The Need

Springdale is a small town adjacent to Zion National Park in Southern Utah. They have undergone significant change and growth in large part due to the booming increase of visitors to Zion National Park during the Covid-19 pandemic. Increased tourism brings increased business and along with it more housing needs for employees.

They estimate that 1,000+ employees commute to Springdale from outlying places each day because available and/or affordable housing is lacking. Increased housing development is a controversial topic.  Many citizens want to preserve Springdale’s small-down feel and the natural resources they enjoy.

To help city leaders make wise decisions on this critical issue, Springdale asked OnPointe Insights to help the obtain an accurate picture of attitudes and priorities of Springdale residents as well as employees living outside the city.

The OnPointe Solution

The town chose OnPointe Insights over a consulting firm that specialized in housing issues because they needed results that could be trusted to be unbiased, accurate, credible, and relevant.

“We’ve done surveys in the past,” explained Tom Dansie, Director of Community Development, “and without fail there was always feedback that we can’t trust the results of that survey. They believed it was biased, or the questions were leading, or we had the wrong kind of response.  Surveys we tried before weren’t trusted.”

The OnPointe Insights study design did the following:

  • Presented visually: Got feedback on four housing proposals in a visual way, with clear feature explanations (including images, reasons why leaders believe the solution benefits the city, costs, and likes/dislikes.)
  • Sliced and diced: Gathered important demographic data that allowed us to explore nuances by their life’s situation (Where live? Where work? How long in city? Own/rent? Children in household?) and to do deep dives on these differentiators
  • View pain points in context:  Explored attitudes about the future of the city, which included clear prioritization of concerns, benefits, and desires.

The Outcome

OnPointe Insights gave the City of Springdale a powerful dashboard that presented results clearly, intuitively, and allowed for instant “what-if” exploration.

These results gave the leaders of Springdale an obviously clear path forward:

  • There was stronger acceptance of proposed ideas than previously believed, and the dashboard allowed for clear prioritization of the ideas
  • They could quickly look at responses both holistically or filtered by groups (including citizens vs prospective citizens, single vs married, renters vs owners, income levels, etc.)
  • They could see the overall picture of the majority while having easy access to concerns of the minority

Fortunately, city citizens and prospective citizens had a lot in common.  The Springdale Housing Commission was able to create an informed vision to affect meaningful change in their community. Current and future residents will value the leadership displayed during this challenging period of new growth.

Tom Dansie

Director of Community Development

We caught up with Tom Dansie after the study was completed to review what went well and how we could improve.  Check out the short video to the right to see Tom’s honest response about the value of the study and the benefits of working with OnPointe Insights.

“The Housing Committee universally said, ‘We are glad that we chose to go with OnPointe rather than this other housing group that we were considering, because we think that we got better results. And more more credible results,” said Tom.

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