Park City gets more influential | ParkRecord.com

Park City gets more influential

by Andrew Kirk, OF THE RECORD STAFF

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s fiscal year ended June 30, and its board was pleased with the office’s accomplishments at its July meeting in Park City.

Park City, too, can be pleased with its role in the office, commonly referred to as GOED. Two board members and a director within the office are Park City residents.

The Park City Board of Realtors’ government affairs and communications director, Kate Riggs, was recently appointed to the governing board, joining Park City resident Mel Lavitt, an investment banker who serves as chair of the board.

This summer, Chris Conabee, one of the partners who built Silver Star, joined GOED as director of corporate incentives.

In that role he will assist Utah companies in growing and developing in Utah, while attracting outside corporations to relocate here by touting the state’s tax incentives.

Mike Sullivan, director of communications for GOED, said the office strives to have representation from the business communities across the state.

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Riggs said this representation means Park City has a channel to make its case for growth potential to state leaders.

"These are key leadership positions that yield a lot of weight and influence," she said in an email. "This demonstrates a large shift that Summit County business people are being tapped to contribute their expertise and viewpoints at the state level."

The July 14 meeting was held at the United States Ski and Snowboard Association’s Center of Excellence headquarters at Quinn’s Junction.

USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt, as host, was permitted a few minutes to outline the USSA’s contributions to the state’s economy.

In addition to having prepped athletes for one of their most successful Winter Olympic Games in 2010, the center also has a $65 million annual economic impact achieved through mostly private funds, he said. Except for grants from the Utah Sports Commission and benefiting from land donated with the help of the Park City Municipal Corporation, the program is entirely funded through donations, memberships and sponsors, Marolt said.

Its annual meetings also bring hundreds of sponsors and equipment suppliers to Park City to learn about the community. Young people from around the country are also drawn to the community’s athletic development programs, he said.

According to various department reports given after Marolt’s presentation, economic development is occurring. The office exceeded its goal for creating jobs in Utah by about 70 percent and several more companies are considering moving all or a part of their operations to Utah.

According to the Utah Film Commission, a new law permitting higher tax rebates to filmmakers in Utah is working. A handful of films are readying to begin production this year and Utah is having more success competing against its top competitors: New Mexico and Louisiana.

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