Outdoor recreation businesses are thriving in Salt Lake City

Local News

Outdoor recreation business love Salt Lake City. Over 200 of the leading outdoor product companies call Utah home. To discuss why they are flocking to SLC, Peter Makowski, the business recruitment and retention manager at SLC’s Department of Economic Development, joins Good Morning Utah.

Included below are some of the points discussed:

  • We know that the outdoor industry is important to Salt Lake City
  • We want to continue to see it grow
  • Utah has a high employee concentration in Outdoor Products manufacturing
  • 7,000 people are working in the field, that number has grown 25% over the last 5 years.
  • We’re mindful of how this industry it impacts our community, and mindful of how it impacts other local businesses

What attracts companies to Salt Lake City, as opposed to other cities in the State?

  • Nowhere else can you have this kind of access to the outdoors PLUS proximity to the airport,.. PLUS access to a prime shipping location
  • From a retail perspective, Salt Lake City provides an urban downtown presence.
  • You have more exposure and brand awareness yet also close to manufacturing facilities.
  • It’s 2 different worlds, and Salt Lake City provides both. We see feedback from companies like Cotopaxi, Assos cycling apparel and Rotor Bike Components who have identified this unique advantage to being in the City
  • Other companies Specialized, Trust Performance, Easton, Fisher Skis, DPS Skis make up what we call a targeted industry cluster.

What does that mean — a targeted industry cluster? Why is that important?

  • A targeted industry cluster is an industry we focus on as economic developers
  • It is generally an industry that often provides quality jobs – now and in the future
  • The idea is that as the size of the industry grows it reaches a critical mass
  • We then witness a synergy and community building phenomenon within the City must like what we’re seeing with Silicon Slopes
  • Which in turn helps the local economy and all employees

What is happening now – give us some examples of recent wins?

  • USA Climbing recently announced that they are moving their national headquarters to Utah
  • The United States Olympic Committee chose Salt Lake City to bid for a future Olympic Winter Games
  • DPS Skis – an advanced ski manufacturer is expanding to a 25,000 sq ft facility. Originally founded out of Boulder, CO in 2005. Moved to Ogden in 2010. Been in SLC since 2014 (EDLF).
  • Trust Performance provides advanced bike products has announced a new facility expansion

How are you helping to connect the industry to our community?

  • It’s all about visibility, local manufacturers getting out in the community
  • Next week, we’re sponsoring the Vamoose Rendezvous – it’s a free community event at the Gateway on April 20th.
  • Products will be on display, for sale, and demo by the top outdoor, climb and bike brands. Activities include climbing wall, BB Gun/Archery Range, food trucks, breweries, and more
  • We’re mindful of how this industry it impacts our community, and mindful of how it impacts other local businesses

To learn more you can visit the Department of Economic Development’s website.

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