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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Salt Lake Brands Itself As 'Ski City USA'

Salt Lake City and its adjacent skiresorts have launched a new marketing campaign aimed at branding the area "Ski City USA."

One key tagline: "Once you've stayed in Ski City, you'll never stay in a ski town." has this news report about the promotion. Below is video from that report, and below that is a new video spot released for the Ski City USA campaign.

Here are a few excerpts from the KSL article:

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, speaking at an event to launch the campaign, said the Ski City USA not only focuses on the canyons' profound beauty and recreational opportunities, it highlights the dining, accommodations, nightlife and other activities available in the county and just minutes away from the ski slopes.

"Ski City USA is a fantastic alternative to the traditional ski or snowboard experience where visitors are restricted by the limited offerings of a small resort town," said McAdams.

"Whether you live in Salt Lake or you live thousands of miles away, you can become a virtual resident of Ski City USA through social portals — joining a community united in being 'locals' of Ski City USA."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Salt Lake City International Peace Garden Festival

Salt Lake's International Peace Gardens
The 67th annual Peace Garden Festival will be held Saturday, Sept 20, from 12 Noon - 5 pm at the Peace Gardens in Jordan Park, 1060 South 900 West, Salt Lake City.

The park, and the festival, are little-known treasures in Salt Lake City. Located along the banks of the Jordan River, the park provides a beautiful place for a family picnic or romp with the kids. The Peace Gardens offer paved walkways between colorful gardens representing countries from around the world.

The festival will include multicultural music and dancing, international food and boutique items.

Admission is free.

The Deseret News has this article and beautiful photo tour featuring the gardens and festival Below are excerpts.

The idea for the International Peace Gardens came about in 1939 just as Europe was going to war. Utah’s centennial was coming up in 1947 and someone suggested that the various countries represented in the state should each plant a garden to reflect their different cultures. All those gardens standing side-by-side would promote peace by celebrating both our diversity and our togetherness.

In 1947 the first garden was finished, the American garden, just in time for the Utah centennial, and the first peace festival was held. America’s two opponents in World War II finished their gardens next. Japan’s was dedicated in 1950 and Germany’s in 1951. A host of other countries followed — 27 in all — until all available land was claimed by 1999. Tonga, Scotland and France got the last three plots.

There are 57 flowerbeds placed among the 27 country gardens, and many change in shape and variety every year. Last year everyone entering the festival was treated to flowers arranged into the shape of huge peace sign — a tribute to tranquility and the flower children. This year it’s a huge butterfly.

Friday, September 12, 2014

See Wild Hawks, Eagles In Utah On Sept. 27

A red-tailed hawk soars past the Orem overlook.
Photo by Scott Root
Utah offers excellent opportunities to observe and photograph animals and birds in natural settings, and several special viewing events are sponsored by Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources every year.

A couple will take place during the next few weeks. DWR provided the news releases below.

Watch migrating birds of prey

Raptor Watch Day is Sept. 27
OREM — Thousands of hawks, eagles and other birds of prey fly through Utah's crisp, clear skies every fall.
You can see the birds, and learn more about them, by attending Utah's annual Raptor Watch Day.
The event will happen at the Orem overlook on Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The overlook is along Squaw Peak Trail Road, just east of Orem.
In addition to watching birds soaring in the skies above you, you can also get close to live birds of prey in the parking lot at the overlook. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a Swainson's hawk and an American kestrel will be available to view.
Raptor Watch Day is free.
Kick back, and relax
Bob Walters, Watchable Wildlife coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says by Sept. 27, the trees near the Orem overlook will be in their fall colors. And the air at the watch site should be crisp.
"If the skies are clear," Walters says, "you'll get an up-close look at harriers, vultures, eagles, hawks and falcons as they sail overhead."
Walters says bird identification experts from the DWR, HawkWatch International and Great Salt Lake Audubon will be on hand to help you identify birds and to answer your questions about the migration raptors make each fall.
One of the experts is Jerry Liguori. "Jerry is HawkWatch's raptor identification expert," Walters says. "He's written three books on raptor identification and blogs regularly on the organization's website. We're excited to have Jerry at the event."
Walters says Raptor Watch Day is a great opportunity to kick back, relax and watch raptors. For more information, call him at 801-209-5326.
Getting to the site
You can reach Squaw Peak Trail Road from Provo Canyon.
To reach the canyon from Interstate 15, exit I-15 at the 800 North exit in Orem (Exit 272) and travel east on 800 North. This road will take you into Provo Canyon.
Once you reach the mouth of the canyon, travel for about two miles, and look for Raptor Watch Day event signs on the south side of the road. Once you see the signs, turn onto Squaw Peak Trail Road, and travel to the overlook.

See kokanee salmon at Strawberry

Sept. 20, 2014 is Kokanee Salmon Viewing Day
Heber City–You can see hundreds of bright red salmon — and possibly other wildlife, too — at the annual Kokanee Salmon Viewing Day.
The event will be held Sept. 20 at the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) visitor center at Strawberry Reservoir. The visitor center is along U.S. Highway 40, about 20 miles southeast of Heber City.
The event is free. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Division of Wildlife Resources, the USFS and Friends of Strawberry Valley host the viewing event every September amid the changing fall colors and beauty of the valley.
Seeing the salmon
When you attend the event on Sept. 20, you'll see some salmon in the Strawberry River next to the visitor center. But if you walk to the fish trap and egg-taking facility behind the visitor center, you'll see hundreds of the bright red fish.
DWR biologists will be available at the facility to show you the salmon and talk with you about the peculiar life cycle of the fish.
Scott Root, regional conservation outreach manager for the DWR, says biologists are hoping to collect more than 2 million kokanee eggs this year. "The eggs will come from kokanee handled at the egg-taking facility at Strawberry and from kokanee at Sheep Creek, a tributary to Flaming Gorge," he says.
After collecting the eggs, biologists will take them to DWR hatcheries. There, the eggs will be hatched, and the fry that hatch from the eggs raised. "Survival success is much better in the hatcheries than it is in the wild," Root says. "Next spring, the fish will be about three inches long. We'll stock them into kokanee salmon waters across Utah."
If you can't attend the Sept. 20 event, Root says salmon should be visible in the Strawberry River, and other tributaries to Strawberry, from now until the first part of October.
For more information about the event, call the Uinta National Forest at 435-654-0470 or Root at 801-491-5656.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vail Buys Park City Mountain Resort - Hopes To Create Largest Ski Resort In US

Surprise, Park City Mountain Resort has been sold to Vail Resorts Inc, which also operates Utah's Canyons Resort. Park City and Canyons are adjacent and this marriage could result in a mega-result that might be the largest in the United States.

Media are all over this store. I recommend these reports:

Our video clip is from Below are excerpts from the reports.

In a surprise announcement, Vail Resorts Inc. of Colorado reported it has purchased Park City Mountain Resort, which was previously owned by Powdr Corp., for $182.5 million in cash.

The new owners said they eventually hope to combine Park City Mountain Resort with the adjacent Canyons Resort to create the largest ski resort in the country, creating a worldwide draw to skiing meccas in both Utah and Colorado.

The upcoming ski season will go forward as planned, and the agreement stipulates that Vail must retain all Park City Mountain Resort employees in their current roles.

Last year, Vail signed a 350-year lease with Talisker to operate Canyons Resort adjacent to Park City Mountain Resort. Katz said Vail hopes to combine the two resorts and operate them as a single unit.

"If we did that, we would actually create a ski resort with 7,000 skiable acres, making it the largest ski resort in the United States," Katz said.

For the 2014-15 season, Park City Mountain Resort will operate independently from Canyons Resort. However, both resorts will be covered under Vail's Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass, which gives skiers access to multiple resorts throughout Utah and Colorado.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Ski Resort Set To Open In Utah

Utah has had a wet summer and we are hoping above average precipitation continues into fall and early winter, allowing our ski resorts to open early.

Now's the time to book ski trips. Act soon to find great early season deals.

Park City Mountain Resort announced today it has agreed to terms to allow it to open and operate normally this year. (It has been in a court battle over property leases.)

Brand New Ski Resort
Utah gets a new ski resort this year, called Cherry Peak, located near Logan. That gives us 15 operating ski resorts - and some of the most diversified terrain in the world.

The new resort provided these details:
+ Snow making system
+ 3 triple chair lifts
+ 500 Foot magic carpet for learning
+ 3 lane tubing hill
+ Ice skating
+ Large night skiing area
+ Mountain biking
+ 3.7 miles from downtown richmond
+ 15 miles from Logan
+ Group discounts available
+ Open Mon - Sat: 9 am - 9 pm

It looks like it will have 20 runs with 30% beginner terrain, 45% intermediate and 25% advanced, totaling 200+ skiable acres.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

I-15 Reopens Near Utah/Arizona/Nevada Border

As of Friday, 9-12-14, traffic is being allowed north and south on I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge and also between Mesquite and Las Vegas. Here's the latest we've heard:

According to UDOT one lane is open in each direction south of Mesquite, Nevada.

Southbound traffic is open to all traffic except oversize loads.

Northbound traffic is open but commercial vehicles are restricted from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. No oversize loads.

UDOT warns drivers to prepare for major delays.

The material below gives details about the flooding that closed the freeway.
Udate from UDOT - 9-9-14 - We've got some good news for residents who need to head to the Las Vegas area! Per Nevada Highway Patrol, drivers can take I-15 SB to ext 93, where they will be directed onto SR 169 through the Valley Of Fire, and then brought back around to I-15 SB. Also, this road will be kept open 24 hours a day for the next week and will not be closing at night as it normally does. To further clarify, this route is open for both Northbound and Southbound traffic. Please take your time and be safe!

Our summer of flash floods continues, with a big flood yesterday shutting down miles of I-15 near the Utah/Arizona/Nevada border.

Traffic was closed in both directions yesterday. At this writing I'm hearing that some northbound traffic is being allowed but that southbound lanes are closed and will probably remain closed for 2-3 days.
People traveling northeast from Las Vegas are being advised to take US 93 in Nevada north and then Hwys 319 and 59 east to rejoin I-15 at Cedar City, Utah.
That is a major detour adding many miles to trips. Study maps and watch for updates on road conditions.
We hear that there has been much damage to I-15 in the Virgin River gorge, but the major damage is farther south near Mesquite.

Heavy rain is expected to continue to day, with more flooding likely. Stay out of slot canyons for the next couple days.

The weather is then expected to improve and the weekend should be nice - at least that is the current report.

- Dave Webb

Monday, September 08, 2014

Utah's 10 Best Fall Colors Drives

Aspens in Fairview Canyon - by Dave Webb
Fall colors are now starting in Utah's high country. Aspen trees will soon be taking on rich yellow and orange hues. River birch will soon be turning red. Now's the time to make plans for fall drives.

Colors will build during the next weeks and will probably peak in northern Utah in late September or early October. In southern Utah's canyon country, colors will be spectacular through much of October. In the Zion Park/St. George area, colors will continue into November.

Utah has some wonderful scenic drives that show off our autumn foliage. This page gives many ideas. Here are my favorites:
  1. Logan Canyon in extreme northern Utah
  2. Alpine Loop, in the Provo area, past Sundance Resort and the east side of Mt Timpanogos
  3. Mirror Lake Byway (Hwy 150)
  4. Energy Loop, Huntington Canyon and Eccles Canyon, in Central Utah
  5. Highway 12, Utah's All American Road, over Boulder Mt and around the town of Boulder, and down into the Escalante Canyons
  6. Cedar Breaks area, east of Cedar City in southwestern Utah
  7. Fish Lake backway, in Central Utah
  8. Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic Byway (US-191) in northeastern Utah
  9. La Sal Mountain Loop Road near Moab
  10. Smithsonian Butte backway near Zion Park
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