By Craig Bennett
Iron County Today
PAROWAN–It’s all about the cinnamon rolls.
If you’ve driven on I-15 in the Parowan area, you’ve undoubtedly seen the billboards between the two Parowan exits that advertise the “Best Cinnamon Rolls in the West.” Parowan has always been known as the “Mother Town” of Southern Utah because of being the first settlement in Southern Utah, but how and when did it become “all about cinnamon rolls?”
You read it right–Parowan is making a push for the title of best cinnamon rolls in the state with the launch of what some are calling the “sweet tour.”
Jet Smith, Parowan City Events coordinator, provided Iron County Today with some interesting facts. Parowan has been known for the original pioneer homes, heritage museum, historic buildings, a pioneer cemetery, and also being the gateway to some of the area’s most spectalcular scenic attractions, state and national parks and Scenic Byway 143 through Brian Head.
The idea came from the advice of Roger Brooks, a former board member of the U.S Travel Association who was hired by Cedar City in 2016 to identify ways the city could bolster tourism in Cedar City but also in Parowan. According to the presentation provided by Jet Smith, with the I-15 corridor basically in our backyard, we have the “perfect storm of tourists spending a daycation” in our city.
In the town’s slowest month, October, 376,152 automobiles pass by Parowan on I-15. If businesses could get 50 of them to stop and buy one cinnamon roll for $5,that would be $250 per day or $7,500 per month for local businesses.
July is definitely the busiest travel month where 763,689 automobiles pass Parowan. If 100 people to stop for a T-shirt, a snowcone, lunch and a cinnamon roll shake and spend $50, it would equal $5,000 per day or $150,000 per month.
Each business Parowan has the opportunity to jump on board with their version of something cinnamon. How is it working so far?
Katti Lister with the Parowan Cafe said, “It has improved my business tremendously due to the amount of traffic off of the interstate, which is what we originally wanted it to do.”
Janitzio Calvario with Calvario’s Family Restaurant said “We have cinnamon rolls with icing and one with cream cheese and a cinnamon apple chimichanga. The cinnamon rolls have been really great for us and our business.”
Dayla Urlich with Sweet Pea Farm and Orchard said, “We’ve made cinnamon rolls since the day we opened. We just had our one year anniversary and we started out just making cinnamon rolls one day a week, but when they put up the billboards we’ve starting making them several times per week. We also sell them in a store in Cedar City, Tae’s Tea. We are located off of the beaten path but the Parowan Visitors Center makes sure to send customers our way. Everyone’s cinnamon rolls are a little bit different, but they all are cinnamon rolls.”
Other businesses in Parowan also offer items other than the rolls. For example: Parowan Visitors Center, cinnamon roll souvenirs; La Villa Family Restaurant, cinnamon churros: Just ‘Teasin and Tannin’, cinnamon facials: Imagine Unique and Antique, cinnamon potpourri; Barber J’s, cinnamon hair color. And many other businesses in the area that offer their own unique products.
Parowan is currently enjoying the sweet success that its cinnamon roll promotion has generated.