September 1, 2011

Cover Story

Fast 50

A pioneering spirit in the face of economic uncertainty is propelling 2011...Read More

Featured Articles

Around Utah

Bank on It

Sections

Editor's Note
Celebrating Growth

Special Section
Cold Feet

Executive Living
Easy to be Green

Industry Outlook
HUMAN RESOURCES

EntrepreneurEdge
Living the Brand

Business Trends
Mind Your Manners

Focus
Rough Road Ahead

Features
Spin Cycle

Spotlight
Taylor Randall

Spotlight
Tarang Amin

Money Talk
The Cash Coaster

Lessons Learned
The Consolidation Process

Regional Report
Utah County Report

Economic Insight
Worth the Risk?

TechKnowledge
You are Here

Legal Briefs
You’re Fired

By the Books
Good to Great

Players
Players

Article

Utah County Report

Utah Business Staff

September 1, 2011

Utah County is facing growing pains, with the added constraints of a down economy. Major tech companies are locating or expanding in the county, but that has put a strain on the talent pool. And with little new construction, commercial space is becoming scarce for mid-size companies. However, local business leaders see optimism in the area’s innovative and risk-taking culture.

We’d like to thank the Provo Marriott for hosting the event and Jeff Edwards, CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, for leading the discussion.

Participants: John Garfield, Provo Marriott Hotel & Conference Center; Brad Whittaker, CEDO; Brandon Fugal, Coldwell Banker Commercial; David Williams, Fishbowl Inventory; Joel Racker, Utah Valley CVB; Joe Brown, 77 Holdings; Brad Wittusen, Redstone Advisors; Russ Fotheringham, EDCUtah; Mike Alder, BYU; Jeff Edwards, EDCUtah; Steve Densley, Utah Valley Chamber; Jon Anderson, Commerce Real Estate; Noah Westerlund, Agel Enterprises; Keyvan Esfarjani, IM Flash

What do you think the overall outlook for Utah Valley is right now? Is there any kind of theme that you see emerging in all the things happening in the area?

ALDER: Entrepreneurism has suddenly risen to be really, really important at BYU. We have always had an excellent entrepreneurial center. But there’s a lot of focus now. And that organization is bridging into the tech transfer office. So it’ll be taking probably 10 enterprise-worthy technologies forward with MBA teams and seasoned entrepreneurs this next year.

WHITTUSEN: We serve as the financial advisor for 401(k) plans, which gives us a little bit of insight into hiring trends. We’re seeing some of the construction, engineering and technology companies that we work with starting to hire again.

It seems like these are trends that are echoed nationwide. The highly educated, highly skilled workforce—the unemployment rate for that class of people is very low right now. We’re seeing that for the companies we’re working with.

FUGAL: It’s a more diversified pick up as well. The growth that we’re seeing in Utah County— as opposed to years past, where it’s been largely focused on technology or the nutraceutical industry—we’re seeing a very diversified growth period where all sectors are being represented, with perhaps the exception of construction.

GARFIELD: When you speak about construction, I feel like I’m in the middle of it, with the convention center being built across the street and Nu Skin, with its new headquarters going to be built, I-15 construction, and all the potential new bus and transit routes. We have Frontier Airlines now—who would ever have guessed that we would have commercial air in and out of Provo? The future looks really good in Utah County. It’s very exciting to see where it’s going to go from here.

RACKER: There have always been these industries that you thought of in Utah County. And according to the state statistics, one in 10 jobs in Utah Valley is somehow related to tourism. But tourism has never really risen to the surface as a major industry in our community. But now with the convention center, with other things that are going on down here, we’re going to see a lot of that impact. If we see the same results as other communities that built convention centers, we’ll see additional hotels, restaurants, improvements in the quality of what we have.

What is the timing on the convention center?

RACKER: We’re supposed to get the keys from Okland Construction the end of March of next year. Our first convention we’re looking at is in April. We’re very excited because we’ve got a lot of things lining up.

And it’s an exciting building. You walk around in it and just the substance of the building, the feel of that facility, is going to be a great addition to what we have down here.

DENSLEY: Some of the things I get really excited about as I look across that valley—not only have you got Frontier, but you’ve got two or three other airlines that are currently watching Frontier carefully.

I’m excited about the convention center, the Nu Skin expansion. And you’ve got Adobe in the north, which adds to our IM Flash complex out there. It sends a neat signal to the rest of the world, to see Adobe right there at that huge campus. Of course, Microsoft’s got its building at Thanksgiving Point. The NSA project—the spin off, the serendipity that could happen with that seems incredible.

Page 12345
Utah Business Social
UB Events View All
SAMY Awards 2015Utah Business Event
Jan 23, 2015
Utah Business magazine along with Presenting Sponsor: Griffin Hill, Premier Sponsors: The Summit ...
Forty Under 40 - 2015Utah Business Event
Feb 26, 2015
Utah Business Magazine along with Presenting Sponsors: Kirton McConkie, BIG-D Construction and Ma...
CEO of the Year 2015 ... NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN!Utah Business Event
Mar 31, 2015
CEO of the Year Nominations end - January 7, 2015. Visit: www.utahbusiness.com/nomination_item...
Community Events View All
Sandler Management Solutions
Dec 19, 2014
Looking for a way to manage your team systematically and effectively? Sandler Management Solutio...
Create Success: Intellectual Property Protection for Growth Technology Companies
Dec 31, 2015
This is a presentation by Michael Best, a major national leader in the commercialization of Intel...

info@utahbusiness.com  |  90 South 400 West, Ste 650 Salt Lake City, Utah 84101   |  (801) 568-0114

Advertise with Utah Business

Submit an Event

* indicates required information
* Event Name:
Price (general):
Website (if applicable):
Coordinator's Name:
Coordinator's Email:
Coordinator's Phone:
Venue Name:
Venue Address:
Venue City:
Venue Zip:
Event Capacity:
Date(s):
to
* Event Description:
  Cancel