by Matt Konkle
Quadratec Channel Editor
The early spring crush of Jeep lovers into the tiny southeastern Utah town of Moab for Easter Jeep Safari will not be happening this year.
Red Rock 4-Wheelers, organizers of EJS, Tuesday night officially announced the event's cancellation—marking the first time EJS will not be held in 53 years.
"We appreciate your support through the years and hope to see you in 2021," RR4W said in a statement. "Take care and be safe in your daily lives and travels."
All those who have paid their event fees will be refunded as soon as possible, RR4W wrote. The group also made it clear that while EJS was canceled, trails around Moab will remain open because most are on Federal Bureau of Land Management land.
While RR4W did everything possible to keep the event from being canceled, the ongoing COVID-19 situation, as well as an emergency ordinance Tuesday afternoon by the Grand County Council limiting special event attendance and hotel/motel/campground reservations, eventually convinced RR4W it was time to call off EJS.
That ordinance was in response to Moab Regional Hospital officials urging the governor to shut all 'non-essential' Moab businesses down, including restaurants and lodging, in order to slow the spread of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic locally. Grand County does not have any confirmed cases, but officials worried that such a large influx of people into the area would collapse the local health care system.
RR4W had canceled both the EJS vendor expo and Quadratec BBQ last week, but still hoped the event could go off with all its trail rides April 4-12. Grand County Council originally voted down an ordinance last week that would have limited attendance at event gatherings.
In the interim though, multiple large vendors—as well as Jeep itself—announced they would skip EJS this year because of coronavirus concerns.