Verbal abuse over mask-wearing leads 5 Zion National Park bus drivers to quit

Local News

FILE – This Sept. 15, 2015, file photo, shows Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah. A California woman who was missing for about two weeks in Zion National Park in Utah has been found and left the park with her family who had feared the worst, authorities said. Holly Suzanne Courtier, 38, of Los Angeles, was found Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, by search and rescue crews after park rangers received a tip that she had been seen in the park, Zion National Park officials said in a news release.(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SPRINGDALE, Utah (AP) — Five shuttle bus drivers at Zion National Park have quit over verbal abuse they’ve experienced from visitors angry about mask requirements on board, the park superintendent said.

The iconic red-rock park in southern Utah is the third-most visited in the nation, and visitation is only increasing, the Spectrum reported. The shuttle buses are the only vehicles allowed on the road through the main canyon during the busy season.

While mask mandates have been lifted in the rest of the state, face coverings are still required on the federally run shuttle buses.

Zion National Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh told the Springdale town council on July 14 that the contractor running the buses has seen five recent resignations.

“It seems unnecessary for that issue to develop,” he said. Rangers are also hearing visitor “frustrations” over masks, said Zion spokesperson Amanda Rowland.

The park is working with the gateway town of Springdale to provide messaging on the mask mandate, she said.

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