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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
While attending college, Bob Grove was working in the hospitality and tourism industry. Through market studies and research, he learned that more than 80 percent of leisure travel is done close to home, but no travel companies specialized in it.
One night he got the idea of starting a business that serves local travelers by offering a convenient service to help them plan their quick getaways to places close to home. He stuck a sharpened pencil to Salt Lake City on the map and tied a string around it to draw a circle that measured 400 miles to scale. He decided this would become his area of expertise. At that point he had already been in the tourism industry for 15 years and had traveled extensively throughout the region, but he wanted to discover local hidden treasures to share with others.
With this idea in mind, Bob launched DriveAway Vacations in 1993. DriveAway Vacations specializes in local vacation spots, all of which are within a 400-mile radius of Salt Lake City. This includes destinations such as Yellowstone National Park; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Moab; Mesa Verde National Park; Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks; the Grand Canyon; and one-night getaways to Park City and Midway.
Over the years, DriveAway Vacations has transitioned from a travel agency that would book reservations to a one-stop Internet resource with road conditions, recommended travel routes and even a section with suggestions for entertaining children while traveling. The Web site, driveawayvacations.com, also has links to other resources that make planning a road trip much simpler and easier.
Bob has learned that no matter how expensive travel becomes, people will continue to travel, despite the cost. With skyrocketing gas prices over the last couple of years, the buzzword has become the staycation, where families chose to visit destinations close to home. Bob says there's never been a better time for Utah residents to discover the scenic treasures in their own backyard.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.