ST. GEORGE — A short drive from Zion National Park is a unique set of vacation rentals, each not much larger than a recreational vehicle.
Zions Tiny Oasis, a small collection of tiny houses, sits near a quintessential Utah mesa on a 75-acre property that offers striking views of the park and vivid sunsets.
The oasis was the idea of husband and wife team Samuel Moyle and Liliana Corona Guerrero.
“My husband and I started the process four years ago,” Guerrero said. “Originally, we thought of building cottages, then we decided on tents, but when Under Canvas Zion beat us to that, we went in another direction.”
After receiving several inquiries if the tiny house they built in the backyard of their home in Hurricane was for rent, a lightbulb went off.
The decision Moyle and Guerrero had was clear, build on their property in Virgin to include tiny houses as vacation rentals. Guerrero said they have room for approximately eight homes. Currently, the oasis is almost halfway built out.
It’s been a total do-it-yourself project, Guerrero said, that included digging trenches for utilities and holes for septic systems. All their hard work is paying dividends.
“We opened our doors in April, and we didn’t expect it to grow so fast,” Guerrero said. “It’s amazing how popular we’ve become.”
Since September, the oasis has been booked solid.
“We are anticipating to grow more and more as people discover we are here,” Guerrero said. “When they do, we will have to start putting the additional tiny houses as fast as we can.”
With an eye on phase two, the potential exists for many more tiny houses, but this depends on building additional infrastructure such as putting in a water treatment capability on a public well. Other plans include the construction of an events center, a cozy restaurant and screening movies under the stars during summer.
“We have plenty of space for another eight more units,” Guerrero said. “We are trying to pace ourselves because of funding; this is our plan.”
Although the square footage is not much large than a good-size recreational vehicle, a tiny house feels more like a cottage. It’s much homier and not as claustrophobic, Guerrero said.
The typical tiny house is about 280 square feet, which often includes a loft. At Zions Tiny Oasis, the amenities include hot tubs, fire pits and barbecue grills.
While at the oasis, guests will experience outdoor camp, but with the indoor luxuries of water, electricity, a full kitchen, air conditioning, Netflix, WiFi, a washer and dryer in each unit, and for one of the guests, a jetted bathtub. Guests can rent the tiny houses from a two-night stay to as long as one month.
“People can expect a lot of seclusion,” Guerrero said. “A lot of people like to come to the west side of Zion because they avoid the crowds. It’s very quiet being up on the mesa. You don’t see traffic coming through, and we really don’t have any light pollution, so you can see the Milkyway clearly. It’s just beautiful. It’s almost a spiritual experience.”
Armed with an art degree and an entrepreneurial-minded husband, the long-term goal is for Samuel to operate the lodging and Guerrero to start an art institute on the property.
“Eventually, I want to do healing retreats,” Guerrero said. “I want to do art, photography, screenwriting. It’s one step at a time, but we are getting there. I want to have a place where people can be out in nature, feel welcomed and explore their talents.”
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