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Park City Mayor Dana Williams and local business and community leaders gather around the Digital Capital of Utah Award given to Park City as part of Google s eCity Intiative. Christopher Reeves/Park Record.
Local business and community leaders gathered at Park City Coffee Roaster last week as Google recognized Park City as the first digital capital of Utah.

Google's eCity Awards recognize "the strongest online business community in each state." Google used independent global market research company, Ipsos MORI, to analyze the strength of online communities across the country.

Ipsos created a shortlist of cities broken down by population size, and Google added AdWords data to calculate the top five cities in each state. Those top five were then judged based on criteria prioritiezed by Scott Levitan, a Marketing Director for Google.

"We looked at whether these cities' local business websites were enabled for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, if they have blogs, and if they sell their products online, among other things," said Levitan. "The cities with strong online business communities in their state have been named the digital capitals."

According to Google's analysis, Park City's local businesses have the most robust online presence in the state of Utah and generate the most ad revenue. Their connectivity makes it easy not just for locals but for visitors to the area to search for and find places like restaurants, boutiques or local attractions.

Park City Mayor Dana Williams accepted the award on behalf of the city, mentioning that the advent of cyber businesses has become a huge part of Park City's identity.

"As Park City has evolved and grown up, I think most of us are exceedingly proud of who we are as a town," said Williams.

Utah State Director Boyd Matheson then spoke for the Sen. Mike Lee about the accolade, saying that Lee supports the evolution of technology which allows him to communicate with the public through different avenues.

"Using and maximizing the technology really is a game-changer," said Matheson. "He can hear a question on Twitter, on the phone, catch someone as [monthly town halls] stream live on the internet, and it's really created a new dynamic for dialogue."

Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert also had a representative in attendance. Spencer Eccles, Executive Director of the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development, congratulated Park City on its accomplishment and commented on Google's presence in Utah.

"In Utah, 80 percent of the people are actively engaged and active on the Internet," said Eccles," and 97 percent of all Utahns have access to the Internet."

The recognition of Internet activity and connectivity can only do good things for the city, Williams said. It will help Park City to gain more business online and hopefully bring young entrepreneurs into town.