Published: Tuesday, May 27 2014 2:05 a.m. MDT
What Utah needs is more of these types of big annual event attractions to
diversify its economy. Events, such as Sundance and Comic Con, draw thousands
of tourists and boost the local economy while contributing to the cultural
experience of Utah and the nation. This is critical for Utah's future,
especially as some of Utah's traditional industries are now threatened.
Coal is a diminishing industry in Utah. Natural gas is cheaper and
cleaner, and society is demanding a switch away from dirty coal to alternative
energy, such as wind and solar. Utah's been slow to realize this, even
with California cutting off its coal contracts in Utah by 2027. Ports on the
west coast are resisting exports of Utah/Wyoming coal to China, so we're
destined to see Utah's coal locked up.How to address this
massive shift in Utah's economy? Diversification to new industries, such
as events such as Comic Con and Sundance. With many of Utah's mining
communities so dependent on coal, those communities MUST start thinking five to
10 years out to figure out what kind of economies they want to be and see EVENTS
could be part of their future.
I think that Sundance highlights the fact that there are two Utah's, the
deeply conservative State of Utah, with inclusions of very progress areas like
down town Salt Lake City, Park City, and Moab.Most of America has a
very muddled view of Utah, with awareness of the beautiful landscapes, but also
a knowledge of politicians calling for the reinstitution of the firing squad,
and of Utah's polygamist history.I've noticed a real
"island effect" with our Sugar House rentals. A certain segment of the
population will only rent in the more progressive parts of the valley, so demand
in those areas remained strong through out the recent recession.
If you invite the "creative" class to Utah and expect them to be wowed
by more than a pretty landscape, then how do you square the social policies that
this sort expect? It is a common perception that Hollywood and the
Arts in general are more "liberal" in their social attitudes. Why would
such a person knowing move to a place in which the Governor says such crude
things about gay marriage? I mean a pretty view is nice, but if your neighbor
is publicly excoriated as the very embodiment of evil, it is rather hard to be
content in your life.
And don't forget our State Legislature wants to buy that view and sell it
to their friends.
Sundance doesn't showcase Utah. It showcases independent film. Almost
none of which are from Utah.Sundance is not about Utah. It COULD be
done anywhere.Utah is just the venue it's held in. But
it's not about Utah, or our standards, or our people, or our politics, or
really anything about Utah (other than our hospitality to our temporary
guests).Just be nice to the people who come. It's not about
us... Don't pretend it is about Utah... It's about the films and
exposure for their producers, not the venue.
Which Utah "values and traditions" should Sundance recognize? Our filthy
air? Our reputation as the MLM fraud capital of the world? Our mediocrity of an
education system? Our denial of basic rights to fellow citizens? Our
determination to drill, burn, graze, and privatize the most beautiful landscape
on earth until it's unrecognizable and unrecoverable?
@Irony Guy,The irony is... IF all those negative things you pretend
represent Utah values and traditions are true... and yet you choose to live here
and just moan and groan instead of fixing it.What's keeping you
from fixing it? What's keeping you from leaving and finding a place with
less pollution, and MLM "Fraud"??
Yes... replace the impact the mining industry has in the Utah economy with Comic
Con? Genius!Google "THE STRUCTURE AND ECONOMIC IMPACT OF
UTAH’S COAL INDUSTRY"...4500 Utahns work in the coal
industry. I'm sure the convention center has some minimum-wage jobs and
will hire these 4500 newly unemployed Utahns! Or they can get jobs changing
beds or serving beer to the Comic Con visitors... that should replace the income
miners currently have...======In 2007 Carbon County
accounted for nearly half (48%) of the coal produced in the state, with Sevier
County accounting for 28%, and Emery County 24%.If comic con
replaces mining... these miners would have to move to SLC or Sandy. But
that's OK. That's where all Utah jobs (and air pollution) SHOULD be
anyway.So... when these employees and their families move out of
Carbon, Emery, and Sevier county (to get these minimum-wage convention jobs)....
what will happen to the towns they leave? It's probably OK with
environmentalists if the towns become ghost-towns, and the families with roots
there, and businesses there... just leave for the SLC area...At
least we have comic con...
2 bitsDigging for riches Always fails when the thing your diggin' for
runs out and it will.Tourism will never dry up as long as there are
beautiful places to go that aren't private land or strip mined and left for
someone else to clean up.
Re: 2 bits "Utah is just the venue it's held in. But it's not
about Utah, or our standards, or our people, or our politics, or really anything
about Utah..."Well, not so fast. Both Redford and many Utahns
dislike the formulaic trash served up by Hollywood. That's one of the
reasons for the festival - to explore the potential of movies by experimenting.
With what is happening at BYU and SLCC, there is a lot of commonality.
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