Outdoor Recreation Summit: Gov. Herbert says Striking a Balance Between Growth and Quality of Life is Critical

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert wants more people to see the role outdoor recreation plays in supporting one of the nation’s most dynamic economies.

“It’s a key economic driver for our economy, valued at about $12 billion a year, employs 110,000 people and generates for us, as a government, $737 million per year in taxes,” Herbert said Wednesday at his Outdoor Recreation Summit. “It’s a sector that every state ought to be promoting — even North Dakota.”

Lucid was one of many businesses featured at the gathering.

“That company is growing like crazy ... and ostensibly they have nothing to do with the outdoors. But they need to hire 25 engineers every year to keep up with their growth rate,” Doug Owens, co-founder of Utah Outdoor Partners, told those assembled at Midway’s Zermatt Resort.

“They have to recruit from all over the country, and that means they are competing against Apple and Google, and they need an edge.”

Owens, a former Democratic congressional candidate, teamed with his former election rival, Republican Rep. Mia Love, to launch Utah Outdoor Partners, a business coalition that highlights the importance of the outdoors to the state’s future.

“It goes way beyond just the tourism and recreation sectors of the economy. They are important sectors that add up to 10 percent of the economy,” Owens said, but medical-device makers, tech firms and other employers are equally dependent on access to Utah’s mountains and deserts.

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Outdoor Products & Recreation
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The Salt Lake Tribune Sun, 09/09/2018 - 21:12