Moab Happenings Archive
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Large capacity rooms among Expedition Lodge’s many options
Historical murals adorn most units
By Sharon Sullivan

Art murals painted by a longtime Castle Valley artist can be found in most of the rooms at Expedition Lodge, a downtown Moab hotel that underwent extensive renovation in 2017 – with special care to preserve the artwork created by the late Jerry Ehlers. The local artist supported his wife and 10 children by painting murals across the region during the 1970s.

Of Expedition’s 36 hotel rooms, 32 contain murals depicting local homestead scenes, all now framed with reclaimed barn wood. Everything else about the hotel was replaced or renovated when Justin Mabey, of West Jordan, purchased the property in 2016. The hotel was painted, carpets torn out, and all furniture, televisions, plus bedding and towels were replaced, said Expedition’s general manager Christy Melo.

A pink bathtub in the lobby remains, however – a conversation piece leftover from the time the hotel also served as the previous owner’s residence. The bathtub sits in what used to be the Mathis family’s living room.

All rooms have queen-sized beds, with a variety of options as far as room capacity. Some units also have queen-size bunkbeds. There are two rooms with two sets of bunkbeds; nine rooms with a set of bunkbeds and a standalone bed; six rooms with three queen beds; two rooms with one queen; and 17 rooms with two queen beds.

The owner wanted families to have the option of all staying together if they chose, Melo said. “Justin is a very family-oriented guy.”

Melo started as a housekeeper when Mabey purchased the property, and 3 months later became general manager, a position she’s held going on seven years.

“I love it; it’s like my baby,” Melo said. “It’s as if I owned it.”

Hotel amenities include a heated pool with water slide open year-round, an outdoor grill, hot tub, and complimentary continental breakfast. Plus, the hotel is both pet- and bike-friendly.

Expedition lodge gets into the local holiday spirit by decorating for both the Halloween and Christmas holidays. And, for the past two years the hotel has placed second for the float the lodge entered in Moab’s Electric Light Parade. Expedition Lodge has also thrice won a competition for its holiday outdoor lighting.

Expedition Lodge is located at 168 N. Main St. For more information or to book a room visit:, or call: 435-259-6147.

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