Canada East Chapter

December 13 2012

Utah: A recreational paradise for groups of all sizes

Jennifer N. Dienst

Once again named the No. 1 state for business and growth by Forbes magazine, Utah is also making a name for itself as a prime meetings destination. After all, the state’s extensive variety of group venues combined with its many options for outdoor recreation, cultural arts, and excellent dining and nightlife add up to a meeting experience that attendees will remember for years to come.

The “Meet in Utah” statewide cooperative program, the first program of its type to be introduced in the state, makes it easy for planners to select the right venues and off-site activities for their meeting. The “Meet in Utah” partnership includes nine CVBs - Logan, Ogden, Davis Area, Salt Lake, Park City, Heber Valley, Utah Valley, Cedar City–Brian Head, and St. George - and no matter what destination planners choose, they will find a smorgasbord of recreational activities within a short drive of their chosen meeting facility. Skiing and snowboarding at 14 world-class ski resorts, rafting in the Green and Colorado Rivers, hiking and mountain biking in one of 21 national and state parks, and fishing in a seemingly limitless number of lakes and streams are just a few of the options. Groups with a special interest in cultural attractions will favor Northern Utah for its eclectic mix of theater productions, concerts, art galleries, and museums, while Southern Utah is a favorite with groups of all kinds because of Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks.

Whether it’s a convention of 20,000-plus attendees or a secluded mountain retreat for 20, Utah’s diverse array of venues and amenities enable planners to check off everything they have on their wish list for a productive meeting.

For more information, visit meetinutah.com to submit a request for proposal to any or all of Meet in Utah’s partners.

Davis County

Bring out your meeting’s adventurous side

Groups that convene in Davis County - where business truly meets adventure - will always remember their meeting experience in a destination that epitomizes the best of natural attractions and urban amenities.

Get the adventure started at Antelope Island, where attendees can float in the serene waters of the Great Salt Lake, horseback- ride along the beach, or view an array of wildlife, from herds of antelope to free-roaming bison. Golf enthusiasts can practice their swing at one of the county’s 10 courses, and more than 10 ski resorts are all under an hour away from the Davis Conference Center in Lay ton and its surrounding hotels.

The Davis Conference Center is better than ever following a $10-million expansion that added 38,000 square feet of space, including a 17,000-square-foot exhibit hall and more than 10,000 square feet of contiguous meeting and prefunc tion space. The center now offers a total of 70,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space.

On the accommodations side, a wide range of options makes finding the right hotel a snap. Groups will find more than 1,700 guest rooms in the area, 650 of which are within walking distance of the Davis Conference Center, including the new 107-room Home2 Suites by Hilton - only the second built in the United States. Of the area’s 350 restaurants, 90 are within walking distance of the conference center, forming a true “hospitality zone” where attendees can find anything from fine dining to a casual café.

Start planning a meeting today with the Davis Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, whose services department can assist with everything from group reservations to offsite dining.

For more information: Davis Are a Convention and Visitors Bureau; (888) 777-9771; davis.travel

Visit Salt Lake

More to discover in the Crossroads of the West

Salt Lake is in the midst of a destination-wide renaissance with the recent opening of two museums, a massive $2-billion redevelopment project, and a new solar-energy installation that makes meeting in the destination an even more eco-friendly experience.

Directly across the street from the Salt Palace Convention Center, City Creek is a new 23-acre, mixed-use development made up of 90-plus retail stores, restaurants, and more. Besides earning LEED Silver certification for its sustainable design, City Creek is unique for its retractable roofs that allow pedestrians to visit the outdoor shopping center yearround. Combined with the recent openings of the Natural History Museum of Utah and The Leonardo, it’s clear that Salt Lake is in the midst of an urban renewal.

Sure to set a new standard for sustainable meeting venues, the Salt Palace Convention Center’s new rooftop solar-panel installation debuted this past May. The 1.65-megawatt installation, which will produce 17 percent of the center’s annual needs, is part of a larger destination-wide goal to install a total of 10 megawatts of solar power on as many county- owned facilities as possible.

For more information: Call (800) 541-4955 or visit visitsaltlake.com.

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