The Link Between Tourism and Economic Development with Ryan Starks & How DMOs Can Support Large Attractions with Kevin Smith

Episode 282,   Oct 27, 2023, 12:00 PM

On today’s episode of The Destination Marketing Podcast, Adam talks to Ryan Starks, the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and Kevin Smith, the president and CEO of Tuacahn Amphitheater. Ryan discusses his journey from Heber Valley to the Governor’s Office and how he was able to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic while still being new on the job. The conversation then moves toward why Utah supports tourism-related small businesses and what other DMOs can take away from their strategy.

In the second half of the episode, Adam and Kevin discuss the history of Tuacahn Amphitheater in Ivins, UT and how they put together their theatrical productions each season. Kevin also details how the Greater Zion Convention and Tourism Office supports his business and helps it flourish.

Utah Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity
Tuacahn Amphitheater

“Our businesses have done a really good job in Utah, of rolling out the red mat, and making sure that these visitors have the best experience that they can possibly have, and that includes our hoteliers, our restauranteurs, our retailers, there’s just so many opportunities for them to connect with visitors who are coming to the state, who are spending money and looking for a wonderful experience.” - Ryan Starks

“So whatever that idea is that you may think, ‘Oh we’d never be able to pull it off in our area,’ if you’ve got a group of people that are talented and passionate, encourage that because that can become an annual event, sometimes biannual event that attracts visitors and puts your area on the map for having that festival.” - Kevin Smith

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