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From: Utah Talks
To: Rep. McKell, M.,
Subject: Utah Talks Outdoors October newsletter
Date: 2014-10-14T14:40:38Z



Utah's outdoor recreation office

What have we learned since 1965?

In 1965, shortly after Utah’s population exceeded 1 million people, the state of Utah published its first Outdoor Recreation Plan. The average annual wage was $4,000/year, the I-80 and I-15 interstate freeways were under construction, Lake Powell and Flaming Gorge were beginning to fill for the first time, we had submitted a bid to host the 1972 Olympics, and the government accounted for >25% of all employment.   Ironically, for all of the differences there are actually numerous similarities.  Today we have the benefit of reviewing and learning from the last 50 years.  The immediate conclusion is that our core values haven’t changed significantly.  Outdoor recreation is a core component of our high quality of life, a driver of economic activities and a key to increased tourism.  And while developing our recreation infrastructure is critical to meet the increased demand, we need to maintain the integrity of our natural assets and open space in order to preserve the overall experience.  Sound familiar?

The early 1960’s was the first time Utah extended itself as a recreation and tourist destination and the results were immediately apparent.  Page 53 asserts that, “With proper consideration of the potential, there is every possibility that tourism can be developed into Utah's principal industry.”  In 1964 tourism generated $89.7 million in economic activity.  Today it generates more than $7.5 BILLION in economic activity and contributes more than $1 BILLION in tax revenue.  That’s an 8,150 percent gain while the S&P has grown just 2,037 percent in the same period.  Outdoor recreation is increasingly employed across the state to diversify our economies, create jobs, attract business investment, improve our health and enhance our quality of life. The Utah: Life Elevated brand transcends tourism. It describes every aspect of our way of life.   

In 1965 it was recognized that our vast open spaces were the basis for our competitive advantage and would be critical in the future.  “Increasing numbers of people from Eastern states are travelling to the open spaces of the West for their leisure-time activities. This annual migration should be an indication to Western states that preservation of open space and maintenance of adequate outdoor recreation opportunity is essential. The potential in meeting the demands is still here—(whereas) in many places it has been lost.”  Today people travel from all over the world to experience Utah. It’s imperative that we focus on striking a sensitive balance between general development, motorized use, human powered activities and preserving the unique natural experience that people from across the world are seeking.

It was as clear in 1965, as it is with the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation today, that we too need to continue to plan for the future. In a 55-year projection, out to 2020, the plan projected that Utah’s population would be 2.7 million (pg. 47), a 170 percent increase.  As of October 2014 we have already exceeded their projections by more than 200,000 people. Today our most comprehensive long-term planning initiatives are Envision Utah’s Your Utah, Your Future and the Wasatch Front Mountain Accord Project (These initiatives are taking public comment for a limited time and need your input immediately.   Our goal is to collect 50,000 public unique comments.) 

Finally, I believe that the identified goals and challenges are as relevant today as they were in 1965: “First, provide a broad spectrum of quality outdoor recreation opportunities and facilities so existing and future generations, both resident and transient, may enjoy their choice of new and traditional outdoor experiences; and second, improve the economic stature of the State through outdoor recreation.”   Additionally, “the greatest problem to overcome in meeting recreation needs will be financial: small recreation budgets at present, and limited sources from which to obtain additional dollars. Coordination and cooperation between recreation agencies and other resource management and administrative groups need to be improved. Many cities, towns, and counties need technical assistance and encouragement to execute adequate outdoor recreation programs. Changes in the ownership or management of public lands in the State could detract from their recreation values. Proposals in this plan will, if followed, improve outdoor recreation opportunities in the State in both kind and quantity.”

The Governor, the Utah Legislature, the Office of Outdoor Recreation, the Office of Tourism, local officials, public land managers and users are all invested in our future.  Together we can make a difference for our families and future generations.  Let’s learn from the past to guarantee our future.

There is no better place to live, work and play than Utah.




The Outdoor Recreation Office has been working on a couple new initiatives. The first of those is per the directive of HB 133, which asked the office to establish priorities for opening and maintaining national parks, national monuments, national forests and national recreation areas in the state during a fiscal emergency. Our office has made the list of priorities in a tiered system based on seasonality and the economic effects of such closures on gateway communities.

The second initiative would result in new legislation that would establish a new program to help fund back country rescues of outdoor recreationists. It would establish a secondary source of funding for the existing search and rescue financial assistance program with a voluntary search & rescue card that could be purchased by individuals or families. Some counties in Utah have borne a heavy financial burden with search and rescue (SAR) costs and a couple counties have decided to back bill rescued victims to recoup costs. The card not only reimburses Utah SAR groups for costs incurred, but provides an insurance of sorts, as SAR card holders would not be liable for costs incurred with their rescue within the state. (This would be similar to SAR cards in Colorado & New Hampshire)


Envision Utah Seeks Input for 2050 Plans

 Envision Utah, a nonprofit nonpartisan group, is seeking the input of state residents in the state and recently announced on Tuesday a series of games that will help protect Utah's future through Governor Herbert's "Your Utah, Your Future" initiative. Through the games, such as Build Your 2050, found on their website, Utahns can see how actions today may impact results in the state by 2050. It also provides an opportunity to prioritize 11 areas of concern including air quality, natural lands, recreation, water, energy, housing and cost of living, jobs and economy, etc. 

Mountain Accord Needs Your Input

Mountain Accord is an initiative that seeks to make critical decisions regarding the future of the central Wasatch Mountains.  Your input is crucial to the process. Please visit their website between now and October 16th and respond to a brief questionnaire about the ideal scenarios for transportation, environment, recreation and economy.

Utah's National Parks Considering Fee Hikes

 The National Park Service is considering hiking fees such as admission rates and special recreation permits which would allow the agency to pay for improvements in time for the National Park Service's centennial anniversary in 2016.

Utah's local park superintendents will begin soliciting input in advance of the March 2nd deadline on the fee increases and will identify how each park could use the additional revenue to enhance the visitor's experience. 

BLM Opens New Trail Near Moab

The Bureau of Land Management has completed the Dinosaur Stomping Grounds Trail near Moab. Volunteers from Grand County Trail Mix, Gastonia (a paleontology chapter) and Sierra Club hikers helped to complete the project on National Public Lands Day on September 27th.  Over the winter the BLM will put together a leaflet for visitors and update their website for this 3 mile round-trip trail that takes visitors to an area reported to have thousands of dinosaur tracks.


 Outdoor Industry Association Leader Frank Hugelmeyer Resigns

Frank Hugelmeyer recently resigned as president and chief executive officer of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), a position he had held since 2000. The OIA is the major industry group representing outdoor gear makers, and the OIA's Outdoor Retailer trade shows are held in Salt Lake City twice a year. Frank Hugelmeyer was also a keynote speaker at our first annual Outdoor Recreation Summit last May. See more here. 

 CompanyWeek Partners With UMA for Utah Business Focused Publication

CompanyWeek is partnering with the Utah Manufacturers Association in a first-ever, sustained media effort to shine a light on the people and companies shaping Utah’s manufacturing sector. Over the past few months, CompanyWeek has been profiling Utah businesses such as ENVE, Altra  as well as Ogden's cycling epicenter. CompanyWeek has begun its Utah-focused editions. You can easily sign up for CompanyWeek's free weekly e-mailed newsletters.


Jaybird Launches New Fitness Product

Jaybird's just launched its newest product, Reign, a fitness tracking device. The company is hoping to make a big impact in the growing fitness tech sector with the wristband device which monitor's the body's motion, heart rate and other factors. The device can be synced with a smart phone app to analyze and provide users with information to guide workouts and sleep patterns.  The device will be available October 26, 2014. See more information here.

  (Photo:Steve Wilson)

Utah High School Mountain Biking League Having Another Record-Breaking Season

The Utah High School Mountain Biking League, has continued its fast growth into its third season. The Utah league has 54 teams representing 89 high schools. The Junior Development teams made their debut and held two races, at Soldier Hollow and at Round Valley. The high school races have typically had 166 kids racing at each of the competitions. The Utah league has set records for growth during each of its three years in the state. The next race will be held October 11 at Snowbasin and the state championships will be held in St. George on October 25.

 Ten Utah Companies Given Bike Friendly Business Award

The League of American Bicyclists recognized ten Utah businesses as Bicycle Friendly Businesses, joining eight other previously awarded companies. Among the 10 BFB recognized businesses were T.D. Williamson, Inc., Utah Transit Authority, Utah Department of Health, SL Bicycle Collective and Blue Monkey Bicycles.  Phil Sarnoff, executive director of Bike Utah noted, "With this announcement, we have more than doubled the number of Bicycle Friendly Businesses in Utah, This is a strong indicator of the cultural change related to bicycling taking place across the entire state. Bike Utah is pleased to have worked with many of this year's award winners." See more

Deer Valley Resort Purchases Solitude

Deer Valley entered into an agreement to purchase Solitude Mountain Resort and will begin operating the resort on May 1, 2015.   Deer Valley plans to continue allowing snowboarding at Solitude and keep the Brighton connection in place. Reciprocal arrangements of skiing benefits have been made for season pass holders at the two resorts. More information here.


Salt Lake City Marketing Itself as "Ski City" USA

Salt Lake City, a major metropolitan city with four nearby world-class ski areas is laying claim to the title "Ski City." Ski City USA is a fantastic alternative to the traditional ski or snowboard experience where visitors are restricted by the limited offerings of a small resort town," said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams at a press event in September. A promotional video for Ski City emphasizes the sheer number of restaurants (and seven breweries) to choose from in the county. Other northern Utah resorts feel that the marketing campaign will bring more tourists to the state, which will benefit them all.

Steamboat Springs, which dubbed itself "Ski Town USA" recently filed a lawsuit claiming infringement on their trademark moniker.

Vail Resorts Acquires Park City Mountain Resort

Vail Resort purchased Park City Mountain Resort for $182.5 million. The purchase came after three years of litigation between PCMR and its landlord, Talisker, that also leases Canyon Resort to Vail. The sale has provided more certainty for Park City and sets the stage for what could become the largest ski resort in the country when PCMR is connected with the Canyons next summer.


New Company Avatech Introduces Avalanche Safety System

Park City-based recently unveiled brand new products: the SP1 and AvaNet Cloud Platform. The SP1 is a collapsible lightweight 150 cm probe that analyzes snow-pack structure, slope angle and aspect direction, then geo-tags the data and uploads it to the AvaNet Cloud Platform so the data can be shared with others (including back-country skiers) around the world in real time. The pro version of the SP1 is now available, a consumer version (with a different software interface) will be available in fall 2015. See Outside magazine's article on AvaTech or watch their video here.

Lizard Skins Sees Success in Sports Industry

Orem-based Lizard Skins, a long-time maker of bicycle accessories, launched a new product line in the baseball industry in 2012. Its innovative bat wrap soon became a Major League favorite. On October 1st, Lizard Skins announced an exclusive collaboration with Louisville Sluggers to produce new pre-wrapped bats with Lizard Skins grips. More info.

 Brag and Boast! Submit accolades, rankings and company milestones to tmckee@utah.gov

Upcoming Events

October 14: Outdoor Industry Women's Coalition networking night at Amer Sports in Ogden. For more information or to register see OIWC site.

October 23:9th Annual PTAC Procurement Symposium at South Towne Center. For more information on registration, etc.

October 23-26: Moab Ho-Down Mountain Bike & Film Festival in Moab with mountain bike racing, riding, fund-raising, movies, Women's skills camp, etc. 

October 25:  Utah High School Mountain Biking League State Championship Races in St. George. See website for more info.

October 25:  East Canyon State Park's Scary Fun Run

October 25, 26 & Nov 1 : 6th Annual Moab River Rendezvous An educational & social gathering that celebrates river running, area history & outdoor films. 

November 4: Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee meeting. Held at GOED office from 2-4 pm.

November 7-8: Adventure + Gear Expo, South Towne Expo Center, Sandy

November 11:  Free National Park Entrance Day (Veteran's Day) 

January 21-24, 2015:  Outdoor Retailer Winter Market Salt Lake City, Utah. 

March 3:  Outdoor Recreation Summit, Salt Palace

Submit future events to tmckee@utah.gov

Programs for Utah


Matching Funds Available to  Help Boost Your Global Sales with  Utah’s State Trade and Export Promotion 

The State of Utah will have an exhibitor booth at the OutDoor show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Click here to learn more about STEP matching grant opportunities to exhibit your product in the Utah booth.

Small businesses can use STEP grants to offset expenses related to exhibiting at international events or participating with trade mission delegations, and receiving Gold Key U.S. Commercial Service in countries identified to increase your global market. 

Learn more about the STEP Program and find out if your company qualifies.

Health Insurance Plans for Utah's Small Businesses 

Avenue H is an insurance marketplace created by the State of Utah to meet the new Affordable Care Act standards. The site allows small Utah companies with one to 50 employees to purchase health insurance from Utah-based insurance companies.


Procurement Technical Assistance Centers 

Utah outdoor businesses can find government contracts with the aid of the state's Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC), which provide one-on-one counseling, workshop training and a Bid-Match program to help small businesses expand their marketing success by identifying government contracting opportunities. These services are available at no cost to Utah businesses. 

For help in getting in touch with one of the seven PTAC locations in the state and for additional information go to the GOED Utah Procurement Technical Assistance website or call Myrna Hill at (801) 538-8775.

Rural Enterprise Zones for Businesses 

Eligible businesses locating or expanding in designated enterprise zones may be eligible for tax credits that can be claimed on Utah's state income tax forms. Tax credits can be used for job creation for full-time employees, investments in a plant, equipment or other depreciable properties and more. Non-refundable tax credits are available to eligible businesses in the designated enterprise zones in rural areas from the start of the tax year in which the designation is madeLearn more here.  


Grants for Small Businesses Through New Air Assist Program

UCAIR, DEQ, and the Utah Department of Workforce Services have partnered to provide grants for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees. The grants assist companies in making upgrades to their current equipment to reduce emissions and improve air quality. See UCAIR website


1.       Grow and foster a vibrant recreation economy. Strategically partner with the counties to proactively enhance their recreation infrastructure, develop programs that support outdoor related start-ups, and provide support through GOED’s business outreach services for the existing outdoor industry.

2.       Promote Utah's natural beauty.  Collaborate with the Office of Tourism to augment the powerful and internationally recognized Utah-Life Elevated brand, while encouraging Utahns, and especially our youth, to experience the benefits of recreating outdoors.

3.       Act as a clearinghouse of communication for the outdoor related stakeholders. Create effective forums for communicating recreation-based initiatives, sharing best practices, and generating new recreation management strategies.

4.       Enhance our quality of life and economic vibrancy through balanced land management plans and policies.The Office will participate in creating solutions and policies that strike a sensitive balance between general development, motorized use, human powered activities, and preserving the unique natural experience that people seek in Utah.


The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) charter is based on Governor Gary Herbert’s commitment to economic development statewide. Utah’s economic development vision is that Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy and be recognized as a premier global business destination. The mandate for this office is to provide rich business resources for the creation, growth and recruitment of companies to Utah and to increase tourism and film production in the state. GOED accomplishes this mission through the administration of programs that are based around targeted industries or “economic clusters” that demonstrate the best potential for development. GOED utilizes state resources and private sector contracts to fulfill its mission.




This message was sent to mmckell@le.utah.gov from:

Utah Talks | utahtalks@utah.gov | GOED | 60 E. South Temple, Third Floor | Salt Lake City, UT 84111

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