City areas.

Both Washington and Iron counties are forecasted to see their populations double over the next 40 years. If Washington County continues adding several thousand new residents every year, the numbers would quickly add up, with the population growing to a projected 464,528 in 2060, according to official state projections.

New construction projects

To accommodate all that growth, and potentially encourage more, area planners have a long list of projects in mind, including a major overhaul of Interstate 15 through St. George and potentially a new freeway interchange right in the middle of the city, at 700 South.

A number of local roads are also under construction, with St. George working on improvements along the 3000 East corridor and in other areas in the eastern and southern parts of the city. In Washington City, a major new project would see 3560 East connect with the Southern Parkway. Farther north, the new Toquerville Parkway would divert traffic away from the historic town center and provide a more direct connection between I-15 and State Route 9.

At the same time, several major new buildings are nearing completion, including the four-story Washington County Administration building in downtown St. George and the even higher Red Cliffs Temple in Washington Fields. That building, the second St. George-area temple for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is expected to open by the summer.

The City of St. George is busy building new parks and trails, including large new parks at the Ledges and at Desert Canyons.

The Washington County School District, trying to keep up with a student body that eclipsed 40,000 this year, is building three schools, a high school, a middle school and an intermediate school. The new CT High is scheduled to open on the southern edge of St. George in time for the start of the 2023-24 school year.

Water and drought

With a decades-long drought having gained acceptance as the "new norm," local water managers have upped their conservation game, announcing this year a rebate program that pays residents to remove grass and plans for additional reservoir storage projects and other infrastructure.

At the same time, Washington County continues to advocate for the Lake Powell Pipeline, a multi-billion-dollar project that state water managers say is needed to keep up with the growing population but that has come under increased scrutiny given the dropping water levels in Colorado River reservoirs Lake Mead and Lake Powell.

Similar issues face Iron County. The Pine Valley Water Supply Project, which water managers say is needed in the fast-growing Cedar City area, faces legal challenges and concerns from residents about the costs.

A lot could depend on what the state Legislature does during its annual session, which starts in January. Legislative leaders listed water as a top priority for both funding and policy.

Tourism and visitation

Southern Utah continues to build its reputation as an endurance sports hotspot, having hosted not one but two IRONMAN-branded triathlon world championships in 2022.

Those two events, combined with a third that took place in late 2021, brought some $120 million to the community, according to area tourism officials, but many residents complained about the traffic and large numbers of visitors.

Visitation remains a challenge at many of the area's natural attractions as well, with Zion National Park reporting a record 5 million visitors in 2021. Some of those numbers were fueled by the pandemic, but the numbers were nearly as high in 2022, and officials have started to implement timed-entry systems and other efforts to combat the crowds.

Economic questions

All that growth and all of those visitors have contributed to the St. George area's reputation as a "boomtown," with the area ranking as among the fastest-growing economies in the U.S.

Over the last five years, the St. George metro area has seen its population grow by more than 20%, its number of businesses grow by more than 30% and its annual gross domestic product increase by nearly 4% each year, according to an analysis published last month by SmartAsset, a financial technology company.

The improving economy has been a huge boon for many local workers, at least according to data kept by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The per capita personal income in Washington County was $33,195 as recently as 2015, but had grown to $43,782 by 2021. In Iron County, that figure had risen from $28,617 to $36,412.

There are some pressures that could put a strain on that growth though, including inflation and the fast-rising costs of housing in both counties. A typical Washington County home was listed for $624,192 as of the end of October, while the average asking price was $405,422 in Iron County, according to the latest market report from ERA. Rents have risen as well, with some industry analyses estimating a 15-20% increase in rents in just the past year.

And while both counties have seen increased numbers of building permits in recent years, many projects were still waiting to get off the ground, halted by the same supply chain issues faced by most of the rest of the country.

Tourism rules, bank shuffling, national retailers highlight 2022 Yakima Valley business changes

Higher prices due to inflation and the yearlong difficulty of finding employees didn’t prevent Yakima Valley businesses from opening new stores, restaurants or banks.And the continuing importance of agritourism to the region’s economy was emphasized as Yakima County officials moved toward a new system and set of regulations for wineries, breweries and other businesses.While some 2022 business news — such as changes to Valley Mall in Union Gap and the tough year for apple and cherry crops — were discussed...

Higher prices due to inflation and the yearlong difficulty of finding employees didn’t prevent Yakima Valley businesses from opening new stores, restaurants or banks.

And the continuing importance of agritourism to the region’s economy was emphasized as Yakima County officials moved toward a new system and set of regulations for wineries, breweries and other businesses.

While some 2022 business news — such as changes to Valley Mall in Union Gap and the tough year for apple and cherry crops — were discussed in Friday's Yakima Herald-Republic, here is a roundup of the past year’s business highlights as they were reported in The Bottom Line each Sunday.

Continuing a trend dating back at least a decade, national retailers — especially restaurants — continued to open locations in the Yakima Valley, often attracting an immediate surge of interest and local customers.

Two restaurants that generated considerable excitement opened within a city block of each other, in the Rainier Square shopping area on West Nob Hill Boulevard: Crumbl cookies and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

The Utah-based Crumbl, with more than 300 stores in 36 states, saw large crowds on its Aug. 18 opening day and the weekend immediately afterward. It offers fresh-baked cookies in dozens of flavors and ice cream at 2412 W. Nob Hill Blvd., Suite 104, with delivery also available.

Chipotle, which fronts 24th Avenue just north of the Home2Suites hotel, opened Sept. 16 for dine-in, take out and a “Chipotlane” drive-thru which allows customers to pick up digital orders. The national chain previously operated a Yakima restaurant at 1905 S. First St.

Other national chains opening Yakima Valley locations included Guitar Center, which opened at the Valley Mall in Union Gap, the new O’Reilly Auto Parts store in Wapato, and Asurion Tech Repair and Solutions near Target on North Fair Avenue.

Regional chains also opened new locations, including Westside Pizza in downtown Yakima, a Bruchi’s Cheesesteaks and Burgers on South First Street and Spokane-based Indaba Coffee immediately next to Bruchi’s.

Local shoppers and fast food fans undoubtedly will continue to pine for more national brands to make their way into the Valley during 2023. Just don’t hold your breath for a Trader Joe’s or Chick-fil-A, folks.

A large national bank shut down its local branches while two regional banks opened Yakima Valley locations during the past year.

Bank of America announced in April that its Westpark branch in Yakima and Valley Mall branch in Union Gap would close on July 26. These closures followed the downtown Yakima Bank of America location’s closure during the pandemic.

Those closings were offset somewhat by Bank of Idaho opening a branch in early August at 424 E. Yakima Ave. The Idaho Falls-based bank bought five HomeStreet Bank locations in Washington in July, including the downtown Yakima site.

Construction began this fall on a new Cashmere Valley Bank branch in Union Gap, across Valley Mall Boulevard from Costco and in front of McKinney Glass. The Central Washington-focused bank has two branches in Yakima, at 5800 Summitview Ave. and downtown at 127 W. Yakima Ave.

The Union Gap branch, scheduled to open by August 2023, would be Cashmere Valley Bank’s 12th location, all in Washington state.

The Yakima County Planning Department has been working to update its 20-year-old definitions, rules and approval process for agritourism businesses in the county, and those changes were discussed for months by the county’s planning commission.

After a lengthy Feb. 9 public hearing on the issue, planning commission members deliberated the details of rule changes for agritourism businesses during their March, April, May and June meetings.

In the final recommendations, which await final approval by the Yakima County Board of Commissioners, wineries, breweries and distilleries would still have the option to add a full-service, commercial kitchen. However, commission members recommended requiring a public hearing and a final decision from a hearing examiner before that level of food service can be added.

The discussions and testimony from winery and other business owners revealed how special events, such as weddings, classes, concerts and other promotions are important to agritourism operations’ financial viability.

Full-service kitchens and on-site lodging options also would help Yakima County compete with other agritourism areas of the state, including the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla, business owners said.

The Board of County Commissioners is expected to address the revised development regulations for agritourism sometime in 2023, county planner Olivia Story said. For the latest on county agritourism regulation developments, visit yakimacounty.us/2500/Agritourism.

TWO-TIME DEFENDING OVC CHAMPION UT MARTIN FOOTBALL TEAM ANNOUNCES SEVEN MID-YEAR ADDITIONS

MARTIN, Tenn. – Fresh off back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference regular season titles, the University of Tennessee at Martin football team restocked the nest with the addition of seven mid-year commitments on the first day of the early signing period.The Skyhawks have announced the commitments of Joshua Hastings, Noah Hayes, Celeycan Hill, Tyler Mullins, Davonte Murray, Jacob Stevenson and Vance Van Every.With the first pieces of the 2023 signing class in place, UT Martin added two players on offense and f...

MARTIN, Tenn. – Fresh off back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference regular season titles, the University of Tennessee at Martin football team restocked the nest with the addition of seven mid-year commitments on the first day of the early signing period.

The Skyhawks have announced the commitments of Joshua Hastings, Noah Hayes, Celeycan Hill, Tyler Mullins, Davonte Murray, Jacob Stevenson and Vance Van Every.

With the first pieces of the 2023 signing class in place, UT Martin added two players on offense and five on defense. Offensively the Skyhawks brought in two offensive linemen while the defense welcomes two defensive backs, two safeties and a defensive lineman.

UT Martin will complete the rest of its signing class during the regular signing period which begins with National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023.

2022 UT Martin Football Recruiting Class (listed alphabetically by last name) Joshua Hastings | DB | 6-1 | 185 | R-So. | Cordova, Tenn. (Memphis) Noah Hayes | OL | 6-5 | 305 | Gr. | Oxon Hill, Md. (Arkansas Pine Bluff) Celeycan Hill | DB | 6-4 | 175 | Jr. | Brandon, Miss. (Holmes CC) Tyler Mullins |S | 5-11 | 186 | Sr. | Grovetown, Ga. (Ohio) Davonte Murray | DL | 6-3 | 265 | R-So. | Detroit, Mich. (Notre Dame College) Jacob Stevenson | S | 5-11 | 175 | Jr. | Gulfport, Miss. (Coahoma CC) Vance Van Every | OL | 6-2 | 302 | Jr. | Senatobia, Miss. (Ohio) Joshua Hastings | DB | 6-1 | 185 | R-So. | Cordova, Tenn. (Memphis)

Hastings joins the Skyhawks after spending three seasons at Memphis where he played for head coach Ryan Silverfield…During his tenure with the Tigers he played in 16 contests while totaling 29 combined tackles – including 19 solo and 10 assisted stops…During his sophomore campaign in 2022, he recorded 27 total tackles and three pass breakups in eight contests…His best game came against East Carolina when he notched seven total tackles – including six solos – while also tallying six tackles against Mississippi State…He appeared in four games in 2021…Earned COVID-redshirt in 2020 after appearing in four contests…Prepped at Cordova High School where he registered 50 tackles, two interceptions and fumble recovery as a senior…Amassed 128 return yards on his two interceptions.

Noah Hayes | OL | 6-5 | 305 | Gr. | Oxon Hill, Md. (Arkansas Pine Bluff) Hayes joins the Skyhawks after spending five seasons at Arkansas Pine Bluff where he played for head coaches Doc Gamble…Played in 10 games for the Golden Eagles last season after being named a Phil Steele Preseason All-SWAC selection…Has appeared in 29 in five seasons…Named to All-SWAC second team in 2020…Part of an offensive line which yielded only six sacks in 184 pass attempts (fewest in the SWAC) while blocking for an offensive unit which averaged 370.8 yards per game in 2020…Prepped at Oxon Hill High School.

Celeycan Hill | DB | 6-4 | 175 | Jr. | Brandon, Miss. (Holmes CC) Hill joins the Skyhawks from Holmes Community College where he played for head coach Marcus Wood…During his sophomore campaign, he tallied 41 total tackles – including 35 solo stops – while notching a tackle for loss, an interception and a pass breakup…He recorded a season-high nine tackles against East Mississippi CC while notching his lone interception against Coahoma CC…During his freshman campaign in 2021, he recorded 20 tackles and two pass breakups…Previously spent a season at Hinds Community College…Prepped at Brandon High School where he tallied 27 tackles, seven pass breakups, an interception and a fumble recovery as a senior.

Tyler Mullins |S | 5-11 | 186 | Sr. | Grovetown, Ga. (Ohio) Mullins joins the Skyhawks from Ohio where he spent last season playing for head coach Tim Albin…He appeared in five games for the Bobcats, tallying three tackles on the season…Previously played at Coffeyville CC where he was named a KJCCC All-Second Team safety while being tabbed the program's Most Improved Player…He tallied 36 total tackles, three tackles for loss and two interceptions while notching five pass breakups and two forced fumbles…Prepped at Grovetown High School where he was an all-county and all-region first team performer while garnering all-area second team honors.

Davonte Murray | DL | 6-3 | 265 | R-So. | Detroit, Mich. (Notre Dame College) Murray joins the Skyhawks from Notre Dame College where he played for head coaches Mickey Mental and Garrett Mack…Saw action in 19 games for the Falcons, tallying 59 total tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks during his tenure…His best season came in 2022 when he played in 12 games, tallying 59 tackles – including 17.0 tackles for loss totaling 69 yards – while also recording four sacks…Had 3.5 tackles for loss in two separate games and recorded at least half a sack in six of the first seven games…Won three consecutive MEC championships…Named to College Sports Communicators Academic All-District team with a 3.72 GPA…Prepped at Cass Tech High School.

Jacob Stevenson | S | 5-11 | 175 | Sr. | Gulfport, Miss. (Coahoma CC) Stevenson joins the Skyhawks from Coahoma Community College where he played for head coach Travis Macon…During the 2022 season, he played in nine games while compiling 40 total tackles – including 26 solo stops – while also recovering a fumble which he returned 22 yards…Garnered All-MACCC North honors as a first team defensive back…Previously spent his freshman campaign at East Central Community College where he played in six games in 2021 while tallying four tackles…Prior to joining the collegiate ranks, he prepped at Gulfport High School for head coach John Archie…During his junior season, he had 59 total tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks.

Vance Van Every | OL | 6-2 | 302 | Jr. | Senatobia, Miss. (Ohio) Joins the Skyhawks from Ohio where he spent last season playing for head coach Tim Albin…Saw action in four games in 2022 against Penn State, Iowa State, Buffalo and Ball State…Previously played at Northwest Mississippi CC where he was named to the Mississippi Gridiron MACCC All-Gridiron team…Named to All-MACCC North Division while also garnering second team JCGridiron.com Fall All-American honors…Recognized as Distinguished Academic All-MACCC and NJCAA All-Academic Selection twice...Prepped at Magnolia Heights High School where he was selected to the preseason MAIS All Gridiron and the MAIS All-Star game and named team Offensive Line MVP. .30 +

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