From: Utah Talks
To: Dean Sanpei,
Subject: Outdoor Recreation Office December Newsletter
Date: Thu Dec 19 20:24:08 MST 2013



Utah's outdoor recreation office

There are times in life where society takes major leaps forward. We all look back and try to explain to our kids what life was like before snowboards and mountain bikes; before five-inch wide snow skis; and before wrist watches could triangulate your exact location by communicating with satellites.  Nowhere is innovative design more prevalent than in the outdoor industry.  From hunting and fishing to snowmobiling, climbing, biking and skiing, change is inevitable.  Improvement is guaranteed.

2013 will be known as a year when Utah took a major leap forward.  The Utah Outdoor Recreation Office and Governor Gary R. Herbert’s commitment to growing Utah’s recreation economy have forever positively altered Utah’s future.  They are legendary and insightful.  They are progressive. Outdoor recreation is a renewable asset that not only contributes more than $5.8B to our economy, while employing more than 65,000 people, but it is the core of our high quality of life. We have an unprecedented opportunity to shape our future.

2013 was just the beginning.  On December 4, Governor Herbert unveiled his budget recommendations for the 2015 fiscal year. Embedded within his $13.3B budget recommendations are numerous line items that will positively affect the entire outdoor community. A few of the immediate highlights include increasing the education budget by $261mm; increasing the Tourism Marketing Performance Fund (TMPF) from $12mm to $16.7mm; adding $4.9mm to rural outreach and business development; and adding $18mm for clean air research and fleet conversion to CNG. I urge all of you to take a few minutes and watch this video.  All of these have direct impacts on the recreation economy.

The Outdoor Recreation Office is equally committed laying out very ambitious goals for 2014.  On May 8, 2014 we are planning to host the first Governor’s Outdoor Recreation Summit. In Q1 we will convene a focused steering committee to develop a “Healthy Utah” plan aimed at engaging more Utahns in outdoor activity. Additionally we will further engage with the counties to create recreation business plans with the intent of ultimately drafting a Utah Outdoor Recreation Plan, similar to the State Energy Plan. The more people we see outside recreating, the better. 

We live in an amazing state.  There is no better place to live, work and play than Utah. 

Happy Holidays. 




Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee Discusses Issues about Stream Access & the BLM Permitting Process

The committee heard presentations about the proposed compromise stream access legislation which impacts fly fishermen from Bert Lay of the Utah Stream Access Coalition as well as a presentation on the BLM oil and gas leasing permitting process from Justin Abernathy of the Bureau of Land Management. Matt Ford of Power Practical gave a brief presentation on his company, a successful new start-up. 

Governor Holds Discussion with Outdoor Industry Executives 

Governor Herbert and GOED directors sat down for a luncheon and roundtable discussion with two dozen CEOs representing various outdoor product and outdoor services businesses from throughout the state. The discussion focused on their need to be able to attract the best and brightest talent to drive innovation in their companies, as well as the the fact that their businesses depend on the public having access to open space and use of public lands. Much of the discussion also focused on the need to improve education and air quality.


Winter Volunteer Opportunities at National Ability Center 

Opportunities for volunteering are available at the National Ability Center in Park City. You can help provide life-changing activities to people of all abilities. Want to hit the slopes for a day? The NAC is currently training volunteers to assist them with Nordic and Alpine Ski & Snowboard Programs. Or volunteer with NAC’s Aquatics and Equestrian programs as well. The website with volunteer training dates can be accessed here or contact Sarah Jones:, or 435-649-3991 ext 625.

Winter U.S. Olympic Trials 

Come cheer on America's top athletes in their quest for gold in Sochi, Russia in the Winter Olympic U.S. Olympic Trials and participate in the free, interactive Road to Sochi Fan Zone.

Support the top speed skaters in the USA as they compete for a Team USA spot over nine days of intense competition at the Utah Olympic Oval from Dec. 27 - Jan. 5. At the Utah Olympic Park watch the Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping Trials on December 28 - 29. History will be made as the very first women's ski jumping Olympic team will be selected. Free general admission. VIP Passes available online.

For schedule of events and additional details see the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation website.

Ski Utah Offers Special Deals for Young Skiers

Utah's ski resorts are offering special passports for Utah's fifth and sixth graders to ski at each of Utah's 14 ski resorts. Fifth graders can ski or ride three times free (42 total days) and sixth graders can enjoy one day (14 total days) at each resort. For more information, see Ski Utah's website. Parents who are looking for a more cost-effective way to ski with their fifth and sixth grade students can take advantage of the Ski Utah Yeti Pass which is good for skiing at every Utah resort for about $42 per day ($599).

As January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, resorts will be offering tempting intro packages for first time skiers and riders, both children and adults. 

Global Fat Bike Summit and Festival to be
Held in Ogden

A one-day Land Manager Summit will be held on Friday, Jan. 24 for land managers to examine and quantify fat bike use, discuss grooming techniques, economic impacts, and riding fat bikes.

Complimentary registration is offered for land managers and park personnel interested in learning about fat bikes, access issues, economic impacts, etc.  The Fat Bike Summit and Festival continues Friday evening with a registration party and Saturday, Jan. 25, with a festival, featuring bike demos, organized rides, product and gear clinics and races for novice and experienced riders. Registration and more details available at



 Utah Ranked in Top Ten for Bike Commuting

Utah ranks 9th nationally, in the number of people who commute to their jobs by bike, thanks to a rise of 65 percent in the number of bike commuters since 2005. Rep. Johnny Anderson, R-Taylorsville, credits the upsurge to an improvement in safety due to the increase in bicycle lanes and trails. Provo ranks high nationally (#24) with the highest share of bike commuters.  Anderson is not surprised, "They’ve got a great bicycle trail system for people who commute. That’s encouraged riders."  (Source:Salt Lake Tribune. Read more here

Backcountry  Acquires German Online Retailer

Park City-based  recently acquired ("mountain friends"), a rapidly growing online retailer that was already positioned to expand its reach in Europe beyond Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “The Backcountry and Bergfreunde brands are well-aligned in terms of their passionate customers, their expert customer service, and an internal culture that thrives in the outdoors,” said Jill Layfield, CEO of Backcountry. Backcountry was founded in 1996, and was founded in 2006.  Read more here    

Ogden Named As Best Emerging Ski Town

National Geographic Adventure Magazine named Ogden as the #1 "Emerging Ski/snowboard Town" in North America . The article noted that Snowbasin and Powder Mountain offered the same "ethereal powder" that Utah's top resorts are known for, but without "the pesky crowds."  

     Utah Avalanche Center Introduces Mobile App 

The Utah Avalanche Center has just launched a mobile app that displays avalanche advisory information and can transmit a recreationist's location to a list of emergency contacts. It also allows the public to take photos of avalanche activity and add observations about the conditions, which is then transmitted back to avalanche forecasters based in Salt Lake City. More information at:

   RAMP Sports Named As Finalist in Debut at European Trade Show

RAMP Sports has been named an ISPO BRAND NEW Finalist for the manufacturer’s sustainably made skis and snowboards. The international sports business trade show selected RAMP from a group of over 250 designers, brands and cutting edge start-ups. RAMP was a finalist for the ultra-competitive “Hardware Winter” category for 2014. Park City-based RAMP will exhibit at the 2014 ISPO show in Munich in the BRANDNEW village and will use the opportunity as the European debut of the brand.  


Salt Lake's GREENbike Program Has Phenomenal Growth

Salt Lake City’s GREENbike program is outperforming comparable city programs in their first year of operation. The Bike Share program is a network of many Bike Share stations where members can take ANY bike, from ANY station, as many times as they need for a small fee. Salt Lake City's GREENbike, which opened in April 2013, has supported more than 26,000 trips to date. Next year, they will be adding at least seven additional stations, making it even more convenient. 

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



Mountain States Trade Mission to Colombia and Panama

Zions Bank, in cooperation with the World Trade Center Utah and the U.S. Commercial Service, is organizing a trade mission to Colombia and Panama February 9-15, 2014.  This trade mission is an excellent opportunity to meet potential partners or buyers in two of the most dynamic markets in the Western Hemisphere.  Last year’s implementation of the U.S.-Colombia and U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreements provides a framework for U.S. companies to access such market opportunities.  Utah’s International Trade & Diplomacy Office is also planning Trade Missions to Mexico and Canada, tentatively scheduled for Spring 2014. Learn more here.

Businesses Making Investments in Utah's Rural Enterprise Zones May Quality 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 Legislative Issues

Governor Herbert is asking for $18 million in funding to aid the state in dealing with air quality issues. The money will go into grants for helping small businesses reduce emissions, funding to convert school buses to alternative fuels and funding for research.  

Governor Herbert wants lawmakers to allocate an additional $15 million for travel and tourism promotion outside the state. Herbert said the tourism dollars the state has spent have a six-to-one return on the investment. "We’ve seen the benefits this past year of our increased efforts on tourism and travel," Herbert said, adding that he is making the recommendation "knowing that’s one of the few places you can put taxpayer dollars and actually get more money back."

Check out the Sky to Slopes Video from The Office of Tourism  that shows just how easy it is to get to the Greatest Snow on Earth! 

Watch Governor Herbert's Budget Announcement HERE.


Upcoming Events

Dec. 27-Jan. 5: Winter U.S. Olympic Trials in speed skating, Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping held at the Utah Olympic Oval and the Utah Olympic Park

Jan. 8: Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee meeting at Utah State Capitol Board Room from 2-4 pm.

Jan. 22-25: Outdoor Retailer Winter Market Show in Salt Lake City

Jan. 24-25: Global Fat Bike Summit & Festival in Ogden

Jan. 23-26; St. George Winter Bird Festival at the Tonaquint Nature Center and Park. See Bird Festival website

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

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. Email for information.

May 8: Governor's Outdoor Recreation Summit

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 been wanting 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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