Leaders of the country's 500 fastest-growing private companies will be getting an up-close look at Utah's scenery and businesses next week.

About 1,200 of the nation's top entrepreneurs are expected to attend Inc. magazine's annual invitation-only conference at the Salt Palace June 22-24.Between sessions about managing growth and developing leadership skills, CEOs and business leaders will be able to take getaways to Zion National Park, Park City and Sundance.

The mini-tours will have some guests fly fishing on the Provo River, flying in a hot air balloon over Salt Lake City or viewing Olympic sites from a helicopter.

Not only is the Inc. 500 conference an opportunity for the guests to check out Utah, but the state Department of Community and Economic Development plans to have some one-on-one conversations with a selected group of the invitees.

After scanning the invitation list for businesses that "fit in Utah," members of the department's business resource staff plan to talk with particular guests. They want to make sure the business executives have Utah in mind as their companies grow, said Rick Mayfield, department director.

Inc. 500's June issue contains an eight-page advertisement highlighting Utah's rich landscape and economic opportunities. One of the ads in the packet is a two-page color spread with a panorama shot of Bryce Canyon. Other pages mix impressive statistics with a narrative describing the Utah work environment.

As a gift to the state, Inc. 500 will give 100,000 copies of the ad, to be handed out or mailed to people requesting information about Utah.

For the first time, portions of the conference will be Webcast over the Internet by Direct Stock Market Inc. The schedule for the Webcast and free registration is located at (http://www.dsm.com/Inc500).

The site will broadcast comments from speakers such as Charles Rivkin, president and CEO of the Jim Henson Company and Stephen R. Covey, co-chairman of Franklin Covey Company.

Seven Utah businesses qualified on Inc. 500 magazine's 1998 list of fastest-growing businesses. They are: Dentrix Dental Systems Inc., American Fork; CableLink Inc., Salt Lake City; Cirque Corp., Salt Lake City; Floppy Copy Inc., Salt Lake City; Eclipse Marketing Inc., Provo; Create-A-Check Inc., Salt Lake City; and SymbolArts Inc., Ogden.

Inc. has hosted its 500 conference in Norfolk, Va., and Philadelphia in previous years.