I stopped off at Zion NP to do some hiking for half a day, but was disappointed to find that the road construction equipment was filling all the turnouts on the east side of the tunnel - including a pair of portable traffic signals (kinda neat actually). This prevented me from parking for a hike. Instead I drove some nearby 4wd trails: Smithsonian Butte and Grafton Mesa. I met up with Gene and his friend for pizza at Zion Pizza & Noodle. They'd just had a string of unfortunate events while mountain biking in the area.
While there, I noticed a great thing. A Subway sandwich shop franchise has opened just outside the park. I've always thought that such a shop would do a lot of business, since the food is simple, tasty, predictable, and packs well for taking on a hike.
Unfortunately, that Subway has sparked a lot of controversy. It's not open because the town won't let it open. They have a town policy of blocking franchise restaurants. Some say it's to preserve the charm of the town. Some say it's to protect the businesses of the friends and family of the town council - who operate the existing little diners. There's a lot of people saying a lot of things, because the franchisees have sued the town and that has made news all over the land. Small towns across the country with similar policies are watching intently how this plays out.
I personally want a Subway shop there, and here's why. I've dined at a lot of places in Springdale over the years and they are all very overpriced. There are very few options for anyone on a tight budget, or for anyone looking for simple fare. Too many of the eateries there are full of menu options laden with too many adjectives. I'm sure they think it makes their food sound special, or worth the high prices. But sometimes I just want a simple sandwich or burger. *gets off his soap box*