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The hopes of developing a heritage park and visitors center have apparently gone by the wayside in Richfield.

Lack of funding is the culprit on which to place most of the blame and the demise of the Panoramaland regional tourism organization in particular.Planners had hoped the Panoramaland organization would staff the visitors center and use it as its headquarters. Then some of the counties began to balk at the contributions they had been paying into the organization.

The final straw that broke up the heritage park plan was Wayne County's decision to withdraw from Panoramaland and join the Color Country Region. That cost the heritage park project some $34,000 that was previously pledged from Panoramaland, according to Richfield City Councilman Chet Thompson.

Panoramaland has included Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne, Piute, Juab and Millard counties, but Millard withdrew months ago.

Before the switch, Color Country Region comprised the counties of Beaver, Iron, Washington, Garfield and Kane.

The heritage park/visitors center project got off the launching pad last fall and was still a "go" this summer. But it now appears to be a dead endeavor.

It had also had financial support from the city of Richfield, the Richfield Chamber of Commerce, Sevier Travel Council and an in-kind pledge from the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.

A heritage park and visitors center was initially suggested by Councilman Morgan Busk after Staker Olsen of Salt Lake City, an ancestor of early settler Joseph Staker, met with the council. He requested a site be provided in the city for a cabin that housed the pioneer family.

The Staker family pledged to restore the cabin and is looking for another site for it. The Sevier County Fairgrounds may be a possibility.