Letter From Scott Beck, Ken Sanders, & More
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Visit Salt Lake Destination News

Jul 23, 2024

Utah Office of Tourism Conference

Big Happenings in Salt Lake - Connect Marketplace and Salt of the Earth

Salt Lake and our hospitality community is once again hosting one of our industry’s top trade shows for business development, Connect Marketplace, and it's being held at the Salt Palace Convention Center August 23-25. Connect—at which we’re expecting approximately 4,000 meeting professionals, suppliers and experts in meetings and events—is similar to ASAE in that it presents us the opportunity to roll out the red carpet and show thousands of important decision-makers what Salt Lake offers as a meeting, convention and event destination. As with ASAE, the attending meeting professionals represent thousands of annual meetings and billions of dollars in delegate spending, and can help further shape the future of the hospitality industry in Salt Lake for years to come.

And it’s important to note that the attendees represent the full spectrum of meetings, conventions and events, including corporate, association, specialty, expo and sports, meaning all aspects of our community’s event infrastructure have the opportunity to be showcased, including the Salt Palace, our hotels, and all of the sporting venues throughout Salt Lake County. It is for this reason I encourage you and your team to go to the Connect website to find out all you can about the event, and welcome all Connect attendees with the warmth and hospitality that’s become synonymous with our community.

I’d also like to introduce you to an exciting new series we’re producing and featuring on our website, “Salt of the Earth: The People and Places of Salt Lake.” The video blog series is designed to give viewers an in-depth look at some of the individuals and places that are uniquely Salt Lake, such as Jason Stock, Red Iguana and Ken Sanders, with more blogs and videos featuring iconic Salt Lake individuals rolling out monthly. Please subscribe to our blog so that you can keep up with what we’re doing and producing on behalf of the greater Salt Lake community, and enjoy!

Scott Beck


Utah’s Only Fully Transferable Season Pass

Purchase one or more Ski Utah Gold Passes for your company and share The Greatest Snow on Earth with clients, colleagues and cohorts. Go ahead, be THAT boss! 




Upcoming Conventions: The Financial Forecast

Visit Salt Lake has developed occupancy forecasting models by using STR Analytics daily hotel data. STR Analytics produces a ‘Daily Trend Report’ (DTR). The DTR is a report of hotels’ daily percentage occupancy, average daily rate, and resulting RevPAR. Visit Salt Lake has purchased a subscription to DTR for Salt Lake in two sets. One for total Salt Lake County (approx. 18,000 rooms), and the other for the Salt Lake County Convention District (“SLCD,” approx. 6,400 rooms). By simple interpolation, we derive the data set for Salt Lake hotels that are located outside the SLCD (approx. 11,600 rooms).

VSL has DTR information from January 1, 2012, to the present. Hotels in the SLCD are located in the downtown area, and 98% of their hotel reservation systems are directly linked to STR Analytics. This enables STR to produce its DTR with a high degree of accuracy and provides reliable insight into the effects of events in Salt Lake. Approximately 80% of the hotels inside Salt Lake County but outside of the SLCD link their reservation systems to STR Analytics. The other hotels participate in surveys conducted by STR.

The graph above shows hotel occupancy forecasts for October 2018. Occupancy forecasts are estimated by the number of convention attendees, day-of-week, seasonality, and location.

There are two graphs for each forecasted month:

  • Hotel occupancy inside the SLCD
  • Hotel occupancy outside the SLCD

The graphs also show historic year-over-year occupancy rates, convention dates, and claimed convention attendance.

The Utah Tourism Industry Association and the Utah Office of Tourism, in partnership with Visit Salt Lake, are proud to present the

2018 Utah Tourism Conference,

October 9 – 11, 2018,

at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center.

The annual Utah Tourism Conference brings together the tourism industry, state leaders, agencies and travel experts to explore the latest trends and opportunities for our industry. Attendees will leave with actionable takeaways, feeling connected, inspired and ready to implement new strategies in their work.

Please visit the UTIA conference webpage for the latest information on registration, updated schedule, speakers list, sponsor opportunities, and hotel booking.

Ken Sanders - Salt of the Earth: People and Places of Salt Lake

Ken Sanders is the literal definition of Salt of the Earth. A familiar face on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow, local activist, Monkey Wrenching apologist, friend of Edward Abbey, vinyl enthusiast, and librarian of Utah ephemera, Ken is the kind of person that creates honest community. Whether you’ve walked the stacks at Ken Sanders Rare Book Shop, or you’ve heard Ken rap off his favorite books on Doug Fabrizio’s Radio West, or you’ve just seen his impressive beard around town, you know that Ken is a true Salt Lake character.


Utah's LGBTQ Community

Hot on the heels of Utah’s largest Pride Festival, the University of Utah was ranked as the second most LGBTQ-friendly schools in the country. Like some of the schools on the list, the University of Utah offers both LGBTQ scholarships and inclusive housings. The U also has the LGBT Resource Center, which established an open and safe environment for students. Along with building closer bonds with their peers, students can use the center's space for academic support.

Rice-Eccles Stadium was also home to the LoveLoud Festival—a concert event created by Imagine Dragons’ front man Dan Reynolds to raise awareness, support and money for at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths. The concert brought in more than 300,000 people and raised $1 million to benefit local and national LGBTQ charities. The event has received so much support in Utah that Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox named July 28, 2018, as “LoveLoud Day in Utah.” “You’re not different and we love you anyway,” Cox said. “We love you, period. Full stop, end of story.” 

The event included musical performances by Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees front man Tyler Glenn, EDM star Zedd, and Lincoln Park’s Mike Shinoda, among other acts, as well as remarks by Apple CEO Tim Cook, Lt. Gov. Cox, and Steve and Barb Young.

Salt Lake's Olympic Spirit

The 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City brought a buzz that was unprecedented in a state known for its sobriety. Every citizen found a spirit and sense of local pride beyond anything they'd ever known, and volunteers lined up in droves to get in on the action. Facilities were erected. People assembled. A flaming cauldron and sculptural arch took shape on the hillside above downtown, visible from all over the valley. Over a decade later, locals and visitors alike can enjoy all the facilities developed for those 2002 Games. Each venue remains in place and has been repurposed and is available for everyone from local schoolkids to professional athletes to use. Each place is both a monument to mind-blowing athleticism and a resource for those who want to experience the thrill of the Games firsthand.


Tip of the Month - VSL Events

When was the last time you attended a VSL event? If you can’t remember, it’s time to engage in one of your key partner benefits: Visit Salt Lake Events.

We host a variety of tourism-related educational and networking opportunities designed to expose your business to our other members and learn more about the hospitality industry. 

Coming up is our Member Connection at Mountain West Hard Cider on August 8th, providing you the opportunity to mix and mingle with your fellow members and Visit Salt Lake staff. Also, Monthly Member Trainings are group settings where VSL member resources are reviewed and tips on how to maximize the value of your membership are shared while highlighting best practices when using the Member Portal.

Invitations are sent by email about two weeks prior to each event. A current list of scheduled 2018 events can be seen at www.visitsaltlake.com/rsvp/. Be sure to check back often for updates.

Interested in hosting an event? Contact VSL’s Partner Development for more information.


Featured Member Highlight - Fear Factory

We certainly have some fearsome VSL members, but none so much as the Fear Factory. Think this business is only active over Halloween? Think again! Besides providing all-star scare experiences over the Halloween season, Fear Factory offers public paranormal investigations and ghost tours on a regular basis throughout the year. And, the Apocalypse World Tour just made a pass through Salt Lake hosting their tactical live action zombie event at the Fear Factory. One of the significant events in the “haunting” business is The Legendary Haunt Tour that visits a different city each year touring attractions that have achieved “legendary” status within the haunted attraction industry, the media, and the public. Salt Lake and the Fear Factory will become one of the select few to host this prestigious tour in 2018. So be forewarned, there’s a whole community out there that call themselves “hauntrepreneurs” that will be descending on Salt Lake in November for this celebrated tour at our very own Fear Factory!  

Mollie & Ollie

Meet Our New Members!

Upcoming Member Events:



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