Ventum Racing

What is it about Wasatch County that is so attractive to residents and visitors from around the world?

Perhaps the 2002 Winter Olympic Games played a role in introducing the Heber Valley to the world, or maybe three beautiful state parks have helped brand the area. Nobody could blame a person for wanting to visit here, and if the past dozen years have proved anything, people clearly want to live here. After all, the Heber Valley is located less than an hour from the Salt Lake City International Airport, and just a quick, 25-minute drive to Provo and Orem. For winter enthusiasts, the Heber Valley sits handsomely between world-renowned Deer Valley Resort and the quaint and timeless Sundance Resort.

With so many quality ingredients thrown into the mix, it is little wonder why Wasatch County has quickly transformed into one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States. With so much population growth, one might ask the following questions: (1) How is the local economy performing, and (2) what, if any, businesses are relocating to the Heber Valley, and (3) how much do businesses value the quality of life in the Heber Valley?

Local Economic Conditions

The past decade has seen a surge in economic strength and vitality — not just in Wasatch County, but throughout the State of Utah. In May of 2019, U.S. News and World Report ranked Utah as having the #2 best economy in the United States. Many other rankings tell a similar story that Utah is thriving by most, if not all, economic indicators. With so much economic success taking place in Utah, more and more companies are looking for more business stability and are making Utah their home.

Like Utah, Wasatch County is also a hotbed of economic success, as evidenced by a 35.9% job growth rate from 2013 to 2018. During the same time period, Wasatch County saw 2,786 new jobs created with an additional 2,453 new jobs expected to be created in the next five years.

Businesses Relocating To Heber Valley

Many exciting companies ranging from ski lift manufacturers to engineering firms have relocated to Heber Valley in the past few years, and Wasatch County appears to be poised for more economic growth.

One of the most intriguing businesses to relocate to the Heber Valley is Ventum — a specialty bike company that recently relocated its headquarters from sunny Miami Beach, Florida, and consolidated its other facility from Boulder, Colorado, to Heber City.

According to Diaa Nour, Ventum CEO, “We needed to find a location where we could be close to our customers, hire great people to join our team, and have room to grow.” He continued, “Our new home in Utah meets all of those criteria, plus having the mountains and trails right outside is going to come in handy for the bikes we’re working on next.”

For Wasatch County, Ventum’s decision to relocate to Heber City will result in 32 new jobs and over $1 million in capital investment. All Ventum bikes sold in the United States will be assembled in Utah.

Ventum, like many other reputable companies seeking the economic opportunity that Utah provides, received a post-performance tax incentive that will enable the creators of the ultimate triathlon racing bike to hire more, invest more and innovate more — all from within the walls of its new facility in Heber City, Utah.

Economic Development And Quality Of Life

During the next several years, county and city leaders will leverage $15 million of bond money and invest in preserving critical open space throughout the Heber Valley. Likewise, Wasatch County, Heber City, and Midway City have invested in new trails and outdoor recreation infrastructure to enhance the quality of life for residents. As county and city leaders continue to provide greater access to thousands of acres of public lands and trails, world-class companies like Ventum are more interested than ever in relocating their business to Wasatch County — precisely because of the focus on outdoor recreation and open space — not in spite of it.

So, what is it about Wasatch County that is so attractive to residents, visitors, AND businesses from around the world? The answer lies in the economic stability of Utah, Heber Valley’s proximity to major markets, and perhaps more than anything, an unparalleled quality of life that blesses all who make their home here.

I am a stubborn individual. Many times I have pondered whether this character attribute is, in fact, a virtue or a vice. I can see how being persistent in certain circumstances has led me to personal success. I can also see instances where my refusal to alter a course has brought unnecessary hardship to my life. I suppose the answer lies somewhere within the fabled words of Kenny Rogers in that you need to “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run.”

Life is a gamble these days. The status quo that we knew — even one year ago — no longer exists. The paradigm is shifting to an undefined end. In our current social, political, and economic environment: victories are most often rewarded to those with the most flexibility. However, change is intimidating; and just like a game of cards, making the wrong choice can set you back farther than where you started. The weight of deciding how and when to change any variable of your life can be paralyzing. How does one determine when it is most prudent to stay the course or make a change?

Start by prioritizing regular time for personal introspection. Quiet and meditative time can open windows into your deeper self. I believe that there is a light within our consciousness that (being unaffected by all things temporal) can help us see how things are instead of how they appear. All you have to do is slow yourself down and detach from the world enough to catch a glimpse of that wisdom and light.

Ponder your situation and derive an implementable solution. There is little good in taking on problems that are outside of your sphere of influence. I turn to the oft-quoted ‘Serenity Prayer’ when mitigating stress or anxiety created by things that “I cannot change.”

God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can, and WISDOM to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr, American Theologian, 1951

Sins of omission are real. With that stated: it is imperative to recognize that you, as an individual, have little to no control over certain things. Understanding this will help in prioritizing what an implementable change is and what it is not. If the ailment is something that you cannot do anything about — emotionally letting go of that thing could be the exact change needed to find your center again.

When looking to make the world a better place, it is imperative to get your foundation in order first. Make those changes in your own life that will allow you to be a shining example to others first. If you can define your unique personal values: you develop a base of support that will enable you to share yourself with others.

Strength and leadership principles originate in the home. The next place to implement change is at the family level. Strive to create harmony within the relationships that matter most. When outside personal and professional networks see a caring and confident human being with all of their personal affairs in order — they will be more inclined to hear your message.

My challenge to the Heber Valley is to make 2021 a better year than it’s predecessor. We have virtually no control over natural disasters, disease, or pestilence. We may not have much influence at the Federal or State levels of government. However, every individual CAN make changes that will affect their strength and happiness. You can choose to find gratitude in an environment ripe with fear and disaster. We can all positively influence those people that we interact with daily. That is within our control.

Thank you for supporting Heber Valley Life magazine. We live in the best mountain community in the American West. It is my genuine pleasure to highlight those that make it so every season of the year.