The first, of hopefully many, Wasatch Back Economic Summit wrapped up on Tuesday, May 15 at the Zermatt UT events center, as over 300 attendees got an economic snap shot of what’s happening in this two-county region. The summit was put on as a collaborative effort between the Park City and Heber Valley Chambers of Commerce.
Attendees from all sectors of business from tourism to tech heard breakouts related to the summit theme of “Connecting Communities.” Natalie Gochnour, chief economist with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah offered the keynote address during the morning general session and offered some pointed advice to this region of the state.
“Buckle up” she said as most economists predict the Wasatch back to have tremendous growth over the next few decades. Some estimates show Wasatch County Growing by 186 percent by 2065.
Besides growth, other topics that were presented during the summit were real estate market trends, the future of transportation infrastructure, educating a younger workforce, second home market analysis, employment challenges and opportunities, entrepreneurship, affordable housing, small business resources, and non-hospitality business success.
Pressure from growth is affecting all these aspects of business and the local economies of Summit and Wasatch County. Gochnour and afternoon keynote speaker Derek Miller, president of the Salt Lake Chamber mentioned that leadership is needed now to create a bright future.
Joint vision, land use planning and collaborative problem solving were some of the long-term leadership goals they emphasized that need to take place now along the Wasatch Back.
For the first event of its kind, the Wasatch Back Economic Summit proved to be very helpful and insightful for attendees. Moving forward the summit will rotate back and forth between Summit and Wasatch Counties. For more information about future events follow the Park City and Heber Valley Chambers of Commerce on social media to stay in the loop.