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Jan. 27, 2012

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  Economic Review  
Jeff Edwards President's Message
EDCUtah Welcomes New Mayors to Board of Directors; Major Events in Utah

As we start a new year, we welcome two new mayors to our Board of Directors: Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell and South Jordan Mayor Scott L. Osborne. Mayor Caldwell replaces outgoing Mayor Matthew Godfrey, while Mayor Osborne replaces Mayor Kent Money. We appreciate the service and support of Mayors Godfrey and Money and wish them well in their new endeavors.

We look forward to working with Mayors Caldwell and Osborne. They, along with our other board members, will be invited to participate in what we call our "EDCUtah 101" program, which is a training event that we do two or three times a year for board members, to teach them about business development procedures and how they can get involved in economic development.

State of the State
Shifting themes, on Wednesday, Governor Gary R. Herbert gave his State of the State address, emphasizing his focus on growing the state's economy and funding growth and innovation in Utah's education system. His proposed budget contains an additional $111 million for public schools and a modest pay raise for teachers. We welcome his leadership on both fronts and believe the unprecedented level of cooperation that occurs between the Governor and our Republican and Democratic leaders is one of the key reasons Utah is on such solid footing and stands out nationally. See our Newslinks section of this newsletter for media coverage of Governor Herbert's address.

Sundance Film Festival
Speaking of media coverage…if you have been following the news this past week, you are well aware of two major annual events: the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market and the Sundance Film Festival. Both events have substantial impacts on Utah's economy.

Each year the Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) at the University of Utah surveys attendees at the Sundance Film Festival and publishes a report about the Festival's economic impact. Of last year's Festival, the BEBR says that when the economic impacts of the Sundance Institute are combined with the impacts of nonresident spending during the annual event, the Festival supported 1,605 jobs in Utah, generated nearly $35 million in earnings for residents and contributed $70.9 million in gross state product.

Further, approximately two thirds of attendees are from out-of-state. According to the BEBR report, slightly more than half of those nonresident Festival attendees indicated they would visit Utah again during the next twelve months. As the Festival continues to grow in popularity, we remain excited and hopeful that its economic impact will continue to grow as well.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market
Meanwhile, at the Salt Palace Convention Center, this year's Outdoor Retailer Winter Market set an attendance record, with 21,000 pre-registered attendees. The Market generated an estimated $20 million for Utah's economy.

Salt Lake City has hosted the Outdoor Retailer Markets since 1996. During that time, the Salt Palace Convention Center has been expanded twice to accommodate the Market's growth. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that nearly 1,000 manufacturers displayed their products at the Winter Market. Approximately 10-12 percent of the exhibitors are new every year, as more and more outdoor product companies want to be part of the show.

The Outdoor Retailer Markets are Utah's largest convention and we are hopeful they will remain in Utah. The Market's outdoor industry leaders and Salt Lake City hosts will soon consider the future of this ever-expanding event.

Today's Economic Review also includes links to many of the ED-related news stories from the past week. As always, if you have comments, suggestions or topics you'd like to see in the Economic Review, please contact us by clicking the "Comments" link on the bottom of this page. Enjoy!

Jeff Edwards

Jeff Edwards
President and CEO

Calendar

Jan. 31
18th Annual Utah Commercial Real Estate Symposium (Hilton Salt Lake City Center)

Feb. 8
28th Information Technology Conference (Eccles Conference Center, USU)

Feb. 15
Utah Energy Development Summit (Salt Palace)

Feb. 21-24
Technology Venture Development Executive Education Seminar (University of Utah)

Mar. 28-29
2nd Annual Principle-Centered Leadership Conference (Eccles Conference Center, USU)

April 10
The Governor's Utah Economic Summit (Grand America Hotel)

Oct. 16-19
Technology Venture Development Executive Education Seminar (University of Utah)

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The EDCUtah Economic Review is a weekly publication of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. It is distributed to EDCUtah partners and selected other government and civic organizations interested in Utah's economic development.

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edcUTAH

In the News

Utah tops national economic report
For the fourth straight year, Utah ranks no. 1 for economic outlook among all 50 states, according to a new report.
(Deseret News)

Utah ranks 10th for business tax climate
Utah has the 10th best business tax climate among the U.S. states, according to the Tax Foundation, a Washington-based watchdog group.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Herbert touts Utah's economy, blasts feds in State of the State speech
"Government must create an environment where free enterprise can succeed and then get out of the way," he said, adding that he won't support any tax increases.
(Deseret News) (Salt Lake Tribune) (Standard-Examiner)

Cache OKs Goldfish cracker plant expansion
A plan to expand a Pepperidge Farms plant near Richmond and double its Goldfish production is getting the green light.
(Standard-Examiner)

Do Gateway closures signal shift to City Creek?
The Gateway shopping center in downtown Salt Lake City has lost several tenants in recent weeks, including children's clothier Gymboree and apparel retailers Lane Bryant, American Eagle and Express.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

A Year of Decisions to Propel the Utah Economy
2012 can be -- and we believe it will be -- a remarkable year for our state. In just a few months, downtown Salt Lake City will celebrate the opening of the City Creek Center. Our transformation from fortress malls to a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, urban center will be complete.
(Utah Pulse) (Salt Lake Tribune)

End of munitions destruction in Utah means loss of 1,400 jobs, federal money
Utah's massive chemical weapons stockpile is gone and along with it federal funding that helped pay for sophisticated emergency response centers.
(Standard-Examiner)

Business Resource Center billed as one-stop shopping
Federal data recently ranked Utah County third in the nation for job creation, and an arsenal of resources that Utah Valley University pooled together in its new Business Resource Center could have something to do with that.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Army wants second launch site for drones at Dugway
The U.S. Army wants to add a launch site at Dugway Proving Ground for drones that would fly south 150 miles over the Snake Valley in western Utah and back to the Army base.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Utah higher education must adapt or die, Harvard business innovator tells legislators
What does the demise of Geneva Steel have to do with the future of Harvard University — or for that matter, Utah's system of higher education?
s(Deseret News)

Southern Utah University gets $4 million pledge to advance science
Southern Utah University has announced the largest single gift the institution has received its 115-year history, a $4 million pledge in honor of one of the Cedar City's school's most accomplished alumni.
(Utah Pulse)

Major motion picture studio coming to Utah
While Sundance brings the stars to Park City every year, the city could now become a premier film destination, too.
(Deseret News)

Inaugural Conference on Electric Roads & Vehicles promises a bold approach to electric transportation
Electricity has a unique capability to transform the way we travel, and the market has seen a push for increased development of electric transport technologies in recent years.
(Utah Pulse)

More people working in Utah in December
The number of Utahns employed in December jumped 3 percent compared to the same time last year.
(Deseret News)

Chamber to lawmakers: Stay civil, keep immigration law
Utah's falling unemployment rate shows that the state's balanced approach to illegal immigration is working, and should not be repealed, according to state business leaders.
(Deseret News)

Utah hotels ranked among best in U.S. by travel website
Several Utah hotels have been named among the best in the nation.
(Deseret News)

Utah economy on pace to recover jobs lost to downturn
Utah's job engine jumped into high gear in December as employment growth surged to a four-year high, while the jobless rate tumbled to its lowest point in three years.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Companies with Utah ties make Fortune's best-to-work-for list
One Utah-based company and several others with sizable operations in the state made the ranks of Fortune magazine's 2012 list of the Top 100 companies for which to work.
(Salt Lake Tribune)