March 1, 2012

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Travel & Tourism

Utah Business Staff

March 1, 2012

WILKINSON: We have some unique things coming up with the combination of Temple Square and City Creek and the interest in Taubman and their malls. If you combine the new City Creek Center and Temple Square together as a combined shopping tourism attraction, that is a big thing. That is going to do great things for Salt Lake City and combine into a great attraction.

HOLLIAN: We’ve got the starting of that “unique” venue—the Olympic Park. It’s amazing. We’ve taken groups up there and it’s very difficult to have an evening there with dining. You can get it catered but it’s a challenge. It seems like that could be expanded into a great venue as an attraction.

When you think about a place that doesn’t need to build an attraction with natural beauty, think of Hawaii. Many of you are familiar with the Polynesian Cultural Center. Their visitation has been down and what are they doing? They are building a new attraction within the PCC later this year. We do lack something like that to attract these large groups, and the logical places are Park City or the Olympic site.

CAYFORD: There’s also room for more major annual events. Look at the Shakespeare Festival that put Cedar City on the map. We’ve got Days of ‘47 and Sundance, things that are known around the world. Particularly for rural Utah, it’s something they may want to consider. A major annual event will get people to stay that extra half day or overnight.

LINEBAUGH: There are a lot of great venues and natural resources. It just needs to be used better. To give you an example, at Sundance the outdoor Eccles Theater sat empty for five years, and we were able to bring it back and we sold out all 14 shows last summer.

Another example is the full-moon lift rides. We do 2,000 riders on our ski lift from 9 to 11 p.m. on the full-moon lift rides. So there are a number of natural venues and interests that we have. We just need to think differently in how we can use them.

WILKINSON: An example of someone customizing it for the venue is Temple Square. They’ve created a free van service to take a ride over to Temple Square on your layover at the airport. You can have a bite to eat and tour the square and then go back and catch your next flight. That’s become very popular and they’ve had over 55,000 people do that already. It is a very unique and targeted experience.

Any other big trends or topics that we haven’t touched upon?

LUNT: One thing we all should be aware of is President Obama’s mandate that federal travel budgets be cut by 20 percent by next year. We’ve already had at least one group cancel due to that. So it’s something we need to be aware of and talk to our federal folks about because it could hurt us significantly down the road.

MALONE: One of the things that has us all concerned in terms of the future is airline travel. Our airport has served the state very, very well. But we’ve all watched the number of flights being reduced. The air service industry is a huge partner in everything that we do. When they sniffle, we get a cold. 

 

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