From: Utah Talks
To: Dean Sanpei,
Subject: Utah Talks Outdoors February newsletter
Date: Tue Feb 04 16:33:22 MST 2014



Utah's outdoor recreation office

One of the nation's largest trade shows, the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, descended on Salt Lake again for the 16th consecutive year. If you were anywhere near downtown Salt Lake City, you would have noticed the buzz from the 22,000 outdoor gear manufacturers and retail store owners. Collectively they generate more than $40 million a year in direct spending and that doesn’t account for the future revenue from the 30 percent who will return within the next year as recreational tourists.  

Again, in less than two weeks, roughly 27,000 more avid sportsmen will converge on the Salt Palace to attend the 7th Annual Western Hunting and Conservation Expo. Attendees from across the country will have the opportunity to interact with hundreds of exhibitors, including guides, outfitters, manufacturers, conservation leaders, wildlife agency staff, lodge owners, artists, hunting VIPs, clothiers, jewelers and others.   This event directly adds another $10 million to our economy.  

The financial boost from both of these major events and others, is experienced across the entire state. The irony is that buying gear is good, but only if you use it to create experiences. So while the Wasatch Front may be the epicenter for outdoor trade shows and specialized retail stores, Utah’s rural communities have the opportunity to ultimately benefit the most as we learn to monetize our renewable natural resources. Every economic indicator from 2013 showed substantial increases in Utah’s recreation economy and tourism. 

Now more than ever I hope that you’ll proactively follow the 2014 legislative session and become involved. With respect to outdoor recreation and tourism I urge you to track the following bills.     

1)      Hotel Convention Center (not numbered) would provide a post-performance economic incentive to build a convention center hotel near the Salt Palace. The incentive is specifically aimed at facilitating development of the public meeting spaces and includes additional incentives to market rural Utah tourism through a voucher program. With this facility the Salt Palace Convention Center would qualify for additional conventions such as Interbike

2)      HB 37 Public Waters Access Act would restore public year-round access to Utah’s streams and rivers while protecting the private property owners. This bill mirrors the Idaho stream access bill

3)      HB 28 Wildlife License Expiration Amendments would allow the DNR to offer multi-year hunting and fishing licenses.     

4)      HB 68 Protection of State Parks Resources which prohibits the destruction of State natural resources.      

5)      SB 165 Trial Hunting Authorization would> allow new hunters to obtain a “trail hunting authorization” prior to completing hunters’ education, when accompanied by an adult.

6)     HB 34 Tourism Marketing Performance Fund Amendments w<ould extend the Tourism Marketing Performance Fund (TMPF) to 2019.  

7)     HB 25 Eminent Domain Amendments >Line 377 allows eminent domain to be used in certain cases to facilitate the development of bike paths. 

8)      SB 154 All Terrain Vehicle Amendments - Amending provisions relating to street-legal all-terrain vehicles.    

9)      Others not numbered:

a.        Privatization of State golf courses. (Christofferson)

b.       Contingent Management for Federal Facilities (Lifferth)

c.        Concussion and head injury amendments (Ray)





Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee Discusses Convention Hotel and Ski Utah

The Outdoor Recreation Advisory committee heard presentations about the proposed convention hotel legislation, Ski Utah, and the Save a Spot on January 8, 2014.

Brad Rasmussen of Save a Spot talked about the mission of the grassroots organization to solve issues and resolve conflict between private land owners and back country recreationalists by using social media and state of the art technology to "crowd source" open space preservation projects. 

Jeremy Keele of Salt Lake County and Scott Beck of Visit Salt Lake presented on the upcoming legislation to incent a developer to build a convention hotel that would be able to support large trade shows and conventions. Keele pointed out that Salt Lake is missing out on getting these large shows because of a lack of hotel rooms close to the Salt Palace to anchor Salt Lake bids. The proposed subsidy - which would help pay for the hotel's construction - would come in the form of a rebate on sales and property taxes generated at the convention hotel.

Nathan Rafferty of Ski Utah gave an overview of the mission and purpose of this 501C6 organization and highlighted the economic impact of Utah's ski industry ($1.3 billion last season and nearly 10,000 directly-related jobs). He also discussed challenges such as mountain transportation, efficiency in connectivity, and the issue of competitively priced air access. (Due to less competiton between airlines for flights to Salt Lake City, it is cheaper for tourists to fly into Denver.)


Outdoor Industry Gives Award to Governor Herbert

Governor Gary R. Herbert was awarded Friend of the Industry Award from the Outdoor Industry Association on the eve of the Outdoor Retailer show. This is the first time the award was given to a governor. The award was presented to Governor Herbert for his efforts in 2013 to promote the outdoor recreation economy, and elevate and recognize outdoor recreation as an economic priority essential to Utah’s economy and quality of life. -  For more see the OIA website.

                  Successful Fat Bike Summit Held in Ogden            

An Ogden-hosted Summit was held Jan. 24 and more than 110 participants discussed the state of the fat bike industry, access issues, and  new snow grooming techniques that could open up sales to thousands of new participants in snow country. Fat Bikes are quickly developing their own sector and summit organizers are trying to get ahead of the curve to head off issues and conflicts that could develop. Fat bikes can be ridden in any type of weather but have become especially popular as snow bikes, so concentrating on trail use issues with snowmobilers, snowshoe users and Nordic skiers were the main focus. For more info see Bicycle Retailer's article.

Upcoming Events

Outdoor Recreation Office to Host a Brunch & Learn Outdoor Industry Business Discussion

Enjoy a light breakfast and an informative discussion on Manufacturing Resources for Utah Outdoor Products. This event will be held on Thursday, February 13, 2014, from 9-10:30 a.m. at the Governor's Office of Economic Development (60 E. South Temple, 3rd Floor in Salt Lake City).  Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the unique needs of their company with a panel of experts and learn about the resources, programs and incentives available in the state to aid their business. This event is free, but space is limited, so please register at   Click here for the invitation.

Western Hunting Conservation Expo

The Western Hunting Conservation Expo will be held February 13-16 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. This hunting exposition is a joint national convention between the Mule Deer Foundation and the Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife. The expo draws 400+ exhibitors and 29,000 participants. Event organizers expect to raise more than $10 million for wildlife conservation.

The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Archery Shoot will be held Saturday, Feb 15 at the Expo starting at 8 a.m. More than 900 students from 29 different schools will participate in this international-style target archery tournament. The public is welcome to watch the tournament throughout the day. For more information about the program see the NASP page on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources site. 

Business Seminar to Focus on Mexico

All Utah companies interested in growing their business in Mexico are invited to attend the Mexico Business Seminar with Governor Herbert on Monday, February 10, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. The Summit will be held in Salt Lake City at The Leonardo.

To register for the event, visit GOED's International Trade & Diplomacy website at or contact Daniel Leifson (801) 538-8644.


Utah Olympians Heading to Sochi

Utah is the headquarters for both the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and U.S. Speedskating (USS) and as a result, has a large number of winter sport athletes training and living in Utah. Fifty-five members of the Sochi-bound U.S. Winter Olympic team have ties to Utah.

Westminster College has become "a hotbed for cold weather athletes,"  and this year, it is sending more Olympic-bound athletes (23) than any other college in the country. Westminster College and the USSA formed a partnership that began in 2005 which offers tuition remission to qualifying ski and snowboard athletes. Since then, more than a hundred U.S. Ski & Snowboard team members have attended Westminster. 

Mountain Accord Seeks Solutions for Wasatch Mountains

Utah's Mountain Accord Program seeks to find solutions to balance the demands of population growth and yet safeguard the future vitality of the canyons and mountains in the central Wasatch Front range. The program will take a holistic look to focus on five main areas: transportation, the environment, economy, recreation and land use.

Public Scoping meetings will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on February 4 (Park City High School) and February 5 (Skyline High School). 


Announcing the 2014 Tour of Utah 

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah returns for a 10th edition this summer with a full week of racing, August 4-10, 2014. 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. It will be the fourth year the Tour 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. Last year's race had 16 teams and 122 riders representing 32 countries. The new host venues for 2014 will be announced on February 4.

The 2013 Tour of Utah had over 260,000 spectators who watched the race live and it received more than 18 hours of national TV coverage. Last summer's race had a $17.5 million economic impact for Utah. The Ultimate Challenge, one of North America's most challenging non-competitive amateur cycling events will be held on August 9, 2014.  See website for more details.

Tourism Day on the Hill 

Wednesday, February 26 is Tourism Day on the Hill. Show your support for the Tourism Industry and Tourism-based economic development by participating in this important event. Cost for individuals to register is $30 and includes lunch.

To register, go to the UTIC Registration link


 New Utah Companies Made Debut at Outdoor Retailer Show

An estimated 22,000 attendees descended on the Outdoor Retailer WInter Market Show where three new Utah companies made their debut, receiving press attention from the show's own SNEWS (O.R. Daily). The companies included Merchant, Stage, and Hand Out Gloves. Merchant is a Springville-based company that offers services for outdoor retailers with a web-based point-of-sale and website system. Stage is a ski goggle company that offers a variety of unique design combinations for customers who can choose from 100 strap styles and more than 10 lenses suitable for varied light conditions. Stage is based in Cottonwood Heights. Hand Out Gloves is a Salt Lake City-based company that makes gloves and mittens that can be zipped off mid-hand out to dump excess heat or quickly gain dexterity. The Adventure + Gear Expo will be launching their new outdoor products oriented consumer show for the general public.

New Outdoor Expo Show to Open in May

The Adventure + Gear Expo will be launching their new outdoor products oriented consumer show in May. The show is for the general public and promises to be highly interactive and will focus on Utah specific companies. The show will be May 9-10 at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy. For more information, see their website.

Utah Man Becomes First To Ride Bike to South Pole

Daniel Burton, owner of Epic Biking, a retail bike store in Saratoga Springs, rode his bike across Antarctica to become the first to reach the South Pole by bike on January 21, 2014. Daniel is also raising money for his South Pole Epic Foundation program specifically aimed to get teenagers into mountain biking, giving them a way to "earn" a bike, participate in group rides and learn bike skills. 

REI Honors Utah Companies as 2013 Top Vendors of the Year

Salt Lake City-based Kühl was presented with the annual Vendor Partner of the Year award, while Park City-based Rossignol was named as one of  three divisional winners. Each year, companies are nominated by REI's  three merchandising divisions – camp/travel, action sports and outdoorwear – for their efforts to build a strategic and successful relationship focused on meeting member and customer needs, and to bring quality, innovation, outdoor stewardship and performance to the industry. REI retail employees vote on the slate of nominees.  REI noted that  Rossignol has been the benchmark in winter sports and named it the division winner for action sports and said that the year's top winner “Kühl has completely redefined success and partnership in the sportswear business."

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.  

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.

Nominations Open for 2014 Utah Innovation Awards

Nominations are being accepted for the 12th annual Utah Innovation Awards, presented by Stoel Rives and the Utah Technology Council. Last year's finalists in the Outdoor and Consumer Products division included products from WickWerks, LLC., Easton Mountain Products and Wilson Electronics. Nominations are due by February 13. Click here for more information about the awards program or to access the online nomination form.

Upcoming Events

Feb. 6: Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee meeting at Utah State Capitol Board Room from 2-4 pm.

Feb 7-23: 2014 Winter Olympics - Cheer on Utah's winter athletes during the Olympics held in Sochi, Russia

Feb. 8: Bald Eagle Day - This very popular event is held at five locations. See Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website.

Feb. 13: Outdoor Products Industry Discussion on specialty manufacturing resources available statewide. To register, click here.

Feb. 13-16 Western Hunting Conservation Expo at the Salt Palace.

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. See website for more info.

April 19-20: Ultimate Outdoor Expo in Heber

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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