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Visit Salt Lake
Member News
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January 2020

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Happy New Year!

As 2020 rings into focus, we’d like to thank you for helping make 2019 another record-setting year in our performance measures. It is you, our members, so often exceeding the expectations of our guests that has kept us being so successful for an entire decade.

As you may know, we are kicking off 2020 in a big way that will have a lasting impact on our community and Visit Salt Lake’s efforts to fill the Salt Palace with larger groups spending even more money in our community. Yes, after years of planning and negotiating, we will be breaking ground on the much-anticipated convention hotel at noon on Friday, January 10th, in the south foyer of the Salt Palace. In addition to the groundbreaking ceremony, Taylor Vriens, our incoming Chair, will emcee a news conference with the players that are driving this convention hotel to a reality: Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, Randy Okland of Okland Construction, Roger Zampell of Portman Holdings, Laird Heikens of Hensel Phelps and Peter Sears of Hyatt Hotels. If you’re interested in hearing more details about the project, we encourage you to attend.

Salt Lake just gets more exciting: a convention hotel slated to open in 2022; a stunning, $3.6 billion airport on track to open next September; the $110 million Eccles Theater selling out all the time; and a City Creek Center buzz that has been going strong in the downtown core since opening in the not-too-distant past (2012). Add to these landmark investments the renaissance going on at The Gateway, the intriguing list of restaurants and bars thriving north, south, east and west with all sorts of new urban housing developments and it’s easy to see that Salt Lake is doing quite well.

So all the best for a happy and prosperous next decade, and thank you so much for your support!

Cliff Doner
Interim President/CEO

March YOY Hotel Occupancy Forecast

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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 March 2020. 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 Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake

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The Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake

The nonprofit Sundance Institute presents the Sundance Film Festival from January 23 through February 2. Catch world premieres, panels with industry leaders, live music, immersive VR experiences, the annual awards party, and so much more at venues in Park City, Salt Lake City, and the Sundance Mountain Resort. Utah residents get early access to individual ticket sales from noon to 8 p.m. MT on January 16, so visit, set up your account, and make sure you don’t miss out on discovering 2020’s buzziest independent films. (Don’t want to wait till then? Passes are still available, and they offer priority access.)

This year’s lineup includes debut features from exciting first-time directors as well as new work from Festival veterans like Dee Rees, Benh Zeitlin, and Miranda July. There’s truly something for everyone, whether you’re into the genre-bending chills and thrills of the Midnight block, inventive and incisive documentaries on timely subjects, cutting-edge animated shorts, or unforgettable experimental projects from New Frontier. The schedule is out now in the Festival’s digital program guide and on the Sundance Film Festival mobile app, where you can find out more about each project and start making your must-see list. Keep checking for more announcements in the lead-up to the Festival.

Experience the Best of the Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake

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Experience the Best of the Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake

Celebrities, lux lounges, independent films, glistening snowflakes, a grand mountain backdrop, and Robert Redford­–what do all these things have in common–the famous Sundance Film Festival. Salt Lake City is bustling with lounges and premiers during the annual beloved fest, happening Thursday, January 23 ­through Sunday, February 2. With six theaters and three noteworthy lounges, you can get lost in the exciting Sundance Film Festival atmosphere while enjoying the perks and conveniences of Salt Lake City like a local.

The Gateway

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Taste What's New
at The Gateway

Salt Lake's premier dining and entertainment destination has gotten a whole lot tastier. Experience a string of new restaurants and bars you can't find anywhere else, like Punch Bowl Social & Utah's first food hall, HallPass. Plus, new amenities, including local grocer, The Store Fine Foods Deli and Market. We have hot-pots to ramen and hot chicken to waffles. If you think there's nowhere good to eat, you haven't been to The Gateway in a while.

Added Exposure

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Tip of the Month:
Added Exposure

Many of our members have asked for additional exposure beyond the web listings and opportunities included with every membership. So we went to the drawing board to see how we can help. Here are three additional ways to explore added value with Visit Salt Lake.

Featured Members: Each month our team looks to you to share what new and exciting offerings your business brings to the table. Don’t forget to communicate with our team if there is a new chef to hear about, a guest choreographer, a milestone anniversary approaching or other thrilling news to share with our community.

Upcoming Events: Take a look at the ‘Upcoming Events’ section at the bottom of this newsletter. If your business has a public event that is located in Salt Lake County and is posted on we are happy to feature your event where applicable. Send your details to Miranda Maisto and we will do our best to share your information.

Advertising: Lastly, don’t forget about advertising opportunities on, our newsletters and the Official Visitors Guide. Our Director of Partner Relations, Elizabeth Brown, can help you craft the perfect ad campaign within your budget.

Utah Sports Hall of Fame

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Featured Member: Sports Hall of Fame

Are you a sports history buff? Are you looking for a place to get your fix for all things Utah sports related? Then look no further than the Utah Sports Hall of Fame at City Creek Center, where the goal is “to celebrate and preserve Utah’s storied sports heritage.”

Featuring over 50 years of Utah sports history, visitors can see photos and artifacts including autographed jerseys, trophies and assorted memorabilia including the middleweight world championship belt from West Jordan-based boxer Gene Fullmer, Frank Layden’s 1984 NBA Coach of the Year trophy and a 1997 Utah Jazz NBA Finals Ball signed by Jerry Sloan.

Other features of this gem of a museum include specialized sections about well-known Hall of Famers like Ron McBride and LaVell Edwards, a trivia game video screen, and a virtual reality area where viewers can experience a ride on a bobsled at the Olympic Park in Park City. The museum also honors high school players, coaches and even referees.

Located at 99 South West Temple, the museum is open 10 – 9 Monday through Saturday and is free to the public.

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SLC Food Walking Tour

Meet Our New Members!

Upcoming Member Events:



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Upcoming Events

Jan 3 Monster Jam Triple Threat Series
Now - Jan 4 2019 Luminaria: Experience the Light
Jan 6 Salt Lake Tribune Sundance Preview 2020
Now - Jan 11 Seussical Presented by Hale Centre Theatre
Jan 11 Rio Tinto Best of Utah NCAA Gymnastics Meet
Now - May 3 Pompeii: The Exhibition


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