Starstruck In Utah

Becki Lewis says those who visit her southwestern Utah destination may end up feeling a little star-struck.

Lewis, with Visit Cedar City told a Monday Toronto gathering promoting Utah that those who visit her area can easily enjoy outdoor pursuits, such as mountain biking, and dramatic natural retreats like Zion National Park are nearby.

And she added the Cedar City area is also an intriguing place after sunset, with the “sky park” providing dramatic celestial displays, thanks in part to the region’s smallish population.

“We don’t have the light pollution” that makes star-gazing difficult, Lewis said. “It [displays of stars] is just spectacular.,”

Lewis also praised the area’s cultural side, noting it has a long-running Shakespeare festival.

Josie Sprecher of the Kane County Office of Tourism in turn said that her part of the state also provides quick access to dramatically scenic areas, including the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, with those going to see that famed natural attraction in her area able to “enjoy the solitude” thanks to its seeing far fewer visitors than other parts of the attraction because of its remoteness.

Visitors can see the likes of Zion National Park from the air, she continued.

Sprecher also said the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is home to some 1,600 creatures and dog enthusiasts and others are welcome to visit it and perhaps do volunteer work while there.

The evening was also told by Rachel Buhler of the Park City Convention & Visitors Bureau that Park City serves as the home of the U.S. ski and snowboarding teams and is generally associated with winter sports, thanks in part to its hosting some of the 2002 Winter Olympics events.

But she added that it’s also a great summer retreat, citing the likes of Savor the Summit, which sees restaurants showcase their cuisines.

Buhler said Park City has a “classic western saloon feel” and also noted its home to distilleries, including High West, found at the base of a ski hill.

The evening was also told by Celina Sinclair of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development that Utah is home to five U.S. national parks and 44 state parks and tourism authorities want visitors to explore the different regions.

“We’re seeing an expansion of glamping,” she said, adding those wanting to go that route may find themselves overnighting in Conestoga wagons or yurts

Those with a sweet tooth will be in their element in Utah, which has more chocolate producers per capita than any other state, she continued.

In the photo

Seen here are Buhler, Lewis, Sprecher and Sinclair.