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Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Friday, September 28, 2007

Moab Century Tour Begins Oct 5

The Moab Century Tour runs Oct 5-7. It is a road cycling event that encompasses an inspiring variety of landscape to awaken the cycling spirit. This spectacular route rises from the sculptured canyons of the mighty Colorado River up into the LaSal Mountains, then descending back into the canyons leaving you in awe of Moab's magical environment.

This tour is an annual cancer fundraiser ride to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation. You can ride 100, 65 or 35 miles. It is fully supported with mechanical and food/beverage aid stations. Lunch, event t-shirt, entertainment and goody bag are all included with entry.

Friday night will feature fabulous Italian food, catered by Pasta Jay's, and guest speaker Ron Kiefel, 7 time Tour de France racer, Giro d'Italia stage winner and Olympic Bronze medalist. Tickets for dinner are $12. All rider's welcome and encouraged!

Admission: $65.00 entry fee
Hours: 7:00 am - 5:00 p.m.
Contact: Karen Guzman-Newton
Phone: 435-259-2698 • Fax: 435-259-276
Email: info@skinnytirefestival.com
Venue: Moab Valley Inn
Location: 711 S. Main St., Moab
Web Address: http://www.skinnytireevents.com/

This event is accessible to those with disabilities

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sierra Club Highlights Utah Lands

The Sierra Club has released a new report, America's Wild Legacy, "which highlights fifth-two special lands and the Club's ongoing efforts to protect them." The 56-page report includes a section on Utah's Red Rock country.

Here are excerpts from the introduction:

Some of our nation’s most spectacular landscapes — places like the Arctic, the Everglades, Giant Sequoia National Monument, Utah’s Red Rock wilderness and the Tongass National Forest — are teetering at the edge and could be lost forever.

Illegal off-road vehicle abuse is scarring irreplaceable lands like Utah’s Red Rock wilderness.

The Sierra Club has long been involved in a battle to have more Utah public land classified as wilderenss and protected by Congress. That battle has been bitter and bloody at times, with those opposing the Sierra Club saying the vast majority of our public lands should be left open for energy development and multiple use, including ATV and off-road vehicle travel.

Read the Club's description of the report. Download the introduction. Download the complete report. It offers insights into spectacular country, regardless of what viewpoint you hold.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Park City Mountain Resort Terrain Parks Named #1

The readers of Transworld Snowboarding magazine say Park City Mountain Resort has the "terrain parks of the year" - for the fourth year in a row.

About.com has this news article about the designation. Here are excerpts:

"It is an unbelievable honor to have our four terrain parks recognized as the best for the fourth year in a row, but we aren't resting on our success," said Jim Mangan, director of action sports marketing for Park City Mountain Resort. "We're going to step it up this season with some new features that have never been seen before."

""Park City Mountain has once again lived up to its name and to our reader's high expectations, ranking in as the number one park in the 2008 Resort Poll," said Annie Fast, senior editor for Transworld Snowboarding magazine. "After three consecutive seasons at the top, Park City hasn't been resting on its laurels - the killer parks for all ability levels are constantly evolving and enjoying the highest level of maintenance and an electrified snowboard scene. It all comes together to make Park City an impossible freestyle resort to beat year after year."

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Public Comments Sought on Moab Management Plan

The US Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments before it finalizes management plans for the vast tracks of land it controls in the Moab area.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article on the proposals. Here are excerpts:

Since 1985, though, much has changed. Moab, with its hundreds of miles of slickrock trails, has become a mountain-biking mecca. In recent years, all-terrain vehicles have mushroomed in popularity, oil and gas drilling has boomed due to rising prices worldwide, and tourism has become the economic mainstay of the area.
And the BLM has come up with a new management plan.

To be exact, the agency has drawn up four alternatives, including the status quo, its own preferred plan, another that protects additional land from multiple use and one that opens up more areas to motorized recreation and energy development.

The plan that is adopted will be a far-reaching set of regulations that will profoundly affect this area for decades. The BLM is asking for public comment on the four alternatives until Nov. 30, and we encourage all Utahns to study it and voice their opinions.


The Deseret Morning News has this article. Here are excerpts:

Critics say a new Bureau of Land Management proposal that would sharply limit off-highway vehicle travel in the Moab area doesn't go far enough and should have more time for pubic discussion.

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is expressing that viewpoint as the BLM gets ready for a series of public meetings to discuss the proposal. Those meetings are scheduled for tonight in Moab, Wednesday in Monticello, Thursday in Grand Junction, Colo., and Oct. 3 in Salt Lake City.

Present rules allow off-highway vehicle travel across 620,212 acres in the BLM area that surrounds Arches National Park. On nearly 1.2 million acres, OHV travel is limited to existing roads and trails, while 5,062 acres are closed to OHV travel.

The BLM's preferred option going forward would close 339,298 acres to OHV travel, limit OHV use to designated routes on almost 1.5 million acres and open 1,866 acres to cross-country travel at White Wash Sand Dunes.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Early Storm Dumps Snow On Utah Mountains

Early Snow at Alta Ski ResortA cold storm frosted Utah mountains with early snow last night, but temperatures are expected to warm back up and we should enjoy delightful fall weather through the rest of this week.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the storm. Here are excerpts:

They are "big flakes, and there are lots of low clouds," said Alta Lodge hotelier Marcus Dippo. "Clearly, early to mid-September is a reasonable time for a first snow. This is that beautiful time of year when the fall colors are happening, with the snow on the vegetation poking through."

Weather Service forecaster Pete Wilensky said Alta saw around six inches at mid-mountain. A Weather Service camera shows about 5 inches on a picnic table on the deck of Snowbasin's Needles Lodge.

Tomorrow it will still be cool, Wilensky said, but Wednesday and Thursday should be "gorgeous" fall days.

"We might still see 80-degree days again before winter sets in," he said.


Read the complete article.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Utah.gov Named Top Government Website

Utah's government website, http://www.utah.gov/, has been named the top state government website by the Center for Digital Government.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports: "In the competition, state, county and city Web sites are judged on qualities such as innovation and delivery of public services. Utah.gov also took first place in the contest in 2003."

The Center for Digital Government website provides this information:

The Best of Web is an annual awards program that recognizes the most innovative, user-friendly state and local government portals. This national awards program judges state, city and county Web sites on their innovation, Web-delivery of public services, efficiency, economy, and functionality for improved citizen access.

Cathilea Robinett, Center Executive Director of the Center, offered these enthusiastic words of praise "2007 was an amazing year for our Best of Web and Digital Government Achievement Awards. The competition was fierce and there were many applications and portals that were top notch. It's clear that America's state and local governments are unrelenting in their pursuit of excellence for the citizens they serve."


See the Center's website for more information.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

See Hot Air Balloons in Cedar City, Old Cars In Delta

Hot air balloons are filling the sky over Cedar City and old cars are prowling the streets in Delta, as those two communities host festivals.

Cedar City SkyFest offers plenty of color, featuring hot air balloons, kites, radio controlled airplanes, and model rockets. As the hot air balloons launch into the sky each morning, the Cedar City Radio Control Club sets up their custom model planes. Static displays, combat flights, a kids candy drop and more provide breathtaking demonstrations.

The Southern Utah Rocketry Friends (SURF) takes to the sky with dynamic model rocket launches followed by a mass ascension of high flying kites and competitions for prizes.

The Cedar City festival offers live music and other attractions. Events run Friday-Sunday. See the event website for details.

In Delta, more than 150 antique, classic and hot-rod automobiles will be displayed through Sunday at the city park. There will also be rock music and a "crazy socks" contest. See the Millard Country Travel website for more info about the Delta Car Show.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Golden Aspen Trees Star In Utah's Fall Colors Show

Aspens at BrightonFall colors are coming on strong right now in northern Utah. The next couple weeks will be prime time to view nature's annual extravaganza of color.

The Orange County Register has this new article giving tips on where to see the colors. Here are excerpts:

Aspens, with their thin white trunks, suddenly seem everywhere. They shed their cloak of anonymous green as the nights get cold, revealing a luminous tone somewhere between butter and bullion.

"I think fall is my favorite time of year," Kathi Caveliere, who works in the Arts Center at the Sundance resort in the Wasatch Mountains. "It's after the summer crowds and before the winter skiing crowds. Just look up at the mountains, with all the aspens. They're beautiful. Soon they will be covered in snow."

In Utah, the best foliage is seen through a series of looping drives from the Salt Lake basin into the Wasatch Mountain. You can drive all the way up to Heber City and on to Park City, but the best aspen viewing was essentially elongated U-turns or loop drives that brought you back to nearly the same point. Big Cottonwood Canyon. Little Cotton Canyon. The Nebo Loop.

My favorite was the Alpine Loop, a 20-mile winding path through canyons up into the Wasatch. It opens in April and sees most of its traffic in September until snows usually force it to close in late October.

Read the complete article.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dew Tour Brings Action Sports To Salt Lake City

Some of the biggest names in BMX, freestyle motocross and skateboarding will compete in Salt Lake City Thursday through Sunday (Sept 20-23), as the AST Dew Tour stops in Salt Lake City. Portions of the competition will be broadcast nationally on NBC TV.

Top participants include Shaun White and Ryan Sheckler.

The Salt Lake Tribune has details in this article. Here are excerpts:

"We really got the sense that Salt Lake understands how to take on big events and make them bigger," Dew Tour president Wade Martin said, adding, "It's hard to have any expectations in a first year, but we believe there's a strong fan base for action sports."
The bar certainly is set high for the event, which will take over EnergySolutions Arena and a neighboring parking lot. At this year's first three stops - in Baltimore, Cleveland and Portland, Ore. - four-day attendance averaged more than 53,000.
It took nearly two years to bring the Dew Tour to Salt Lake, with the Utah Sports Commission, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and Ogio International Inc., a Bluffdale-based gear bag manufacturer, championing the cause.

What worked most in Utah's favor was simple demographics. It has by far the youngest population of any state in the country, with a median age of 28.3, according to the Census Bureau. (Texas is No. 2 at 33.1.)
That puts half the state in the age group most likely to be fans of Sheckler, the 17-year-old skateboarding wunderkind with a new reality show on MTV.

The Dew Tour prices tickets at $5 for kids and $15 for adults in encouraging families to come out. There's an educational benefit for the adults in that. As Robinson said, "A lot of the kids want to do what we're doing and the parents just have no idea."

Read the complete article.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Utah's Shakespearean Festival and Western Legends Roundup Named Top Tour Destinations

The American Bus Association recently designated Kanab's Western Legends Round Up and Cedar City's Utah Shakespearean Festival as two of the top 100 Events in North America for 2008.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports on the designation in this article. Here are excerpts:

As the trade organization for more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour companies in the United States and Canada, the American Bus Association figures motorcoach groups spend $5,000 to $13,000 each night they stay at a destination.

"For years, bus groups have been discovering the Utah Shakespearean Festival as a great experience," said festival marketing director Kami Terry. "It is wonderful that the American Bus Association is helping us get the word out even more."
Added Ted Hallisey, executive director of the Kane County Office of Tourism & Film Commission: "This is a great destination. We are within an hour's drive of the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and Lake Powell - with Kanab serving as a spoke in the wheel."

But what really caught the attention of the bus association was the Western Legends Round Up, which will take place next Aug. 28-30. The Round Up emphasizes Kanab's historic role as a hub for the making of more than 100 classic Western films, shot against the backdrop of the Kaiparowits Plateau and other desert landscapes.

Read the complete article.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Improvements Abound at Utah Ski Resorts

Utah ski resorts are making millions of dollars worth of improvements right now, as they prepare for the fast-approaching winter season. Firsttracksonline.com describes the upgrades in this article. Here are excerpts:

"Having just turned the corner towards winter, skiers and snowboarders are eagerly awaiting another Utah ski season. After Utah's fourth consecutive record-breaking year of skier visits, the state's 13 ski and snowboard resorts have been working hard all summer to improve the skiing experience they offer to visitors and locals alike."

"Alta is implementing a skier-friendly, web-friendly, hands-free ticketing system... The hands-free system means no more showing a pass at every lift."

"Brian Head... tucked away in the mountains of southeastern Utah above Cedar City, is undergoing a dramatic expansion. Their two separate mountains, Giant Steps and Navajo, will become interconnected with two new lifts and a skier bridge across the highway which will add nearly 35% more terrain."

"Brighton’s big news this year is the new Millicent High Speed Quad. The new ski lift will replace the Evergreen and Millicent chairlifts."

"The Canyons is glading out more of the new Dream Catcher area that opened up more than 200 acres of terrain last season. A hidden secret on the mountain last winter, this season it is bound to be discovered by more people in search of some of fine tree skiing."

"Deer Valley... A new high-speed detachable quad chairlift, Lady Morgan Express, will be built in the Empire Canyon area. The area will include over 200 new skiable acres, 65 acres of gladed skiing and eight new runs."

Many more improvements are described. Read the complete article.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Deer Valley Named Best Resort By Ski Magazine

Deer Valley, Snowbird and Alta all rank well in Ski Magazine's new list of top ski resorts. Media around the world are reporting on the new rankings. Here's excerpts from The Canadian Press:

Ski Magazine is just out with its annual 'Top 50 Resort Guide,' which names Deer Valley, Utah, as the No. 1 ski resort in North America. Deer Valley was No. 2 in last year's survey, and has won first place three times in the survey's 20-year history.

Deer Valley also received top honours from Ski readers in the categories of service, grooming and dining. Other Utah resorts that were No. 1 in various categories included Snowbird, voted 'Best Skier's Mountain,' and Alta, voted top 'Weekend Escape.'

Nearly 7,000 Ski Magazine subscribers took part in the 'Top 50 Resort Guide' survey.

Our local press also carried the story.
-- Deseret Morning News: SKI Magazine ranks Deer Valley at No. 1
-- Salt Lake Tribune: Deer Valley leads charge

www.skiutah.com, our ski industry website, offers these insights:

"Utah's resorts work really hard to provide the best ski experience available," said Nathan Rafferty, Ski Utah president, "I’m happy to see our success recognized on so many different levels. It is becoming more and more apparent to skiers and riders everywhere that The Greatest Snow On Earth is being complemented by the world’s greatest resorts."

SKI Magazine's resort ranking is considered one of the foremost rankings in the industry. "SKI readers are an astute, not to mention well-traveled, bunch and their consensus is convincing," says SKI Magazine’s executive editor Greg Ditrinco. "You’d do well to consider them advance scouts as you plan this year’s ski vacation. They won't let you down."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Got A Great Photo - Share It

If you have taken a great photo of a Utah scene, the Utah Office of Tourism would like you to enter it in a national contest sponsored by the National Park Foundation and Ford Motor Co. The winning photo will be printed on the federal recreation pass, and the winner will receive a new 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid.

The Deseret Morning News reported these details:

"The Utah Office of Tourism is encouraging residents to enter a national photography contest, with the goal of getting an image of Utah printed on the 2009 Federal Recreation Lands Pass."

"U.S. residents ages 18 and older can submit up to three photographs of "scenic, natural and historical" places found on federal lands managed by the following agencies: the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service.

"The photographs must have been taken this year. Submissions will be accepted until Dec. 31."


Read the entire news article.

See the contest website for more information. (That website displays photos entered in the contests. It is fun to just browse through them.)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fall Colors Are Coming On In Utah's High Country

Leaves have started to turn red on trees on Utah's northern mountains. It is still early - the fall colors are just getting started. During the next several weeks the colors will become more intense and varied, as more trees and shrubs join the festivities. Burgundy, gold and auburn hues will soon cover the mountainsides.

It is hard to predict timing, but I'll go out on a limb and say the colors will peak in northern Utah during the final days of September.

The show starts at higher elevations and gradually moves down into the valleys. It also moves south over time. It will probably be late October before colors are prime in southern Utah valleys.

Several Utah byways provide excellent opportunities to view fall colors. Good fall drives can be found in both northern and southern Utah, along high-elevation roads that wind through steep mountain canyons but also along less demanding routes at lower elevations.

This page suggests some of our better fall driving tours.

- Dave Webb

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Golf's Nationwide Tour heads to Salt Lake City

pgatour.com has this report about the EnergySolutions Championship, which begins Thursday. All four rounds will be televised on the Golf Channel. Here are excerpts:

After a week of rest, the Nationwide Tour resumes play in Sandy, Utah, at the EnergySolutions Championship. With eight events remaining and so much on the line, including 25 PGA TOUR cards for 2008 and a top-60 spot for others, the field is stacked with 16 of the year's tournament winners.

For the ninth consecutive year, Willow Creek Country Club outside Salt Lake City will host the Nationwide Tour. Willow Creek Country Club, a 7,101-yard, par-72 layout, had the sixth lowest scoring average on the Nationwide Tour last year (70.965).

Three of the four previous winners of the Utah EnergySolutions Championship are now on the PGA TOUR, including this year's Master's champion, Zach Johnson (2003), and last week's runner-up at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Brett Wetterich (2004). At 10th and 22nd, respectively, Johnson and Wetterich are deep in the running for the FedExCup and its $10 million champion's bonus. Craig Kanada, last year's EnergySolutions champion, finished 103rd in the FedExCup standings.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Salt Lake Greek Festival Begins Thursday

The Salt Lake City Greek Festival will run September 6-9 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 279 South 300 West, Salt Lake City. Admission is $3.

It is Utah's largest ethnic festival and is now in its 30th year. It offers Greek music, dance, food and fun.

See the festival website for more information.

The festival attracts a crowd and so there will congestion on adjacent roads and sidewalks

Festival of India

Utah Valley’s Krishna Temple, located on South Main Street in Spanish Fork, will host the 20th Annual Festival of India on Saturday, September 15th beginning at 4 pm.

Set around the Rajastani style, multi domed temple, the eight acre festival site will feature world class entertainment, cuisine, a gift shop, art, photography, cultural exhibits on India, a gala pageant of the epic Ramayana, the burning of a 20’ high ten-headed demon named Ravana, and spectacular fireworks.

See that festival's website for more information.

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