From: Utah Talks
To: Dean Sanpei,
Subject: Utah Talks Outdoors March newsletter
Date: Mon Mar 10 19:55:23 MDT 2014



Utah's outdoor recreation office

Most states and communities, businesses and universities reference a high quality of life as a major component of their core strategy and public offering.   In many cases the term is used with very little regard or forethought for what is being represented.  Everyday decisions are being made based on one’s desire to seek or experience a higher quality of life.   With so much talk, what exactly is quality of life? What is Utah doing to improve it?

Admittedly recreational opportunities and access to our pristine natural assets are only one part of the formula that makes Utah unique and a great place to live, work and play.   The entire “quality of life” package must include all of the social and economic aspects that affect one’s life including such things as a meaningful job, access to affordable housing, energy and healthcare, a quality education, a clean environment and others. 

Similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs a high quality of life is a continuum that must be constantly evaluated for opportunities to improve.  In many areas Utah is empirically excelling and where we are not (e.g. air quality), there are significant efforts and initiatives being driven to improve. The creation of the Utah Outdoor Recreation Office is one of those major initiatives focused on improving our quality of life that has direct economic, social, environmental and health benefits.

To many people around the country and world, Utahns have an enviable lifestyle, especially with regard to our recreational assets and opportunities. Vicki Varela, the Managing Director of the Utah Office of Tourism, often says that “Mother Nature played favorites when she designed Utah.” A hike, bike, or float through our incredible public lands shows that statement’s true.

With tourism spending in 2013 up to $7.4B from a $12mm investment via the Tourism Marketing Performance Fund (TMPF) and Utah’s economy continuing to grow and unemployment low, our core is solid and we can defend our high quality of life statement.  Recent studies of the Utah “Life Elevated” brand have further reiterated that tourists believe that it successfully portrays our elevated lifestyle.

Utah has a dedicated strategy for moving up the “quality of life” continuum that includes commitments from the Governor, legislature, local communities, public land managers, private businesses, universities and many others. 

On May 8, at the first Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit, we will explore new opportunities for the outdoor industry and Utah communities to use the recreation economy as key strategy for enhancing their quality of life.  Additionally we will begin brainstorming a new initiative we call “UTAH: An active life state”, aimed at accelerating the health aspect of the recreation economy and thus further improving our quality of life.  

We’re lucky and fortunate to live in Utah.




Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee Discusses Air Quality

The Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee met February 6 at the Utah State Capitol and heard presentations from both Amanda Smith, executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and Ted Wilson, the director of the Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR). They discussed programs, legislation, the science of air quality issues and more. There are a number of bills before the legislature for 2014 that aim to improve the quality of our air. 

David Davis, director of the Salt Lake Bicycle Collective gave a short presentation about its mission to promote cycling as a sustainable and affordable form of transportation and gave a great overview of their programs.

Outdoor Recreation Office hosted  Outdoor Industry Business Discussion

The Outdoor Recreation Office hosted a Brunch & Learn business discussion at the offices of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah Feb. 13. State Science Advisor Carol George moderated the panel that discussed manufacturing resources for Utah companies. Among the panelists were Steven Roy of UVU/USTAR Scott Marland of BioInnovations Gateway, Chad Parker of MEP, and Jeff Jackson of UCAID-WSU. The discussion focused on programs that Utah and its partner programs can offer to the outdoor industry with expertise, programs, incentives, tax credits and the like.

Upcoming Events

Governor's Outdoor Recreation Summit to be held in May

The Utah Outdoor Recreation Office, will host the first Governor’s Annual Outdoor Recreation Summit on Thursday, May 8. The focus will be on exploring and sharing new ways to responsibly grow, promote and enhance Utah's flourishing recreation economy. The summit welcomes attendees from the outdoor industry, Utah's counties and communities, user groups, state and federal agencies as well as others interested in Utah's outdoor recreation opportunities.

Governor Herbert will be the welcoming speaker and Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell  (invited) will give the keynote at the inaugural summit. Individual presenters and panels of knowledgeable state and national experts will focus on three key areas of growth for our recreation economy: Outdoor Recreation in Utah’s Communities, Growing Utah’s thriving outdoor industry and helping Utah to become “An Active Life State”. 

National Parks to Offer Free Days

Take advantage of the National Park’s Fee Free Days which include: the first weekend of National Park Week, April 19-20; National Get Outdoors Day, June 14; National Park Service Birthday, Aug. 25; National Public Lands Day, Sept. 27; and Veterans Day, Nov. 11. On these days the entry fees at National Park Service units are waived, but other fees, such as for camping, are still required.  The free days are designed to "encourage people to get outdoors and spend time with their friends and family in the national parks this year.”   

Announcing the 2014 Tour of Utah Host Venues

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah returns for its 10th edition this summer with a full week of racing, August 4 - 10. This is the first year the Tour has expanded to seven full days of racing action, and will continue with a rolling festival of activities for fans across Utah. This it the Tour's 4th year it has been sanctioned by both USA Cycling and the Union Cycliste International (UCI) as a 2.1-rated stage race for the best pro cycling teams on the globe. The new host venues for the 2014 Tour of Utah are:

  • Aug. 4-Stage 1: Cedar City to Cedar City
  • Aug 5-Stage 2: Panguitch to Torrey
  • Aug 6-Stage 3:  Lehi to Miller Motorsports Park 
  • Aug 7-Stage 4Ogden to Powder Mountain Ski Resort 
  • Aug 8-Stage 5Evanston to Kamas 
  • Aug 9 -Stage 6Salt Lake City to Snowbird Ski Resort
  • Aug 10-Stage 7: Park City to Park City


Gold Medals Wins with Skis Made by Utah Company

David Wise became a gold medalist in the freestyle ski half pipe during the Sochi Olympics while using locally made skis by 4FRNT. For the small 11-year old ski brand, it is an amazing moment in the spotlight. Wise is one of several athletes who are part-owners of the company.  See more at Deseret News

USA Olympians with Utah Ties End up Tenth in Olympic Medal Count

Utah Olympians brought home 13 of the 28 total medals for the USA team with two golds in the new slopestyle competitions, one silver in the first women's ski superpipe and 10 other podium finishes. If Utah had been competing as their own country, it would be tied for 10th place in the overall medal count. See more at Ski Utah's website.

Utah Recreational Land Swap Approved by Fed after 10-year Process 

Recognizing the  value of managing iconic recreation and conservation lands for public use and enjoyment, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah signed the Decision Record approving a recreational land exchange with the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration on Feb. 7, 2014. Under the Utah Recreational Land Exchange Act of 2009, the BLM and State of Utah will consolidate land ownership through an equal value exchange of lands in Uintah, Grand and San Juan Counties.  For more, see BLM's webpage

Utah BLM Premiers Old Spanish Trail Adventure Video Nationally

Utah's BLM recently completed a successful and innovative social media project - the Old Spanish Trail Adventure - designed to engage and connect the next generation with Utah’s amazing lands. Engaging more than a quarter of a million viewers LIVE online, they created and documented an adventure, boosting BLM’s online reach and connecting meaningfully with an audience that is often overlooked. Director Juan Palma adds,  "I am proud of the creativity and youthful spirit infused in this project and look forward to seeing more products that reach out to those in search of adventure in America's great outdoors." See the Old Spanish Trail Adventure video here.


Three Utahns Named in Magazine's 50 Influential  Women in Bicycling  

Three Utah women were named to Bicycle Retailer magazine's prestigious list of women who are driving the bicycle industry. These women are at the forefront and behind the scenes, influencing how the industry markets and sells bicycles, in an industry that is still three-fourths male. Sarah Lehman, CEO of ENVE Composites (headquartered in Ogden), was honored for her leadership in the Executive category.  Kim Kington, chief engineer at Reynolds Cycling (located in Sandy), was honored for her impact in the Product Development category. Ashley Korenblat, CEO of Western Spirit Cycling (based in Moab) and managing director of Public Lands Solutions, was on the prestigious list because of her longtime work in advocacy.  Link to read more. to Sponsor of Utah’s Leading Youth Cycling Association,  the online retailer of premium outdoor and cycling gear, has partnered with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association’s (NICA) Utah Chapter as a platinum sponsor. Backcountry’s partnership with the Utah High School Cycling League will help encourage young cyclists to reach their goals while having fun and building lasting relationships on-and-off the bike. Backcountry will kickoff its sponsorship in proper fashion by hosting (along with NICA and Scott Sports) the CycleFest fundraiser event on March 14 in Salt Lake City.  Founded in 2012 to develop high school mountain biking programs for student-athletes in Utah, the Utah High School Cycling League is now it expanding its outreach to seventh and eighth graders through a new Junior Development program.


It's Utah vs. Colorado for Outdoor Recreation Business
Outside Magazine covers the rivalry between the two Rocky Mountain states as they compete for ski  tourists, outdoor industry relocations and offers comparisons in various categories. Does the legalization of marijuana give Colorado an edge? The studies for the effect on Colorado's economy are not in yet, but economist Natalie Gochnour writes that legalization of marijuana may actually hurt, not help Colorado's economic development in the long run. See her article in  Utah Business .

Black Diamond Fall 2014 Collection Wins Over a Dozen Industry Awards

Black Diamond, Inc., collected over a dozen industry and media awards at the recent Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, ISPO Munich and Snowsports Industry America trade shows. “In our 57 years of innovation, the designers, engineers and employees of Black Diamond have used their firsthand knowledge of climbing, skiing and mountain sports to create next-level products,” said Peter Metcalf, Black Diamond CEO. “Every Black Diamond employee takes pride and shares some credit for the abundance of recognition we’ve received for our forthcoming fall 2014 hard goods, apparel and safety collections." See more here.

Utah Delegation Heads to Taiwan to Woo Bicycle Businesses

A Utah delegation headed by Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell are at the Taipei International Cycle Show in Taiwan hoping to woo some of the bicycle businesses to Utah. Other members of the delegation are Joel Racker, chair of the Utah Board of Tourism Development, Todd Brightwell, COO of EDCUtah, Brad Petersen, director of the Outdoor Recreation Office/GOED, and Brett Heimburger, Regional Director for Asia, International Trade & Diplomacy Office/GOED. Last September, Ogden and Utah officials hosted about 25 Taiwanese bicycle company executives with a multi-day tour of Utah, including its National and State Parks. See more here.

Adventure Cycling Association Launches Youth Touring & Leadership Scholarship

Two college students will be selected to participate in an Adventure Cycling educational tour, free of cost. Adventure Cycling Association is now accepting submissions for its new Youth Touring and Leadership Scholarship.  The scholarship covers airfare, bike and gear rentals, and course fee. The goal of the scholarship is to provide students, ages 18-25, with access to bicycle travel through participation in either an Adventure Cycling Leadership Training Course or Introduction to Road Touring course. Upon completion of the course, scholarship recipients will perform outreach activities for their communities and peers to promote the activity of bicycle touring. Application information is available online

Outdoor Industry Consortium Launches "Know the Snow" Video Contest

US and Canadian avalanche safety organizations including the Utah Avalanche Centerare issuing a challenge to skiers and snowboarders: Make a 4-minute video that shows the proper preparation for riding beyond resort boundaries, and you and your film could become a role model for sidecountry riders (and you could win some prizes as well.) “Show us what happens before you hit your favorite powder stash,” said Bruce Edgerly, VP of avalanche safety equipment manufacturer, Backcountry Access (BCA).  The contest will run during the last three weeks of winter: March 1 – 21.  For more details on the contest, go to

Adventure+Gear Expo to Highlight Rural County Outdoor Recreation

The Adventure + Gear expo ( May 9 - 10, South Towne Expo Center) is providing discounted exhibitor space to all Utah Counties and Tourism Bureaus.  The goal is to give counties the opportunity to get face to face with 10,000+ core outdoor consumers from the urban Wasatch Front and encourage them to explore lesser known counties and regions around the state. Counties can personally educate attendees on the variety of outdoor recreation that they offer while also providing materials and resources to help attendees plan a trip to their region.  F or more information about the  Utah Adventure + Gear Expo™ and this event go to or email
Utah Legislature Decides Not to Act on Stream Access Legislation
The Utah Legislature decided not to act on stream access this year, but will instead leave the matter to the courts. The "Compromise Bill" HB 37 did not make it out of the House Rules Committee. A final court hearing on a case involving public waters is expected by early summer and a second case on navigability should start in the summer. See more of the story in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Brag and Boast! Submit accolades, rankings and company milestones to



Procurement Technical Assistance Centers

Utah outdoor businesses may be able to 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.

Businesses Making Investments in Utah's Rural Enterprise Zones May Qualify for Tax Credits

Eligible businesses locating or expanding in designated enterprise zones may be eligible for tax credits which 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 together to provide grants for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees to assist them in making upgrades to their current equipment to reduce emissions and improve air quality. See UCAIR website.

2014 Grant Program Opening for Recreation Trails Program (RTP)

The Federal Recreation Trail Program offers grants for both motorized and non-motorized trails. Grant applications are being accepted at Utah State Parks and Recreation Salt Lake Office beginning on February 15 and ending on May 1.  Project proponents are encouraged to contact Chris Haller for guidance and to discuss project details:  or (801) 349-0487.

Upcoming Events

March 14: 2014 Cyclefest Utah: celebration & festivities in support of Utah's High School Mountain Biking League. More info.

March 29: Halti Ability Snow Challenge: a fun event featuring skiing, snowboarding and friendly competition for all ages and abilities at the National Ability Center. More info.

April 1: Utah Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee meeting at the Utah Capitol Board room from 2 - 4 pm.

April 19-20: Ultimate Outdoor Expo in Heber

April 19-20: The first weekend of National Park Week and a Fee Free Day for entrance to National Parks.

May 8: Governor's Outdoor Recreation Summit. More info coming soon.

May 9-10: Adventure + Gear Expo, South Towne Center

Submit future events to

Programs for Utah



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

If you've got a small business and you have wanted to exhibit at an International trade show, you may be able to qualify for matching grants to offset expenses related to exhibiting at international events. The grants also cover 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.


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.




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