| President's Message
Rocket Lawyer Comes to Ogden
Perhaps you saw my email last week, where we announced that Rocket Lawyer will expand in Ogden, occupying 7,000 square feet of space in the Wells Fargo Building. The company will make an estimated capital expenditure of $250,000 and will initially hire 50 employees.
Rocket Lawyer provides legal plans that provide a simple and affordable way to personalize, share, print and e-sign important legal documents, a convenient legal calendar that outlines next steps, and access to hundreds of free legal help articles on a variety of legal topics.
This project received support from the Governor's Office of Economic Development, Weber County, Ogden City, Weber Applied Technology College, Arledge Partners and The Boyer Company. This is a great win for Ogden and we appreciate the help we received on this project.
EDCUtah continues to work a near-record level of projects and you can expect to receive additional announcements in the future as projects come to fruition. Further, as Utah's economy continues to strengthen, we expect our pipeline to remain robust. This is certainly an exciting time to be involved in economic development and we appreciate your support!
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!
President and CEO
Governor's 2012 Energy Development Summit Enjoys Overwhelming Response
The Governor's 2012 Energy Development Summit, held in Salt Lake City on Feb. 15, was such an overwhelming success that plans for the 2013 summit call for a regional event that will utilize a greater portion of the Salt Palace Convention Center in order to accommodate many more attendees, sponsors and exhibitors.
"The 2012 Energy Summit was an amazing event, with more than 1,000 attendees (including representatives from 21 states and 10 from Canada), 80 sponsors and 75 exhibitors," said Samantha Mary Julian, director of the Utah Office of Energy Development. "We knew the summit was necessary, but we were uncertain of the response we would get. As it turned out, the response was fantastic."
It was so fantastic, in fact, that more people wanted to attend and more businesses wanted to sponsor or exhibit than the first-of-its-kind Utah summit could accommodate. Hence, the plans for expanding next year's summit into a larger space in the Salt Palace. To make the 2013 summit a regional event, Julian said her office plans to invite the other energy offices from Utah's energy-producing neighbors to participate.
Energy Advisor Amanda Smith couldn't be more pleased with the event. "This was a great opportunity for people in academia, industry and government to learn from one another and cross pollinate on ideas for technology and transfer of technology to market, funding opportunities and creative solutions to address doing business on our public lands," she said.
Governor Herbert and Dr. Arun Majumdar
Between 800-900 attendees packed into the main hall for summit addresses by Gov. Herbert and U.S. Department of Energy Acting Under Secretary Dr. Arun Majumdar.
Gov. Herbert began his remarks by noting that the National Security Agency chose to locate its billion-dollar data center in Utah largely because of the state's abundant supply of low-cost electricity. "Utah's stable and affordable energy gives us a major competitive advantage over other states, and is one of the major reasons companies are choosing to relocate and expand in our state," he said.
Gov. Herbert noted the creation of a partnership between the state's private sector and major universities to create an "energy research triangle" that is launching Utah into a new era of energy technology innovation. "I have often said that Utah's greatest natural resource is its people. I firmly believe that no state has a spirit of innovation or a culture of industry to match Utah. Hence, Utah will be the incubator of technologies that will allow us to extract, conserve, and produce energy in a more efficient, safe, and environmentally-friendly way than we ever have before," he told summit attendees.
Securing Utah's energy future means that not only will the state continue to be in position to export energy, but it will also be poised to export homegrown energy technology, Gov. Herbert further explained.
In the last fiscal year, direct revenues to the State of Utah from the energy sector totaled more than $267,500,000, according to Gov. Herbert. That money was used to fund critical needs like education, transportation and human services. "The energy sector is a vital part of our state's economy, and a vital part of the lives of Utahns in so many ways," he said, noting that the energy sector directly employs approximately 16,400 Utahns. Those jobs pay, on average, 191 percent of the state average wage, while 2.5 percent of Utah's total wages are from energy jobs. Further, there are over 800 energy firms currently doing business in Utah.
Julian says Dr. Arun Majumdar's visit to Utah recognizes the state's important role in energy development and his breadth of experience and vision for the future set an exciting tone for the summit. U.S. Senator Mike Lee also spoke to summit attendees via a live video feed from Washington. Lee spoke about conventional energy and land issues that are affecting Utah and the nation. Land issues continue to be a hindrance to Governor Herbert's goal of energy independence for Utah, since much of the state's natural resources must be extracted from federally managed public lands.
In addition to the addresses by Gov. Herbert, Dr. Majumdar and Sen. Lee, summit attendees were treated to 20 breakout sessions lead by experts from industry, academia and government. Approximately 550 attendees packed into the various breakout sessions, which covered topics ranging from conventional, unconventional, renewable and energy efficiency development opportunities. While all of the breakout sessions were well attended, Julian said summit attendees expressed a great deal of interest in alternative energy resources -- such as biofuels, oil shale and oil sands, renewable energy and industrial energy efficiency.
"The level of participation and interest gave my office insight into areas where we can provide additional information and follow-up," she explained. "Moreover, the summit proved to be an effective tool for promoting energy development consistent with Governor Herbert's plan for Utah to be an energy producing state, to be energy self-sufficient, to advocate responsible energy resource development, to promote policies and practices for improved air quality, and to aggressively pursue technology innovations in energy efficiency and development. Based upon our experience from this first summit, we expect next year's regional summit to be even better."
Game Developer's Conference (San Francisco, CA)
EDCUtah Quarterly Investor Update (Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield, Salt Lake City)
EDCUtah Board of Trustees Meeting (TBD)
JEC Composites Show & Conference (Paris, France)
2nd Annual Principle-Centered Leadership Conference (Eccles Conference Center, USU)
The Governor's Utah Economic Summit (Grand America Hotel)
Utah League of Cities and Towns Mid-Year Conference (St. George)
Industrial Asset Management Council (Austin, TX)
ICSC RECon Tradeshow (Las Vegas, NV)
SAMPE Tradeshow (Baltimore, MD)
Technology Venture Development Executive Education Seminar (University of Utah)
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In the News
Salt Lake downtown retail rising
Downtown is buzzing with excitement about the recent opening of Harmons on February 15 and City Creek Center on March 22. Both are amazing additions to downtown and will benefit the entire region.
(Utah Pulse) (Salt Lake Tribune)
Olympics gave Utah a five-ring economic boost
As big as they were, the 2002 Winter Games did not alter Utah's economic landscape.
(Salt Lake Tribune) (Deseret News)
Beehive State's exports to China grew by 184 percent in 2011
When Utah Gov. Gary Herbert visited senior officials in China last April, he didn't bring the standard diplomatic gifts. He brought something better: four basketballs signed by the Utah Jazz team.
Reclamation success: Salt Lake City warehouse gets a new life
Originally built as a fireproof industrial warehouse in the early 1900s, the brick-and-concrete structure at 320 W. 200 South in Salt Lake City was later subdivided into small offices, with the lower floors sometimes providing refuge for vagrants.
(Salt Lake Tribune)
The hidden tax increase you never see coming
When the governor, legislative leadership and the Chamber come out against a tax increase, you can usually feel pretty secure. But there's an interesting issue on Utah's Capitol Hill this year, and it has everything to do with the cost—and potentially the availability—of your health insurance.
Economist says Utah housing market is beginning to look up
The chief economist for the National Association of Realtors says Utah's housing market is improving, and the trend likely will continue.
Proposed Syracuse industrial park the focus of upcoming panel discussion
A development proposal for what would be Syracuse's first light industrial park is the focus of a March 1 panel discussion designed to give area residents access to experts who can answer questions.
Herbert says tax cut will be boon for small businesses
Chris Buckingham said his goal at Canyon Craft Cabinets has been to build a business that would be "an asset to the community and provide a modest living to my family."
(Salt Lake Tribune)
Sephora, other stores, are hiring for City Creek Center
Cosmetics and perfume retailer Sephora, apparel retailers Forever 21 and Banana Republic, and tea shop Teavana are all hiring for new stores in City Creek Center.
(Salt Lake Tribune)
Clearfield readies ATK incentive
Officials moved forward with plans to give a local company $14 million in incentives to expand its facilities and bring in an estimated 800 jobs.
Developer threatens to shut down Geneva project
The hope for the future that came with Anderson Development's grand plans for the massive Geneva Steel property may be extinguished.
Utah's Trolley Square surviving in face of challenges
Trolley Square has survived it all: a shooting rampage that left five dead, the Great Recession and even a legal battle to keep one of its most important tenants, natural-foods behemoth Whole Foods.
(Salt Lake Tribune)
Salomon to open first U.S. store in Utah's City Creek Center
Salomon USA said Friday it plans to open its first U.S. store in City Creek Center, the new downtown Salt Lake City shopping center opening next month.
(Salt Lake Tribune)
CERV conference draws international crowds
The Utah State University-sponsored Conference on Electric Roads and Vehicles (CERV) held at the Newpark Hotel this week was the first of its kind, drawing in participants at the international level to discuss wireless electric-powered transportation.
(Park Record) (Seattle Times)
Futura Industries plans $23 million expansion to its Utah aluminum processing facility
"Futura Industries in Clearfield, Utah will invest an estimated $23 million to expand its plant that turns heated raw aluminum into parts used in various industries ranging from automotive parts to flooring, home improvement to fitness equipment manufacturing," a spokesman for the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development said.
(Area Development Online)