Drive-in movie theaters, shooting movies and Airstream trailers have always been a passion for Mark Gudenas. When he found the perfect location in Escalante, Utah, he knew that he would be able to make his dreams become reality.
After two years of hard work and determination, the Shooting Star Drive-In was created. Developed on 25 acres bordering Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the Shooting Star Drive-In is a Hollywood-themed resort featuring classic Airstream units that serve as accommodations for guests. Each Airstream unit is decorated as if it were the dressing trailer of a Hollywood movie star. There is also an Airstream and RV Park with full hook-ups, a large pavilion for indoor dining and 360-degree views of the Grand Staircase, the Escalante Mountains and Dixie National Forest.
The resorts centerpiece is the unique drive-in Movie Theater, populated with convertibles from the 1960’s. The Shooting Star Drive-In features nightly screenings of vintage cartoons and a feature film that was produced between 1946 and 1969.
Mark Gudenas initially met with Craig Isom and Joni Anderson of Southern Utah University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in July of 2010. Gudenas had already written a detailed business plan and had compiled some initial financial projections prior to approaching the SBDC. Gudenas decided to seek assistance from the SBDC to formalize the financial projections for the Shooting Star Drive-In and to get help with developing and securing capital. Through the support of the SBDC of Cedar City, Gudenas was able to obtain a Small Business Administration guaranteed loan through State Bank of Southern Utah in Tropic, and received assistance from the Five County Association of Governments.
In August of 2011, the Shooting Star Drive-In was featured in The Huffington Post’s Travel Section in an article called “The Coolest Airstream Hotels Around the World.” With great press, word-of-mouth from elated guests, and a heavy marketing push, travelers from around the country are discovering this unique and beautiful vacation experience.