Utah Valley residents need to start believing in people with a vision for Utah Valley and stop relying on politicians seeking to protect themselves, according to a Provo development consultant.
Doug Warren, president of Douglas S. Warren and Associates, told women from the Provo-Orem Chamber of Commerce that what Utah Valley becomes in the 21st century depends on the vision of its residents."Utah Valley deserves to look like one of the most beautiful places in the world, not one of the worst," he said. "When we elect politicians, we must ask `What do you see for this area?' "
Warren pointed to San Diego's Mission Bay as an example of what can happen when someone has a vision for an area. Making similar improvements in Utah Valley would not cost nearly as much.
He also said the idea that Utah needs to change its liquor laws to attract more skiers is nonsense. "I'm disturbed about `Park City, Colorado,' " he said, referring to a recent advertising campaign by the Utah ski area. "We have so much more than Colorado."
Warren said Utah can draw skiers who are tired of going to resorts where intoxicated vacationers cramp the family atmosphere. "I think we have a great sense of what draws people."
The Seven Mountains ski resort will be one of the greatest resorts in the country, he said. Developing the resort will eliminate what Warren called the attractive nuisances of Utah Valley. With more control over the mountains and Utah Lake, each will become safer for those who use them. Warren said recent deaths in Utah Lake could have been prevented with more control over the use of the lake.
Local cities and Utah County would have to help finance much of the development work that he said needs to be done.
Utah Valley cities were in favor of a development plan a few years ago, he said, but the then-owners of Geneva Steel worked to dismiss those plans. "Geneva killed it, because they wanted to continue exploiting the labor force and pollution."
Warren challenged Geneva Steel's current owners to help develop Utah Lake and to clean up its own appearance. "Geneva can look like a Garden of Eden." He said pollution from the plant could be put underground.
He said Utah Valley will one day have one million people, and that current citizens should stop trying to deny that and should start preparing for it.
The two-party system is not sacred, he said, and Utah Valley residents should reject politicians who protect the wants of special interest groups. "Forget about the parties. Elect people with vision. What have they done for the past 20 years except give us more taxes?"