Click bar above (Groupwise), or right-click an image (Outlook) for full content to display
Still Having Trouble?
View it in a Web Browser

Governor's Office of Economic Development

Utah Logo

Governor Gary R. Herbert
Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell

Spencer P. Eccles, Executive Director, GOED
Leigh von der Esch, Managing Director, UOT
Tracie Cayford, Deputy Director
David Williams, Deputy Director
Chad Davis, Newsletter Editor

November 19, 2009 e-UPDATE
  • Message From The Managing Director
  • In The News
  • UOT Welcomes New Board Members
  • Leigh von der Esch & Utah Film Commission Honored
  • Thank you, Partners

In The News

UK Travel Daily News Int'l
Arches #6 of Top 10 National Parks Worldwide
>> more

Los Angeles Times Travel
Early Bird Gets the Powder
>> more (pdf)

New York Times
A Rare Case of Homegrown Medicine (Story About Panguitch, UT)
>> more

Maxxa's Savvy Traveler News
Utah Ski Deals Heat Up
>> more (pdf)

Patchwork Parkway Stories
Utah Celebrates Its New National Scenic Byway
>> The Spectrum
>> ABC 4
>> Deseret News
>> Salt Lake Tribune

Deseret News
Utah Tourism Industry Has Been Dodging Blows
>> more

Salt Lake Tribune
Utah Ski Resort Bookings Picking Up for January and February
>> more

Tabernacle Choir, Leigh von der Esch, and Utah Film Commission Honored For Contributing to Common Good
>> more

Deseret News
Zion NP Wins Environmental Award
>> more

Salt Lake Tribune
Fall, Early Winter Bookings Pick Up At Mountain Resorts
>> more

SkyWest Magazine
Utah: Worthy of a Closeup
>> more (pdf)

From The Managing Director

Leigh von der EschBecause so many of you have asked for an update on the possibility of a new travel guide, I wanted to take this opportunity to do just that. We are, of course, in the process of looking at how to produce a new travel guide, which is our most important single fulfillment piece. Our last update of the guide will be three years old, and we are running out of this award-winning publication. We also need to update it as we recognize that numbers, Web sites, and basic information can change.
    In a time when we are all experiencing tighter budgets, and especially reduced marketing and operations budgets, we have come to the point where we need to rethink how we produce the travel guide.
    In the past five years, we have produced two issues of the redesigned travel guide with no advertising included. Prior to those productions, travel guides have had very limited, if any advertising. Utah is one of the few states to still have an ad-free guide. Our customers around the world have said how much they appreciate the fact that they can find the information readily in the guide because it is not interlaced with advertising. Nevertheless, we are faced with a new reality in budgeting for the guide, which may require that we include advertising. Many states are using a revenue sharing model to print their visitor guides, which is an option that UOT may have to consider.
    We are working to see if we can find a way to offset the printing as in the past. However, we are also looking at putting the travel guide out to bid at the beginning of December, which would no doubt include an advertising component. We have met with the director of the Utah Hotel and Lodging Association. UHLA is no longer printing a guide. Pinnacle Marketing has continued to move forward on a commercial publication of a housing and lodging guide for the state. We are happy to place this guide in welcome centers and our office on Capitol Hill.
    We believe we have enough guides to hold us until early summer. Our call center people are encouraging folks to go online and utilize the Web version and Adventure planner at We are seeing a steady increase in Web views and a slight decline in the ordering; nevertheless, there is no doubt the printed travel guide has been both a lure piece to the state as well as a tool for providing information. The guide is also very popular in our welcome centers and at trade shows around the world.
    Our timeframe for publication of the new guide is next summer. Should production of the travel guide require advertising to make it economically feasible, we will let our partners know immediately. We will continue to keep you informed in this newsletter and by e-mail or through meetings whenever possible. We are committed to producing the most alluring and effective travel guide for the benefit of our customers and our tourism partners around the state. While we have enjoyed the way we have produced it in the past, we may have to change how we publish the travel guide in the future. In the meantime, we want to collect changes now and continuously on any information you may need to promote your business, area, etc. Please e-mail Kelly Day at with your changes and updates.
    Please contact me if you have any questions or comments. We appreciate all you do!  Leigh von der Esch

Get Your 2010 Scenic Calendars

Calendar Cover

For calendar information or to go to our online order form, call (801) 538-1900, or >> click here


Super FAM

Super FAM

UOT's Rebecca Katz (top center) leads a mid-October tour for domestic media representatives in southeastern Utah

UOT Welcomes New Board Members/Leadership

Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert has appointed two new members and reappointed four others to the Board of Tourism Development. The 13-member policy board is located within the Utah Office of Tourism, an agency of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Board members oversee the state’s $7 million Tourism Marketing Performance Fund that is used to promote the state’s “Life Elevated” brand to out-of-state visitors.
    New to the Board of Tourism Development are Nathan Rafferty, the president of Ski Utah, who will represent the ski industry, and Joel Racker, the president and chief executive officer of the Utah Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, who will represent Utah, Summit, Juab, and Wasatch counties. Rafferty was communications director for Ski Utah for seven years before he was promoted to president in 2005. He’s a graduate of the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the Utah Valley CVB in March 2003, Racker was employed with Marriott International for 17 years. He received a degree in business management and marketing from Brigham Young University. Their appointments have been confirmed by the Senate.
    “Their vast knowledge of the tourism industry has been invaluable in our efforts to market Utah’s destinations and events to targeted domestic and international markets,” said Leigh von der Esch, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism.
    The board has selected Steve Lindburg as the chairman and Colin Fryer as the vice-chairman. Lindburg is general manager of the Hilton Salt Lake City Center and represents the Utah’s lodging industry on the board. Fryer, owner of the Red Cliffs Lodge and several other properties in Moab, was reappointed by the governor to his second term on the board. He represents Carbon, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Grand, and Uintah counties.
   Several other board members who were reappointed include: Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, who represents the Utah Association of Counties; Frank Jones, car rental industry representative; and Georgianna Knudson, who represents Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Rich, and Weber counties.
    The existing members of the tourism board are: Steve Burr, Hans Fuegi, Pam Hilton, John Holland, Bill Malone, and Jeff Robbins.

Envision Utah Honors Leigh von der Esch & Utah Film Commission,
and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Award PresentaDuring the 14th annual Envision Utah awards luncheon, Leigh von der Esch, the Utah Film Commission, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir were presented with the 2009 Common Good Award for outstanding service. Envision Utah is a non-profit, non partisan organization bringing together residents, elected officials, developers, conservationists, and business leaders to protect Utah's environment, economic strength, and quality of life. The award recognizes individuals or groups that have made significant contributions to the community.
   For 24 years, von der Esch has worked with the Utah Film Commission, first as commissioner then managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism.
    "We're very honored to be partnered with a group of individuals who, over the last 20 years, have done so much to craft a vision of where we should go in the future," said von der Esch.
    The Utah Film Commission was formed in 1974 and has since brought hundreds of movie and television productions to the state, among them films such as "Thelma & Louise" and "Star Trek."
    The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has received five gold and two platinum albums, two Peabodys, a Grammy, an Emmy, and the National Medal of Arts. It was lauded as "The World's Choir in remarks by choir president Mac Christensen.
    The event featured remarks from several Utah dignitaries, including Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell, and a keynote address by Reverend Carolyn Tanner Irish of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah.
    "The enrichment of our humanity, our spiritual aesthetic, and intellectual life offered by both the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Film Commission bring authentic goodness to everyone," Bishop Irish said. "I believe we are all connected and that the welfare of one affects the welfare of all."

Thank You, Partners!

ITB SingaporeVladivostockThanks to Charlie DeLorme, economic development director, San Juan County, for representing the state in Asia this past month. Charlie recently wrapped up a series of international travel trade development activities, staffing the Utah trade show booth at ITB Asia in Singapore (left image), as well as meeting with tour operators in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan; Korea; and Vladivostock, Russia (right).

As a member of Utah's economic development community, you have received this e-mail to be informed of tourism industry news and developments. If you wish to opt-out of this bi-monthly message, please reply to this e-mail with "UNSUBSCRIBE" in the subject line.