Letter From Scott Beck, Angela H. Brown, & More
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Visit Salt Lake Destination News

Jul 23, 2024

Scott Beck

Plans for a Successful Future 

During our 3rd Quarter Board of Trustees’ meeting held last week, VSL’s leadership team presented our 2019 Budget and our Comprehensive Sales and Marketing Plan, which includes three key initiatives. I think it’s safe to say we were all prepared for a down year in 2018 due to the fact that we were not hosting Outdoor Retailer—our largest single client—for the first time in 22 years. However, our collective hospitality community showed its exceptional ability to quickly react and adapt to the evolution of the market, turning a lackluster forecast into not only a good year, but potentially another record year. 

This agile and nimble nature serves our community well as our market continues to evolve. To ensure the continued long-term success of Salt Lake’s meeting, convention and leisure travel industry, the Visit Salt Lake team is focusing on three primary strategic initiatives in 2019: the implementation of Blueprint Salt Lake, a comprehensive “re-imagination” and redesign of the Salt Palace Visitor Center (downtown Salt Lake’s “community living room”) and the establishment of the Salt Lake Sports Alliance. 

Though these critical initiatives are at the forefront of VSL’s 2019 efforts, rest assured we will remain vigilant to the ever-changing landscape of our industry, adapting and acting accordingly to take full advantage of the opportunities presented. As 2018 is proving, the ability to quickly react is in our nature.  

As always, I thank you for your continued support and trust in our efforts to proactively create opportunities on behalf of our hospitality community, and react accordingly when required, to ensure our collective long-term success.


Scott Beck


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. 19,700 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. 13,300 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 December 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.



Angela H. Brown  Salt of the Earth

Angela H. Brown is the kind of person who reflects and creates culture, and she’s our most recent feature in our Salt of the Earth series. As a stereotype-breaking example of ‘born and raised in Salt Lake,’ Angela has made our city her home, and she’s helped engender the lesser-known side of the city’s underground culture. Angela has been running SLUG (Salt Lake Underground) Magazine for 18 years, and during that time the local publication has morphed from a barebones black-and-white punk rock mag to a full-color, high-design alternative magazine covering everything from local music and action sports to fashion, art, and beer. SLUG’s digital sibling, slugmag.com, has its finger so squarely on the pulse of Salt Lake’s underground scene, it’s difficult to tell whether it’s covering it or creating it.


Tip of the Month - Seasonal Marketing

As the weather changes, so does the information visitors are seeking. If you haven’t already, it’s time to change your summer photos to fall and winter, as well as the content on your web listing. You can update your listing to include seasonal keywords such as distance to the mountain resorts, holiday specials and activities.

Coupons can be made seasonal as well. Is your business trying to book holiday parties? What about special Veterans Day or Thanksgiving offerings? Now is the time to create these coupons and get the word out. Remember, coupons appear across the website, on your listing and some even straight to convention attendees' phones.

You can always update your web listing 24/7 in the Member Portal to maximize these benefits. 

If you have any questions, need a reminder on how to log into the Member Portal or need assistance with edits and/or coupons you can reach out to Miranda Maisto.

Featured Member Highlight - Hilton Salt Lake City Center

We love it when we hear from our members of unique, creative projects they are involved in, especially when it involves meeting professionals. The latest program the Hilton Salt Lake City Center offered their clients falls right into this category. As part of the company-wide “Meet with Purpose” program, an initiative to incorporate health, wellness and waste reduction into meetings at the Hilton, they hosted a “Puppies and Ice Cream” reception during Connect Marketplace. How can you go wrong with that combination?

Partnering with the Humane Society of Utah, they brought in three kittens and eight puppies to come play with the 150 guests that attended this event. And the best part? Six puppies and one kitten were adopted out to places like Kansas City, Chicago, and Phoenix. Hilton generously paid for all travel fees and foster fees for the animals prior to sending them to their forever homes. Kudos to the Hilton Salt Lake City Center for producing a heart-warming client event, while also providing a great benefit to the community!



Blue Lemon

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