They come to Moab from all over the world. Tourists, yes, but also guest workers. Service industry employers say these workers, brought in on temporary visas, are necessary for the viability of their businesses. “You just can’t get enough help in Moab,” says Judy Bane, Lodge Manager at Moab’s Red Cliffs Lodge resort.
However, some advocacy groups, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, are concerned these “guestworker” visas, such as the H2B, are ripe for abuse, because they tie a worker’s legal status to his or her employer. If a worker quits or gets fired, it can mean deportation.
Red Cliffs Lodge employs around twenty-five H2B workers per year during their peak season to do jobs like staffing the front desk, housekeeping, and working in the resort’s on-site restaurant. Cradled by the banks of the Colorado River, and fortressed by high canyon walls, the resort is located fourteen miles up scenic Highway 128 from town. There, you will be greeted first by the stunning view, and then by a friendly staff member at the front desk, like Shem Lao.
Read the rest of the story at moabstories.com
Our apologies to Heila Ershadi. In the print version of Utah Stories another author was credited with writing this story.