Letter From Scott Beck, Salt Lake's Best LGBTQ Bars & More
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Visit Salt Lake Destination News

Jun 21, 2024

Winter is Here — Happy Holidays!

What a difference a year makes! At this time last year we were lamenting the lack of early season snow as our resorts were gearing up for the winter season. This year, Mother Nature has graced again us with an early season bounty, and the skiing and riding in the Cottonwood Canyons is fantastic with close to mid-winter conditions. I hope this is great news for skiers and non-skiers alike as so much of our tourism economy relies on “The Greatest Snow On Earth” and the draw to experience all that Ski City has to offer both in the mountains and in the valley.

This winter, I encourage you to explore the Cottonwood Canyons and experience the their wonders, be it on skis, a snowboard, snowshoes or a simple hike in the woods. Couple those opportunities with the phenomenal urban amenities we enjoy every day—now in all their Holiday splendor—and you quickly realize we really do live in an incredibly unique community allowing for a different adventure every day. 

In addition to taking advantage of all Salt Lake has to offer, I encourage you to enjoy this special time of year with your loved ones. Take a stroll downtown and enjoy the festivities at City Creek, the lights of Temple Square, the artistic beauty of Ballet West’s The Nutcracker, a show at the beautiful Eccles Theater or at the Hale Centre Theater, check out ZooLights at Hogle Zoo, or cheer on the Jazz as they continue their quest for the playoffs. Just get out, explore and enjoy! 

And happily sounding like a broken record, the Holidays Season puts the wrap on yet another great year and I want to thank you, our valued Members and partners, for your continued support of our efforts to market and sell Salt Lake. Final 2018 numbers are not yet in, but it appears we again had a record year across the vast majority of our performance measures and goals, something we at Visit Salt Lake could not have accomplished without your backing. 

Thank you for all you do, and Happy Holidays to you and yours!


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 February 2019. 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.

Salt Lake's LGBTQ Bars

Salt Lake serves as a bastion of progressiveness, playfulness, and pride. In fact, the city's been listed by The Advocate magazine as one of the Ten Queerest Cities in America (gayer than L.A.—take that, Southern Cal!). The city holds one of the biggest and best-attended Pride parades and festivals around, with Pride Week festivities attracting tens of thousands of participants who light up the downtown scene in full rainbow-hued regalia. Of course, it doesn't have to be parade week to celebrate pride and inclusivity. Check out a few of our favorite "official" gay bars and gay-friendly bars—keeping in mind that, in this town, it needn't be a "gay bar" for everyone to fit right in.


Tip of the Month - Logging In

With the VSL website redesign we felt it was important to refresh our members in how to access the Member Portal from VisitSaltLake.com.

First, you will navigate to the ‘Members’ page which has been relocated to the footer of our website. This can be easily accessed from any page across our site.

Once on the Members webpage you can navigate through a variety of resources including the “Members Only” link. From here you will see a large, gray box, ‘Access the Members Portal,’ that will allow you to login and make updates to your listing, view the convention calendar, gain access to additional resources and more.

Finally, a friendly reminder that the Member Portal is most compatible with Chrome or FireFox. If you need login assistance or have questions on the resources available to your business please do not hesitate to contact Miranda Maisto.

Featured Member Highlight - The Shops of Sotuh Town

The Shops of South Town, a VSL member, has again created an atmosphere of a wintry Hogsmeade village with its event, Christmas in the Wizarding World. Touted as a “family-fun Harry Potter-themed retail experience,” it offers a selection of Wizarding World merchandise that includes an extensive wand assortment and experiential activities such as an opportunity to practice your Quidditch skills. After last year’s successful debut, Christmas in the Wizarding World was recognized with a MAXI Award during the 2018 Global Awards sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers (an award recognizing retail real estate industry’s most innovative events, programs and technologies that add value to shopping centers). Christmas in the Wizarding World runs through January 21, so take some time to check out this unique holiday event and get a little holiday shopping done.


Meet Our New Members!

Upcoming Member Events:




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