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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
I love to go to Parade of Home events around our state. It's great to see the beautiful homes, decorations, furnishings, landscaping and the new innovations in homebuilding.
The one event I really look forward to every year is the Southern Utah Home Builders Association in St. George. The event, scheduled for February 2003, brings people from all over Utah and surrounding states. Hotels and restaurants are always full during the event.
I have watched with great interest how this particular Parade of Homes has grown so big and so fast. I thought it would be a good idea to visit with Carol Sapp, the executive officer of the organization. She was gracious enough to fill me in on this spectacular event.
The organization sponsored their first Parade of Homes just 13 years ago. Builders did not have very stringent parameters for their entries. It was not mandated that the homes be furnished or even finished. Landscaping was not required and some of the entries were really not qualified to even be shown. Nonetheless, 3,000 people attended that first show.
Well, Carol knew they could do better. A strict criterion was established for the builders. The homes had to be exemplary and have beautiful furniture, fixtures and amenities. All landscaping must be completed and the homes had to display the best work of the builder/developer. This year over 22,500 visited the Parade and it is anticipated that 2003 will be even bigger.
The event provides the members of the Southern Utah Home Builders Association with visibility, excitement and resources. The organization is now the largest such group in the state with over 630 members. When Carol Sapp first came on board in 1988 there were 30 members. Her background was in accounting but she knew how to promote and to sell and brought visionary exuberance to the group.
Carol told me that besides putting on the great Parade of Homes each year, the organization acts as a unified voice when working with city, county and state government. The group acts as a lobbyist and advocate for those in the building business. They conduct seminars and business sessions to improve the expertise of the members.
I really encourage you to visit St. George on President's Day weekend in 2003. You will really enjoy the Parade of Homes.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.