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Richard Piatt ReportingUtah is creating a name for itself. That's before the Office of Tourism starts spending up to 18 million dollars to promote the state world-wide.
Remember the phrase: Got Milk? How about Don't Leave Home without it? Utah wants something simple and memorable like that to promote itself.
The Utah ski industry advertises a lot and has a lot to brag about and Utah's National parks are unique enough to rival higher profile places like Yellowstone and Yosemite, but still, there is something missing.
Barbara Eyler, See and Ski, Inc.: "I think in many cases Utah is an unknown name outside the United States. People don't even know who we are."
Leigh Von der Esch, Director, Utah Office of Tourism: "Utah has not had a brand or slogan or logo that resonates."
Utah doesn't have a "Got Milk" type gimmick that gets people's attention--at least not yet. 11 meetings are being held statewide where people are brainstorming for one.
Colin Fryer, Moab Hotel Owner: "What we're talking about is creating a quality brand, a brand that exudes the things that we really have."
Already people are suggesting: "Utah: Outdoors and so much more," and "Utah: Ready to Welcome the World." Whatever slogan is chosen will be the end result of these meetings and a lot more work.
People here know what we've got and now the state has 18-million dollars over two years to promote it to the rest of the world. The competition is stiff, but if you believe feedback from tourists who talk to hotel owner Colin Fryer, Utah can meet any competition challenge.
Colin Fryer, Moab Hotel Owner: "These red cliffs, this river, all this stuff they don't have in other parts of the country that are awe inspiring."
Most of the people in the meetings do have a profit motive for being there. But ordinary citizens are showing up from time to time too, all with an interest in pushing Utah the right way.
Updated state budget numbers released today pushed the budget up to 18 million, it was 14 million before. It was only two million dollars this year, so there are a lot of big expectations for that investment.