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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, August 31, 2006

What’s New at the Ski Resorts

Ski Utah has released its new annual report outlining what is new at Utah ski resorts. Read the full report here.

Utah resorts have chalked up 3 record-breaking years in a row, meaning there have been more skiers ever year as we are “discovered” by more ski enthusiasts. The resorts are investing heavily to keep that trend going, making sure the infrastructure is in place to accommodate more skiers and still preserve a quality experience.

The most dramatic improvement is the new ski tunnel at Snowbird, which will improve access to more intermediate terrain. The European-style tunnel is a first in North American. Read about it here.

Many resorts are adding new lifts and opening up more terrain. And some are adding snowmaking equipment to insure adequate early-season conditions.

If Mother Nature cooperates, this will be another record season.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cabela’s Pulls in the Crowds

Almost 5 million people visited the Cabela’s sporting goods store in Lehi during its first year of operation, according to an interesting story in today’s Salt Lake Tribune.

The huge retail outlet apparently ranks second only to Temple Square in number of visitors. Mormon Temple Square is expected to draw 5-7 million visitors this year.

“Cabela's number also approaches the sum total of nearly 5.3 million visitors to southern Utah's five national parks - Zion being the biggest individual attraction at 2.7 million visits last year,” the article states.

“The Travel Industry Association defines a tourist as someone who travels 50 miles or more (one way) to a destination or stays overnight in the vicinity, she noted. And although there is no way of knowing what percentage of Cabela's visitors came from out-of-state, it seems logical to assume most were from the Wasatch Front.”

“Nevertheless, von der Esch said, "they are contributing to the economy.”

Here’s the full article. (Be advised, links to Tribune articles often break after a few weeks).

Friday, August 25, 2006

New Utah Travel Guide Available

Utah’s new travel guide is now available on-line and at state travel Welcome Centers. The full color, 144-page guide is designed to help people learn about our travel destinations, recreational opportunities, lodging providers and guide services.

It’s all there – the national parks, state parks, campgrounds, forests and lakes – along with a fold-out road map and information about recreation in ever area of the state.

You can request a free copy by filling out the form on this page, or you can pick one up at a Utah travel Welcome Center.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Oktoberfest Begins This Weekend

Snowbird Resort kicks off its annual Oktoberfest this weekend. Events will be held every weekend through Oct 8.

70,000 visitors, Oktoberfest has grown to become one of Utah’s largest festivals. It includes Oktoberfest Halle featuring the tastes of Bavaria with entertainment from local and national German bands and yodelers. Kinderland offers fun for children of all ages; Der Marktplatz will allow shoppers to browse through a variety of crafters booths.

Music, food, fun. See the festival website for details.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Salt Lake Braces For Bush Visit, Rallies

President Bush will be in Salt Lake City Aug 30-31 to speak at an American Legion convention, and also at a Senator Orrin Hatch fundraiser.

Five different groups have applied for permits to hold rallies on Aug 30, at locations around downtown, Pioneer Park and Liberty Park.

The largest is expected to attract about 5,000 to Washington Square in downtown Salt Lake City. National anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson will speak to that group.

A pro-Bush group will rally at the square later in the day. Another group will gather at Liberty Park to promote peace while also supporting our troops. And a group will rally for immigration law reform.

Utah is considered one of the “reddest of red” states, yet Salt Lake City often supports Democrats (and elected a liberal Democrat as mayor).

Rallies and protests here are usually tame. Still, the Salt Lake Police Department has scheduled extra shifts to handle any problems.

This newspaper article has more details.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Park City Marathon & Relay

The Tenth Annual Park City Marathon & Marathon Relay will be Aug. 26.

The course follows a scenic loop through alpine meadows, historic mining neighborhoods and ski resorts.

New this year is the two-person marathon relay.

This is a fun marathon to watch, located in the mountains around historic Park City.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Maynard Dixon Country Art Show

The renowned Maynard Dixon Country annual art show will take place Aug 23 - Aug 27, at the historic Maynard Dixon home and studio in Mt Carmel, just outside Zion National Park.

There will also be an art sale and artist paint-out. More than 40 prominent artists are expected to exhibit more than 125 paintings at the show.

Dixon, 1875-1946, was an American painter who specialized in landscapes of the American West. He wandered freely throughout the region, but set up his home and studio amid the pastel-colored cliffs near Zion.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Utah Ranks High For Business Climate, Colleges

Utah ranks 4th best in the nation according to a recently released Forbes “Best States For Business” list, according to this newspaper report.

And our colleges/universities rank high in the latest US News and World Report ranking. BYU ranked 70th on the list of best national universities, up one slot from last year, while the U. remained 120th. Salt Lake's Westminster College also earned a No. 20 spot for Western schools offering master's degrees but not doctoral programs. This newspaper article has details.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Snowbird Builds European-Style Ski Tunnel

“Excavators broke through Snowbird's new, European-style ski tunnel Wednesday, the first of its kind in North America. The 600-foot long tunnel will take skiers from the Peruvian Gulch into Mineral Basin.”

That news item is from this Deseret Morning News article, which goes on to say:

"The finishing touch on the tunnel is the conveyor system," Snowbird President Bob Bonar said. "It's called a magic carpet in the ski business. It's a very unique project."

“Both are slated to open in time for ski season this year.”

Read the complete article.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Utah Cities Make Best Places List

CNN’s Money Magazine has released its list of the 100 Best Places to Live, and three of the cities are in Utah.

  • Sandy – 23rd

  • Orem – 38th

  • Layton – 41st

  • See the full list

    Surveyors ranked cities using quality-of-life and economic factors. Some of the categories included affordable housing, access to health care, education, crime rates, park space, cultural sites and recreational opportunities.

    Only mid-sized communities were ranked in this survey – small cities and towns were not included. The magazine also released a list of the 10 best large cities.

    All three of the Utah cities listed are located along the populous Wasatch Front. With the exception of St George, Utah’s largest communities are all located in the Wasatch Front area, which stretches from Ogden south through Provo.

    St George is often recognized as a top place to live. Most recently, it was named one of 12 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of in the Aug/Sept issue of Mother Earth News.

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    Utah - Land of Magnificent Color

    The Des Moines Register has this feature article on Utah’s national parks: "Utah's kaleidoscope, A painted wonderland covers five national parks and four monuments."

    William Mikesell writes, “In just the southern third of Utah, there are five national parks, a national recreation area and four national monuments all within a day's drive of each other. They can be reached all in one vacation, but don't have to be seen on the same tour in a rush from park to park.”

    He goes on to give descriptions of each park, along with tips to help visitors have an enjoyable experience.

    Monday, August 14, 2006

    Washington Times Features Utah

    The Washington Times has this extensive article describing some of Utah’s top attractions.

    “Utah hits us head-on as a land of vast discovery,” say writers Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher. They traveled throughout the state, interviewed many people, and produced an interesting and informative article.

    They focus on Bryce Canyon (hiking and sightseeing), Lake Powell (houseboating), Rainbow Bridge, Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, Homestead Resort (with its Crater warm spring), and Sundance Resort (hiking, spa, and celebrity watching for Robert Redford).

    I have particular interest in this article because Kathy called me a couple times seeking advice as she planned their trip. They are based in Raleigh, NC, and were not quite sure what they would find in Utah. It was fun hearing her report back that they had a superb time – better than expected.

    - Dave Webb

    Friday, August 11, 2006

    Western Legends Roundup Aug 24-26

    The 8th annual Western Legends Roundup will be held Aug 24-26, in Kanab, Utah. It features Western vendors and exhibits, Western entertainment and concerts, Cowboy Poetry, Cowboy cookin' and autograph sessions with some of your favorite stars of classic Westerns.

    This event was created to honor the rich Western movie history, with over 70 classic Western movies being filmed in Kane County over the years. The Gunsmoke television series was also filmed here for over 20 years.

    The roundup has been named #1 Western Event by True West Magazine!

    See the event’s website for more info.

    Cowboy Ted Hallisey, Kane County Office of Tourism, provided this news release:
    Utah’s native son to perform at Western Legends in Kanab

    Brenn Hill of Hooper, Utah, will headline during America's top Western event

    Brenn Hill has been called “the future of Western music.” The 30-year-old singer-songwriter from Hooper, Utah will be the headline performer during three concerts held at the Crescent Moon Theater in Kanab, Utah Aug. 24-26 during the Western Legends Roundup & Film Festival, which, was named as the top Western event in the nation by True West Magazine.

    Hill has five albums under his belt and a growing string of awards. The Utah native draws his inspiration from the lifestyle of the modern west. His songs celebrate the land and the hard-bitten beauty of cowboy life from a firsthand perspective. The Red Rocks surrounding Kanab are featured in Hill’s song called The Last of the Red Rock Riders.

    Billboard Magazine tabbed Hill as the future of Western music by writing, “Hill is a bridge between western music's best traditions and the future of the genre as cowboys and cowboy singers evolve with the changing times. Hill’s music echoes the integrity, morality, and character associated with legends like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry while also exploring contemporary themes.”

    Hill was named the Academy of Western Artists’ Male Vocalist of the Year in 2005. He is no stranger to Kanab and feels at home among the red rocks he sings about in a couple of his songs. Kanab residents have embraced this up-and-coming Western legend.

    “Brenn Hill is all-cowboy and he knows what its like to live in rural America and he brings that forward in the lyrics of his songs, reported “Cowboy Ted” Hallisey, executive director of the Kane County Office of Tourism. I consider Brenn Hill to be one of my very close friends. He is sincere and Brenn is proud of the cowboy lifestyle and work ethic, as well as, our Western heritage and the traditions we still value in rural America. Brenn’s songs help us to step back and remember that some of us are still fortunate to enjoy that wholesome and hardworking lifestyle today that is portrayed in his songs.”

    Well known Western musicians have praised Hill and his potential as a superstar in the Western music category. Ian Tyson said, "Every time I see and hear Brenn Hill, he just keeps getting better and better. His love of the West shines through in his music."

    Hill made his singing debut at age four. With a natural love of the western outdoors and summers spent working at his grandparents' farms, he ventured into traditional western music. At the age of 16, he performed at the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV. Hill was chosen to participate in the "Best of the Cowboy Music Jamboree" jam session at the end of the festival. The audience warmly accepted this new spokesman for rural Western America.

    The 30-year-old singer will walk through the town of Kanab in the footsteps of some of the icons of Western movies and those who created the theme for the Western Legends event. John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Ronald Reagan made films in Kanab and have been honored with plaques on the “Little Hollywood” Walk of Fame. Hill’s signature song “Call You Cowboy” serves as a tribute to all of our cowboy heroes of the past.

    Tickets for Brenn Hill’s Western Legends concerts at the Crescent Moon Theater In Kanab on Aug. 24-26 are priced at $10 and are available on-line at or by calling the Western Legends office at 435-644-3444. A limited number of tickets will be set aside for purchase at the Crescent Moon Theater ticket office on the night of each show.

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    Children’s Museum Moving to Gateway

    The Children’s Museum of Utah is moving to The Gateway complex, close to downtown Salt Lake City.

    Salt Lake Tribune’s Celia R. Baker reports:

    “The popular museum is moving to The Gateway in Salt Lake City and reinventing itself as Discovery Gateway. When Saturday's crowd of kids and parents depart, the quaint, Spanish-style building - which served generations of families as a spring-fed swimming resort before becoming a children's museum - will close its doors and await its next incarnation.

    “The Gateway Discovery building is sparkling new, and was designed to its purpose as a children's museum, she says. It will open on a yet-to-be-determined date in mid-September.

    “At the Children's Museum of Utah, kids can sit in the cockpit of a real jet airplane or behind the steering wheel of a big truck. They can farm vegetables, gather eggs and bake bread - then ‘sell’ their products in a scale-model grocery store. They can act out stories, build buildings and dream dreams - but only until Saturday.”

    See the museum’s website for current information.

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Park City Named Top Labor Day Getaway

    Got your Labor Day travel plans all worked out? If not, you may want to read this article, where Mike Thiel lists top last-minute Labor Day getaways. Thiel is founder and president of Hideaways International, the power behind the Hideaways Aficionado club.

    Park City, Utah, is included on Thiel’s list, with this description:

    “Stay at this luscious mountainside retreat and, sure, you can go skiing but you can also go mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, hot-air ballooning, or enjoy an under-the-stars concert by the Utah Symphony Orchestra. Stein Eriksen Lodge’s 170 guest rooms and suites have a distinctly European feel. After a day outside, have dinner at the Glitretind Restaurant, enjoy drinks-with-a-view, or sample handmade chocolates from the lodge’s Chocolate Atelier.”

    Park City is most famous for winter skiing, and that is coming fast with resorts opening around Thanksgiving. The other activities mentioned are all strong attractions during the late summer and early fall.

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Real Salt Lake vs Real Madrid

    The Real Madrid soccer team is in town and will face MSL’s Real Salt Lake in a showdown on Aug. 12.

    Many people think Real Madrid is the greatest soccer club ever and this tour will be its only North American appearance of 2006.

    The Madrid club will embark on a day trip Wednesday to Seattle to face MLS leaders D.C. United that evening. Other events include a VIP welcome press conference on Tuesday, a reception hosted by Utah Governor Jon M. Huntsman and First Lady Mary Kaye Huntsman on Thursday evening, an Adidas commercial shoot featuring David Beckham and Raul, and Friday's ticketed training session and invitation-only team autograph session, both at Rice-Eccles Stadium at the U of U in Salt Lake City.

    Real Madrid, led by World Cup superstars David Beckham and Ronaldo, takes on Real Salt Lake Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah.

    It should be an entertaining massacre.

    More Info

    Friday, August 04, 2006

    Railroaders Invited To Festival

    The Deseret Morning News provided this report:

    Golden Spike National Historic Site will host the 28th annual Railroaders' Festival on Aug. 14.

    Among events scheduled are the 9:30 a.m. arrival of the replica steam locomotives Jupiter and No. 119; a re-enactment of the Last Spike ceremony, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; a genuine buffalo-chip- throwing contest; the "Gandy Dancer," a special racing handcar; and the world-championship professional spike-driving contest at 2 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Cinnamon Creek folk ensemble.

    In honor of the festival, there will be no entrance fee to the historic site. All games and activities will also be free. For more information, call 435-471-2209, extension 18, or go online to

    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    Rocky Mountain Hunting Show

    The Rocky Mountain Hunting Show begins tomorrow in Sandy. It is one of the larger consumer hunting shows in this region. It will feature a mossback shed-horn contest, youth fair, hundreds of retailers, seminars and hourly prize giveaways.

    The event will run Friday, Aug. 4, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 5, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 6, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    It is being held at South Town Expo Center, 9575 S. State.

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    Zion's Village of Many Nations

    Cowboy Ted Hallisey, Kane County Office of Tourism, sent us this news release:

    Zion's Village of Many Nations – A Native American Cultural Experience

    Zion Mountain Resort, which is located a few short miles from the east entrance to Zion National Park, has opened a new Native American experience: the “Village of Many Nations.” Zion Mountain Resort has expanded its services in 2006 to also include horseback riding, ATV tours, mountain biking, rock climbing and canyoneering. With ownership of 2,700 acres of private land, Zion Mountain Resort ( even offers a herd of buffalo roaming on several hundred acres or open meadow.

    “The new Native American Village fits well into the theme for our western America experiences” says owner Kevin McLaws. “This has already been of great interest to people from around the world. Our area was inhabited anciently by various historic cultures so this is an appropriate way to showcase the lifestyles of the ancient and modern Native American people.”

    The village, the dream of Art and Carol Letkey, began operation in 2000 at the east end of Kanab, Utah; however they decided to move this year to the new location at Zion Mountain Resort because of its close proximity to the east gate of Zion National Park. “We knew this location would be much better for us and our guests,” says Art Letkey, owner of the village. People are already staying overnight in the historic style Tipis and walking through the village to experience the history, crafts and activities of America’s Native American people.

    Visitors may choose from several different types of experiences that range from opportunities to walk through the village to having stories and entertainment in one of the large Tipis, or on select evenings, an on-stage production of “Legends of the Chiefs.” Guest also may enjoy sleeping overnight inside a Tipi.

    Other than the Tipis, the village now has two Navajo Hogans that have been blessed by a medicine man. The Hogans were constructed by Daniel Smallcanyon and his family. Daniel is originally from Navajo Mountain , which is a sacred mountain to the Navajo people. The wood in the base of one of the Hogans comes from the Hogan of Daniel’s grandfather who was a medicine man. The Hogans were blessed by Buck Navajo who is 83 years old and is the last medicine man on Navajo Mountain. Buck blessed the village to have success and to always be a place that is kind and lighthearted in spirit.

    The village is slated for gradual expansion. “Our goal – over the next five years – is to represent seven different villages or nations,” says Carol Letkey.
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