Dean came to Springdale in 1997 to manage the Zion Park Inn. He was enticed away from the hotel he was managing in Murray by the management company he works for now. They had visited his hotel as conference guests and were so impressed they asked him to visit their new property in Springdale. Fortunately for Springdale, he liked the hotel and moved his family to Southern Utah.
Immediately, he began to make a difference in Springdale. He joined the Springdale Chamber of Commerce and was president very soon. Under his guidance the Chamber became the Zion Canyon Visitors Bureau (ZCVB) and a new era of publicizing Springdale began.
Though Dean acknowledges and honors the hard work of those who serve with him on the ZCVB board (“It’s always been a team effort.”) his vision is responsible for the following:
Dean is the ‘face’ of the Bureau. His participation in most the celebrations and event in Springdale, sometimes with a megaphone at his lips, is anticipated and loved. Parades would be a disaster without him. He believes that the Bureau’s involvement in those events is ‘better than print advertising’. “People want to share experiences and I want to help them do that,” he says.
Dean claims he was prepared for success in the hospitality industry by his training as a neuropsychiatric specialist for the US Army. During the Viet Nam war, he worked with soldiers who (for many obvious reasons) needed care in the Chambers Pavilion, a neuropsychiatric ward in the San Antonio Military Medical Center. Although he jokes about his ‘nut ward’ training, it’s apparent the experience shaped his ability to lead with compassion, insight and understanding.
Dean and his wife Lynne, who teaches 4th grade in LaVerkin, have two daughters, one a kindergarten teacher and one the principal of a charter school in Salt Lake. He and Lynne just returned from a vacation in Africa, which they both loved.