Small Business Success Story: Ruby’s Inn

For more than 100 years, the Syrett family has been welcoming visitors to Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park.

Nicola McIntosh Jul 27, 2020

Boasting three hotels and more than 700 rooms, the Best Western Ruby’s Inn complex serves visitors to Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park and offers a variety of activities like horseback riding, mountain biking, ATV tours, shopping and hiking.

Ruby’s Inn offers the closest lodging to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, and it has done so for more than a century.

We sat down with owner Fred Syrett to talk about the history of Ruby’s Inn, business before the pandemic and what it means to have a banker on their side.

Tell us a little about yourself

My grandfather came out here in 1916, 104 years ago, with my grandmother, my aunt and my father Carl. They came out here to ranch and took out one of the last homesteads in Utah.

After they were here for some time, they found out about Bryce Canyon and they started bringing people in and that’s where they got started.

What do you love about your business?

There’s not much I don’t like about the business. I love the challenge it brings. We meet fun people. It’s been a great business for our family and for our kids to grow up in.

How was business before the pandemic hit?

We were actually ahead of last year. When they closed the park our business pretty much stopped. We had to lay off a lot of employees. It was one of those things that you just make adjustments, but I don’t think it’s the toughest thing Ruby’s Inn ever went through.

two women in a store
One of several attractions is the Ruby’s Inn Store.

What does it mean to have a banker on your side?

I appreciate any banker that’s willing to step up and say, “We’ve got your back.” Zions Bank has been excellent to work with, and the government’s put things in that have helped us ease our mind.

The Paycheck Protection Program loan through Zions Bank was a real relief. We could inform those who worked for us for years that we could bring them back and go into the fall without as much pressure as we would have had without it.

What does the future hold for Ruby’s Inn?

Since the park reopened, we’ve had people come through the door tell us they’re here to support Ruby’s Inn because they know we’re going through a difficult time. I think as long as Bryce Canyon is open, we’ll survive.

We just appreciate what we have here — the tourists that come support us, and the bank that supports us. We have employees that have worked 34 years for us and it’s good for them to realize we’re not going to lay them off tomorrow.

As the top 7(a) SBA lender[cite::8031::cite] for 26 years in Utah and for 18 years in Idaho, Zions Bank’s team of relationship managers can help you find the right SBA loan[cite::8030::cite] for your business. Apply for a business loan online anytime or visit a local Zions Bank branch to learn more.

Nicola McIntosh is Social Media manager for Zions Bank.

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