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August 2023 Business of the Month: Zipline Utah
Jon Johnson, owner of Utah Adventure Park, has been passionate about zip lines since he was a kid. At the pre-teen age of 12, Jon constructed his first zip line. Finding a piece of cable at the local landfill on his walk home from school one day, Jon got the idea to build a zip line on his parent’s 10-acre homestead in Southern Utah. After a number of failed attempts, Jon and his friends made their first backyard zip line. And he was hooked! From that point on, Jon has dedicated his life and followed his passion to create backyard, ranch, and large-scale zip lines and courses. He worked with Sundance Mountain Resort to help with its zip line course and then was able to make his dream come true when he built his own full zip line park.
Today, at Zipline Utah, Jon and his talented team operate an extensive zip line experience, challenging ropes course, new floating water park, and soon-to-be-added climbing wall at the Rainbow Bay entrance of Deer Creek State Park and reservoir. Jon has an established and great working relationship with the Utah State Parks. The location of Zip Line Utah, being on both federal land and state land, required an impact study before being approved. With very little concrete and most of the infrastructure being off the ground and removable, this eco-friendly operation secured a long-term contract at Deer Creek State Park.
Jon’s parent company, Utah Adventure Park, is the umbrella organization for Zip Line Utah, Rainbow Bay Aqua Park, and the Rainbow Bay Food Truck that serves delicious burgers, sandwiches, and Mediterranean-style tacos at this specific location for the zip line, ropes course, floating aqua park, Rainbow Bay cove, covered large group pavilion, restrooms, and sizeable parking lot. Jon likes to say that his company “specializes in fun at Deer Creek State Park.” And we couldn’t agree more. Zipline Utah is truly unique. The 2-mile course is built so visitors never have to touch the ground (thanks to a continuous belay system) and guests start and end in the same location with one zip line even being uphill! The infamous Screaming Falcon line is three-quarters of a mile long and zips over Deer Creek Reservoir – the longest zip line over an open body of water. Some visitors can reach speeds up to nearly 70 mph!
At the Deer Creek lakeside location, Utah Adventure Park offers hours of family-friendly fun, but also caters to large family reunions and corporate or group retreats – up to 300 people. The space is intimate and easily accessible, providing a perfect location for half-day or full-day private events as well as being open to the public when not rented out. And the experienced and highly trained staff make zip line newbies completely comfortable for their first flight experience, always putting the safety of the guests and guides first.
We asked Jon what made him want to operate a business like this in Heber Valley, aside from his now seven years of success with Zip Line Utah – welcoming between 5,000 to 7,000 visitors annually. Jon simply said, “Heber Valley is beautiful. There’s no place like it. We’re surrounded by mountain ranges with three reservoirs. It’s a recreation mecca.” A sentiment shared by many that call Heber Valley home.
If you haven’t been out to Zip Line Utah or if it’s been a while, we encourage you to visit this summer. Check out the recent additions and have a little (or a lot of ) fun!