Park City locals discuss Epic and Icon Passes’ impact on the community

Story and photographs by ASHLEIGH THOMAS

Vail’s Epic Pass and Altera’s Icon Pass have changed and shaped the landscape of the modern-day ski culture and business. Park City, Utah, is growing and changing at a rapid rate due to the passes. They invite skiers and snowboarders all over the world to buy a single ski pass that allows them to ski at multiple ski resorts.

Utah locals must prepare and consider the new changes to the Utah ski industry as the upcoming season approaches.

Park City is home to Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Mountain Resort, two culturally rich and unique ski areas that many people call home. These passes are altering the “Park City ski culture” as we know it, in part because the ski industry has been globalized on a huge scale. These passes give access to resorts all over the world including in Australia, Europe, Asia, Canada, and South America. But at this scale what are the lasting effects on small ski towns like Park City and the Park City way of life? Are these passes changing the industry for the better or for worse?

Many locals have described their feelings about the Icon and Epic Passes’ impact on Park City as a mix of good and bad.

Kathy Burke, the buyer for Cole Sport, described her feelings in an email interview about whether the Icon and Epic pass are beneficial to Park City or not. “I have mixed feelings about this. Being in retail, I am in favor of controlled growth and commerce. The town has grown and has more job opportunities for jobs.” However, she added, “the impact on traffic and the carbon footprint is having an impact on this town.”

Another Park City local, Renee Godin, PSIA ski instructor and level 300 ski coach USSA, discussed her experience with the growth. Godin said in an email interview that she has noticed the town has become busier. She also has experienced the impact of increased tourism with crowded restaurants, scarce parking spots, and slower commutes. “These are problems that locals find to be annoying, but more tourists for the local business is what it’s all about, it is what a small town thrives on. Tourist dollars, and that’s what people sometimes forget.”

Park City is known all over the world for being a unique ski town with something for everyone to enjoy and experience. Park City’s charm and ski culture is what made many Park City locals want to lay down roots and live there. “What brought me to Park City was the idea of being able to jump on a bus and ski 3 different ski areas, in one town making a European experience in the middle of the USA!” Godin said.

Park City’s Historic Main Street is one of the main attractions of Park City. Burke said Main Street is changing quickly due to the fact national corporate retail chains are seeing incentives to open their shops where locally-owned business have existed for years.

“My favorite characteristic is the community spirit of Park City and its heritage to its mining history,” Burke said, “specifically characterized through the historic commitment to preserving Main Street and Old Town. I think the Epic and Icon transition is bringing a commercial element to Main Street with its national chain stores. The growth in mono brand stores and national chains diminished the charm and uniqueness of specialty retail and character and integrity of Main Street.”

The economic development and change in the community’s character aren’t the only things that are evolving from the Icon and Epic Passes. The “on the hill” experience is also changing, said Chuck English, a former mountain manager at Deer Valley. He added that a couple of years ago locals could ski on wide open runs on the weekdays and sometimes even on the weekends. But that is no longer a reality. The number of visitors on the hill has greatly increased, creating longer lines, crowded runs, and busy lodges.

“The Icon has definitely changed DV (Deer Valley). Their stated intention of limiting skiers to the maintain quality experiences has gone by the wayside. They are not able to limit Icon pass holders even though they encourage them to make reservations,” English said in an email interview.

The Icon and Epic Passes may be attractive to some and less attractive to others. When asked about the expense of skiing and the experience as a whole, English added, “To a person who is already a skier the passes make it more affordable. Season pass prices were getting very expensive and I feel like some people might have started to drop out based on cost.” He thinks that there is less of an incentive and focus for new skiers to participate or buy a season pass. “This is a serious problem for the industry,” he said. This is an aspect that will change ski culture in the long term and is something to consider for new skiers and snowboarders.

With all things considered the Epic and Icon pass are creating an evolved modern ski and snowboard experience. They are a force to be reckoned with and will have a lasting impact on the industry and ski culture in Park City.

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The most sustainable and ethical diet for people and the planet

Story and photo gallery by CAMILLE AGLAURE

With so much talk concerning diet in the media, many people find it difficult to know what to eat. What foods are ethically sourced and grown? What foods truly promote human health? What foods support the health of the planet? These are all questions that are fogging up the minds of so many people.  

One thing that Thunder Jalili, Ph.D., and a professor of nutrition and integrative physiology, and Anne Pesek Taylor, registered dietitian, at the University of Utah can both agree on is that, generally speaking, a healthier plate is one with more plants and less overly processed foods and added sugar. 

Pesek Taylor said in an email interview that balanced nutrition needs to account for individual food preferences, lifestyle factors, and include a variety of food groups so it can be maintained long-term. Pesek Taylor referred to the University of Utah’s Healthy Eating Plate, an adaptation of the government’s MyPlate created in 2011, as a useful guide to good health.

What does this mean for meat and dairy, though?

Studies like the popular health book “The China Study” and documentaries like “What the Health” and “Cowspiracy”detail the harmful effects to humans and the environment that come with the consumption of animal-based foods. Jalili said he believes that the absolute exclusion of animal-based foods is not necessarily vital. However, regarding meat, “a little still means a little,” he said. 

Jalili said the maximum recommended intake of red meat is 100 grams per day while the maximum for processed meat is 50 grams. “Once a day is still a lot,” he said, and as far as human health is concerned, many studies indicate that there is, in fact, a decrease in mortality rate among those who maintain a vegan and vegetarian diet. When considering environmental health, there is slightly more to be taken into account when writing out your grocery list.

As more media attention surrounds the question of climate change versus animal agriculture, many organizations and communities are reevaluating the importance of animal-based foods, particularly meat, in a standard, western diet. 

“Raising cows is an environmental disaster,” Jalili said. With animal agriculture accounting for 91 percent of rainforest deforestation, according to The World Bank, and more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector, according to the United Nations, Jalili said he believes that it is time for groups of people, like nutritionists, to not focus on health alone, but the bigger picture. “It’s just responsible,” he said. 

So, is a universal vegan diet the solution?

In the opinion of Christy Clay, Ph.D., an associate professor at Westminster College who teaches courses on subjects including biology, ecology, and environmental studies, “a homogenous, universal diet is exactly what has caused so many problems in our current food system.”

Clay said she believes that the current food system has created a monster of unequal distribution of foods, the elimination of native crops and variation, and potentially the loss of culture and professions. 

“We’re not understanding the limitations and values of local resources,” Clay said, as she explained the harms in seeking mainstream foods that do not naturally occur locally. Clay used the example of quinoa, a grain that grows in the Andes that is now exported to Western countries more than it is provided for locals who have depended on the grain in their diets for centuries. To be truly sustainable and ethical, Clay maintained that “diets should be bio-regional.”

For Clay, the ethical question of which foods to eat is not as simple as drastically lowering our consumption of meat. Rather, “there’s a whole dismantling of a current food system that needs to happen,” Clay said as she painted a picture of just how disrupted our way of eating has become. 

So, where do we begin?

Clay suggested that the first action to take is having the conversation about “how broken our food system is.” This consists of poor income for those in the agriculture industry, the cost and precarious nature of leasing land to farmers, a decline in community gardens, and loss of interest in crops that have fallen out of the mainstream.

“What does it look like to say we actually value this profession?” wondered Clay as she additionally suggested encouraging communities to be a space for local gardening. Already, there are a number of organizations working to do just that, including Green Urban Lunch Box, which goes from school to school, educating children on the value of local gardening while furthermore educating local farmers. 

Making a difference in your community requires collective action to encourage local agriculture and farming. Clay suggested gardening out of your own backyard. If you live in an apartment complex, ask your landlord or property owner about creating a roof garden. Clay also suggested engaging with other community gardens and protecting land to be used for local farming. Getting back in touch with a farm-to-table way of eating is imperative for a sustainable diet. Rekindling a healthy and community-based relationship with food is the best way for individuals to eat ethically, healthily, and in an environmentally friendly way. 

Come support esports at the University of Utah

Story and gallery by HOLLIS LEJA

Esports and video games in general are starting to become a bigger part of our culture. In a 2018 report by the Entertainment Software Association, 60 percent of Americans play video games daily, and in 2017 Americans spent over $29 billion on video games. The report also said “56% of the most frequent gamers play multiplayer games.”

The University of Utah is one of the first universities in the nation to have a college esports team. This is something to be excited about because it is likely you may be a video game fan too. Entertainment Arts & Engineering (EAE) is the name of the department leading this change and it has created the first varsity esports team in the U’s conference.

The university’s EAE program is one of the top programs in the world for video game development. It is rated no. 3 in the nation for its undergraduate and graduate programs and has published over 100 student-made video games. The U’s esports team was the first varsity esports team in the U.S. and currently offers this unique experience across four different game titles: “Rocket League,” “Hearthstone,” “Overwatch,” and “League of Legends.”

“League of Legends” is one of the most watched third-person Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games in the world. Two teams of five players battle champions with various roles and abilities to be the first to destroy the other team’s nexus — a structure that is well-defended in the middle of each team’s base.

“League of Legends” was the first game to become part of this program back in 2017 and it boasts one of the largest followings in the esports industry. According to Riot Games, the creator of “League of Legends,” over 80 million people tuned in to watch the World Championship in 2017 and Riot expects that number to only continue growing. The 2018 World Championship concluded at the end of October and was hosted by South Korea. North America, represented by the U.S. team Cloud 9, took fourth. This is the first time an American team has placed in the top-4 since 2012 during the first Worlds Championship.

Riot sees the potential in esports just like the University of Utah does. Riot said it has over 500 university League of Legends Clubs on campuses across the U.S. For the 2019 college season Riot will be offering scholarships to both players and staff of the teams that compete. The 2019 collegiate season will start Jan. 15, just in time for spring semester.

In spring 2018, the University of Utah League of Legends Team was in the top spot for the collegiate tournaments played. AJ Dimmic, the esports director at the U, said the team was able to get over 300,000 views on Twitch last season and created over 350 hours of content. Dimmic is working hard to help the team and program continue to grow while creating a place where fans of gaming can come watch and support some of the university’s best players.

Kenny Green works as game studio relations for the University’s EAE program and volunteers his time as the head coach for the League of Legends Team on campus. He is also a student pursuing his master’s degree in game production. He’s been playing “League of Legends” since it came out on beta for PC in 2009.

Green said he tries to instill a “culture of being a family” with his players. The team works on building trust with one another and practices up to 20 hours a week, helping each other improve at the game as they prepare for the 2019 season.

The U currently has 11 students on scholarship for the League of Legends team, each pursuing different degrees varying from organic chemistry to pre-med. Green said his players are just like any other student-athlete on campus and are held to the same standards. Students in the program must be enrolled as full-time students, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and progress through 20 percent of their degree with each season.

Like most of the players and coaches in the program at the U, Green is very passionate about his role with the team and video games in general. He said some of the biggest challenges they face right now are space and budget. The program is on campus in building 72 located at 332 S. 1400 East, Suite 240, formerly used by the College of Law. Green said he is working on making a bigger area for teams to practice and so people can come watch the team play local games in the old mock courtroom in building 73 located at the same address.

The U and EAE are invested in esports on campus and in improving the program. The student-athletes and staff have worked hard to represent the best the U has to offer. Dimmic, Green and the team said the best way students can support the team and program is to come watch the games on campus and subscribe to the university esports Twitch channel. With student support the U can continue to be a leader in innovation and invest in programs like the ones in EAE.

How Ski Resorts Stay Profitable During the Off Season

Story and Photos by Zac Fox

SALT LAKE CITY — For a business model that profits entirely off of cold weather and snow, how do you maintain profitability without either of the two? Ski resorts across Utah have found ways to stay in the green, and retain profits during the greenest months of the year.

Artboard 1Utah is a mecca for year-round outdoor activity. If you’re in the state, look out your window and you’ll see mountains. No? Drive 30 minutes in any direction and you’ll most likely find yourself in one of the many canyons the Wasatch Front offers. Utah’s five national parks and 14 ski resorts are the major driving force of the state’s tourism industry.

According to the 2017 Economic Report to the Governor, there were roughly 4.5 million skier visits to the state in the winter alone. In order to maintain and maximize profitability, resorts in Utah need to maintain the same number of visitors year-round – not just during the winter. Most resorts are already taking a step in the right direction offering some sort of summer events, but few have completely capitalized on the season.

Whistler-Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada has primarily been a winter ski resort since 1966, offering minimal summer activities like fishing or hiking. It wasn’t until 1999 when they opened mountain biking trails and offered more summer-focused activities. Sixteen years later, the resort reported 1.6 million visitors in the summer, and 1.1 million visitors in the winter, according to an article from the Vancouver Sun in 2015. Similarly, Winter Park in Colorado pivoted to offer summer activities, despite their namesake.

11282017-6Resorts, like Powder Mountain, are following in the footsteps of Whistler and Winter Park with a shift to a year-round resort. “I think a lot of people saw the success that Winter Park and Whistler were having. Whistler is now making more money on their summer activities than they do in the winter,” explains J.P. Goulet, Marketing Coordinator for Powder Mountain since 2008.

For the past ten years now, Goulet has been leading the charge for a better, more profitable resort. Since 2009, Powder Mountain has been offering more and more summer activities to get people up on the mountain. “We’re a ski resort, but just a resort in general,” says Goulet. “We can offer a bunch [of] activities – people want to get in the mountains and enjoy fresh air.”

Artboard 2 copyUtah resorts have a combined total of over 29,000 skiable acres — roughly the size of 200 Disneyland’s — that cover some of the most beautiful parts of the state. “The biggest asset a resort has is its land,” explains Theresa Foxley, the Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, “maximize the land and you’ll maximize the profits.”

It seems like common sense to make the switch to a year-round resort, especially when you tally the numbers.

“In the summer, there’s a lot more people that are into outdoor activities,” says Goulet. “There’s only about 6 percent of the Utah population that ski’s more than, I think, three days a year.” From a marketing standpoint, the winter audience in Utah is limited to the 6 percent that actually chooses to ski, but the audience for summer activities jumps significantly.

The resorts, themselves, benefit significantly from being open year-round. For Goulet, it’s “obviously to have some revenues in the summer.” However, it goes beyond profits. In order to implement summer activities, resorts like Powder Mountain have to go over feasibility studies for the entire activity to find out how much they’ll spend or make. A resort has to think of everything from the beginning to the end.

“Bike school programs, rental programs, food and beverage, how much it costs for you to run the lift, how much it costs for staff and patrol,” Goulet says. Additionally, the resorts save time and money by retaining staff around the resort, instead of training new staff every year. Overall, the “more people you have on the mountain the better it is,” Goulet says, “it’s pretty great to be able to offer that.”

Operating a ski resort year round provide a massive benefit, and not just for the resort but for the state as well. “Corporations are looking for talent,” says Foxley, “and talent is drawn to places with great amenities.” Most corporations and employees look for the three A’s:  availability, affordability, and accessibility.

The three A’s are what brought professional snowboarder, Jack Wiley, to Utah. Wiley is originally from Seattle, Washington, and moved here to attend high school at the Winter Sports School in Park City. “I came here because there are seven world-class resorts in your backyard,” Wiley says. “Denver is not as accessible to resorts as you’d think, but Salt Lake City is.” Today, the development of off-season amenities means Wiley, and others living along the Wasatch Front, can leverage those resorts the rest of the year.

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Local Business Cross E Ranch Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

Story and images by EMMA CHAVEZ

Cross E Ranch is a small local cattle ranch in the Salt Lake City neighborhood of Rose Park. It celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018.

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The Great Red Barn was built in 1880.

David Hinckley purchased the land from the Jeremy family, of Jeremy Ranch Park City, in 1968. David kept the business in the family, as his son, Dalon, and daughter, Heather, are the current co-owners.  

Cross E Ranch has a long history. Dalon, 29, began working with his dad when he was just 8 years old. He explained that originally the ranch was in the business of sheep, but his father quickly turned over to cattle. “We don’t do sheep anymore because, well, we’re just not that crazy. Sheep take a lot more work and are kind of a delicate animal,” Dalon says. Instead the ranch now raises black Angus beef. That’s just fine by Dalon, though. The cows are his favorite part of the job.  

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The ranch now raises black Angus beef.

“The cows keep us grounded in what we do each day,” Dalon says. The most interesting part of the ranch’s history, in fact, is its cattle brand. It is the cross E, and the namesake of the ranch. It is the oldest cattle brand still in use west of the Mississippi. It is a bit of a mystery. “We know it was used by a commander in Brigham Young’s Mormon Battalion, most likely Ethan Jeremy, but we aren’t sure,” Dalon says.

But the Jeremy family would not sell the ranch to David Hinckley unless he promised to keep using the brand, and David’s family have felt very honored and proud to be owners of such a historic brand ever since.

There a plenty of photo ops all over the ranch.

Running a cattle ranch is difficult work, but the hardest part isn’t the manual labor like you would think. Dalon likens being a rancher to that of a gambler, playing the highest of stakes. The nature of the business is luck. “There’s a lot of hope involved,” Dalon says. “You can gamble up to $300,000 on a crop of produce, and then you’re weather dependent.” Or in the case of a festival, “you’re hoping that in six weeks you can recuperate your investment and then make enough to make it worth it.” 

In the last 50 years, though, the stakes have increased tenfold. The entire business has changed. Dalon explained that he is now competing on a global agricultural market. His operation is now expected to be equally as efficient as a ranch that is working for a mass retailer, and shipping globally. It puts a strain on his resources.

Even more concerning has been the encroachment of development. Hundreds of acres of Dalon’s land have been bought out by the state government due to water accessibility, or shut down due to new EPA regulations. The changes began to greatly affect the business. “About seven years ago, we started losing hand over fist money, nearly $400,000,” Dalon says. “We had to completely reinvent the diversification of where our money was coming from.”

A display outside the Cross E Ranch pumpkin patch.

These changes forced the family to get creative with their revenue streams, which is how the Cross E Ranch festivals began. The ranch puts on three major festivals a year, the Summer Fun Free Days, the Baby Animal Festival and the Fall Festival. It also offers a multitude of private events, such as weddings, summer camps and corporate events.

Despite the stress the festivals cause him, Dalon says the creative aspect they bring to the job is the real fun part of the business. His goal is to constantly come up with new ways to make the farm better and more entertaining for the guests. Dalon just wants people to connect with agriculture, so he spends his time thinking of new ways to make the farm experience more accessible.

The Fall Festival, specifically, has been a major success since it started in 2014. Mother-daughter working duo Teresa and Kristal Hyde consider it their favorite festival. Kristal, who is the ranch’s event coordinator, described the Fall Festival as “fun, family, and good times.” Teresa, who helps run the ticket booth, nodded in agreement and added, “I’ve gone for the past three years before either of us worked here. They make their own doughnuts and it’s my favorite.”

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“There’s something for everyone.”

Of all the activities available, both Kristal and Teresa recommend the hay ride as a must-go-on when the festival next comes around, while Dalon insists everyone try the food. “There’s a doughnut shop, caramel apples, kettle corn, and a concessions shop where you can try a Cross E hamburger,” Dalon says. “There’s something for everyone.” This 2018 Fall Festival included a 14-acre corn maze, a 12-acre pumpkin patch, hay rides, slides, animals, and plenty of food. Check the Cross E Ranch website for more details on its variety of year-round festivals and activities.

Dalon is very excited with the direction the ranch is heading currently, but admits that it is expensive to change. He and his sister Heather haven’t taken a paycheck in two years. “Herding people and cows are really similar,” he said with a laugh, “but they do require different fencing. We haven’t made any money on the festivals yet because we keep reinvesting in them.” It’s quite a strenuous transition period.

An old tractor turned display on the edge of the ranch.

In the future, Dalon hopes the ranch will stay in the family. Heather has four daughters that she would like to see be involved. The siblings would both like to continue toward the direction of mixed use, with plenty of entertainment, but also maintaining the interactivity and ambience of the ranch.

To act, or not to act … There is no question at the Utah Shakespeare Competition

Story and photos by KIM DAVISON

Shakespeare Festival Shakespeare Statue Cedar City small

Next year’s Utah Shakespeare Festival season is full of classics like “Hamlet,” “Macbeth,” and “Twelfth Night.”

Every year, when the leaves begin to crunch, the air starts to feel crisp and the sounds of students reciting Shakespeare fill the hall of every junior and senior high school, it means that it is time for the annual Utah Shakespeare Competition. Young thespians from far and wide make their way south through Utah’s red rock to Cedar City, ready to take the stage. These kids love what they do and cannot wait to share it with the world.

The main element that makes the Shakespeare Competition so special is that it is part of the large and well-known Utah Shakespeare Festival. The competition, held at Southern Utah University, celebrated its 42nd year in 2018. Fox 13 Salt Lake City stated, “The competition is the largest scholastic Shakespeare competition in the country, and this was a record-breaking year with nearly 3,600 students from 123 schools in seven states and the U. S. Virgin Islands.”

The different sections of the competition include large ensemble scenes, duo/trio scenes, minstrels, dance and technical elements, all separated by divisions based on the school size.

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Troupes are able to bring props, set pieces, masks and more to make their scenes stand out from the other schools’.

Each school puts together an ensemble scene to perform at the competition. This is by far the element that takes the students and their director the most time and preparation. Penelope Caywood, the artistic director of Youth Theatre at the University of Utah, said she thinks that “competition is great motivation” for her students.

Some schools rehearse for a few weeks, others for months. The ensemble scene needs to be perfect and show the theater program and students in the best possible light. Scenes can be chosen and performed from any Shakespeare play, but some have a higher degree of difficulty than others. This can be a large factor in deciding which scenes to take to competition because they need to be challenging and have a competitive edge. This is similar to a gymnast selecting certain elements based on their degree of difficulty.

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Some schools choose to perform Shakespeare works that are not his traditional plays, like epic poems and sonnets.

The Shakespeare performed at the competition is unlike any other Shakespeare you will see. Because the ensemble groups are restricted to 10-minute scenes, they have the ability to take creative liberties with the themes they highlight. There are scenes that use a “Game of Thrones” or “Harry Potter” theme or some that choose to tackle political issues of today using Shakespeare’s words to drive their points home.

The students have a chance to let their individual and small group talents shine in the monologue/duo and trio scene competition. For this event, the students do most of the work on their own time. They rehearse outside of school to hone their craft and give the best performance they can. These competitions have lots of rules and are strictly timed at two or five minutes depending on the event, but are worth it if they want to show off their Shakespeare chops!

All of the musically talented students from schools all over the country come to compete in the Utah Shakespeare Competition’s madrigal and minstrel contest. There are no separate divisions, which makes the events far more competitive. Participants prepare songs from Shakespeare’s time and perform with either vocals, a mix of vocals and instruments, or just instruments.

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Penelope Caywood, the artistic director of Youth Theatre at the University of Utah, giving her dance ensemble some last-minute tips before the performance.

There is also a dance competition, which is a great place for seasoned dancers to show their technique and for new dancers to learn and improve their dancing abilities. Peyton Lozano, a senior from Skyline High School in Granite School District, has competed for three years. “It’s a big bonding experience,” she said. “We do really cool shows every year. It’s also the one time in the year that we get to dance. It’s not just about performing Shakespeare as it’s traditionally done.”

For students who are interested in theatrical elements other than performing Shakespeare, side competitions are options. Each school brings an improvisational team to Southern Utah University. Improv is difficult but fun when done well. It is the art of making up scenes and dialogue on the spot. It’s usually funny and the kids who compete are talented and quick on their feet.

Another option is the Technical Olympics. Students interested in stage management, costume design, lighting, sound, and hair/makeup get to put their skills to the test. Because each element is timed and the students compete as a team, the Technical Olympics gets extremely competitive and is exhilarating to watch.

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Trophies and certificates are given to the winners of the competitions. Some students even receive scholarships to Southern Utah University.

This is a competition, after all, so the students get the chance to win awards in any of the categories. A sweepstakes award is given to the group that has the most wins overall. The competition is split up into different divisions based on school size and age. Max Brown, a junior from Judge Memorial High School in Salt Lake City, talked about his first experience at the Utah Shakespeare Competition. “It was all very fun,” he said. “It was nice to be recognized for all of our hard work! It’s cool to put a lot of effort into something and then have other people who weren’t involved in the process also think that it is good.”

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An ensemble working on its scene where each member of the cast portrays a different personality trait of Ophelia from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

Shakespeare’s writing has the ability to impact people of all ages and backgrounds. His work helps students find ways to talk about and deal with issues that can be otherwise difficult or uncomfortable. Caywood, with the U’s Youth Theatre, said, “We’ve talked about so many current issues through Shakespeare, whether it’s the #MeToo movement, immigration, whether it’s racism, rape and other kinds of abuse. There have been so many things that we have been able to talk about with these high schools students as we are processing and getting ready for the show. I don’t know of another time in the year that we get to address some of those issues and talk about Shakespeare at the same time. He’s so timely.”

 

 

A local business woman’s ability to lead

Story and Gallery by KOWHAI ANDERSON

Professional ambition is expected of males, while only optional for females. For one Utah businesswoman, she has chosen to use her professional success to make an impact on her employees, community, friends and family.

Stacy Kelly is the owner of Construction Material Recycling, a Utah based company founded in 2004. Her company specializes in construction and excavation. Its services include rotomilling, heavy hauling and crushing.

At Canyons Resort, Construction Material Recycling is building two new ski runs, bridge embankments and roads for new houses. They handle construction on Interstate 80 through Parley’s Canyon. They recently finished road work at Bear Lake, and construction in American Fork.

Kelly is in charge of 25 employees, all male. She said every worker is OK with working for her. In fact, some are honored. Kelly said, “Each employee looks out for me and makes sure I am taken care of. This is due to the type of employer I am. I believe you need to be kind.”

“I think this is something women understand better than men,” Kelly stated. “There needs to be a little bit of compassion.”

Kelly shows this in the way she treats her employees. For example, she gives each of her employees heartfelt birthday cards, filled with loving words and numerous gift certificates. She believes if compassion exists, any leader can have a more dynamic team.

“It’s the little things you think about doing for someone, whether that be work, school, family, friends, whatever,” Kelly said, “it’s those little things that put the icing on the cake to seal the relationship.”

Originally, Kelly didn’t see herself building a career in the construction industry. However, those closest to her felt she would thrive. So, she obtained her contractor’s license, which can only be rewarded after passing a difficult exam.

“I cried all morning the day of the test,” Kelly stated. “I didn’t want to do this … I went to the testing center, and saw a lot of females there as well. I assumed they were all there for the same exam, feeling relief. Turns out, the majority of the women were going in for a cosmetology exam.”

Kelly passed the test with an 81 percent. For Kelly, this was the beginning of her journey in the industry of construction. She realized it would not be an easy road.

“It’s been an adventure,” Kelly said. “I enjoy doing what I’m doing, but it takes a lot of strength. People don’t believe you are doing it because you are a lady, and my main competition was the worst. Still can be today. He would say to me, when we would see each other at conferences or in the business field, ‘Um, why aren’t you doing scrapbooking like my wife? That’s where you should be!’”

While building the company, it was difficult for Kelly to balance being a business owner and a mother. She still finds it difficult, and says it has been her biggest challenge.

Kelly is a mother to nine children; four with her current husband and five adopted.  

“In the beginning, it was easier,” Kelly said on being a mother. “At the time I had my ex-husband who was part of it. So, we are working together. Now my current husband is not part of the business. He works out of town, which has made balancing everything for me a lot harder.”

For Kelly, her kids have always been part of the business. She includes them in everything she does and has given them the opportunity to work for her once they reach the legal age of 18.

In 2008, Kelly moved to Coalville, Utah. Her company was based in Salt Lake, but moved north to the small town in 2014. It’s been easier for Kelly to have the business close to home. It allows her to be near family. Her kids are able to visit the office, which to them, feels like a second home.

The best part of being a business owner is the freedom to support her children in their activities.

She also loves the ability she has to serve those around her due to self-reliance. Kelly said she enjoys the process of creating, helping and supporting her community.

In Coalville, there is a 4-H program, which helps children develop life skills. Kelly has had the opportunity to fund this. If the children are putting forth effort to work hard, she will support them.

Kelly credits her success to a few key individuals. Ed Hansen, a man who is like a father to her, has helped her find direction. Cody Thorn, her partner in the business, has been there every step of the way. Dave Nicholson, a friend from her Entrepreneur Organization forum (a global business network which engages leading entrepreneurs to learn new skills), has helped her realize she can move forward even when things get difficult. He has been a big influence on Kelly.

“Stacy is incredibly hardworking. She loves her family and the people she works with,” Nicholson said.

Kelly stated, “Dave is the one who saw the light in me and said ‘you can do this.’”

Philip Anderson, a member of her EO forum, describes Stacy as “a woman with a heart of gold. She will do anything for anyone.”

The biggest lesson Kelly has learned in business is to never take anyone for granted.

“It doesn’t matter who they are in your company, your family, or your friendship circle, everybody has a purpose,” Kelly said. “We are all on a compass. We can go a million different ways, but as long as we stay focused and centered, then anything is possible.”

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A rotomill machine chewing up an old road, thus allowing the material to be recycled for new pavement. Photo courtesy of Stacy Kelly.

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A visual of the moral compass Kelly and her employees follow. Photo by Kowhai Anderson.

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A rotomill machine paving a road in Provo, Utah. Photo courtesy of Stacy Kelly, owner of Construction Material Recycling.

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An excavation machine being used to create a pathway to a home in Park City, Utah. Photo courtesy of Stacy Kelly.

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This chart shows the percentage of privately held firms by females and males. Infographic created by Kowhai Anderson, using data from the National Association of Women Business Owners.

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A 2018 statistic from pewresearch.org showing the percentage of labor force among the U.S. population. Infographic created by Kowhai Anderson.

 

 

Outdoor Retailer show says bye-bye to Utah, but does the Beehive State care?

Annual shows have new home but its departure from Utah may have less impact than you think. 

Story by LUKE FORTUNE

A tourist staple and economic driver for 20 years, the renowned Outdoor Retailer shows, which brought the outdoor industry’s blue-chip businesses and top athletes to the Wasatch Front, no longer calls Utah home.  

In 2017, the shows’ organizers, citing opposition to reducing Bears Ears National Monument and other land management policies by federal and state officials, announced their decision to leave Utah for Colorado.

“We chose Denver because of Colorado’s long-term commitment to protecting and nurturing public lands,” Marisa Nicholson, director of the Outdoor Retailer trade show, said.

While the departure has left a black mark on the Beehive State outdoor recreation industry and image, how much of a hole it will leave in Utah’s economy is unclear. Nate Furman, a University of Utah professor in the parks, recreation and tourism department, said it’s more of a lost opportunity that will affect Salt Lake City in the short term.

“In the long term, I don’t think that it will have major effects, as the gravity of national politics will drown out any effects of whether or not the show is held on the western margin of the Rocky Mountains or the eastern margin,” Furman said.

The Outdoor Retailer shows have drawn tens of thousands of tourists and athletes from around the world who come for the latest in outdoor equipment and to sample the state’s recreational offerings.

The trade shows pulled out of Utah in protest after the Trump administration and Utah politicians chose to shrink two controversial national monuments. Along with the proposed reduction of Bears Ears by 85 percent, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is slated to be cut in half. As a proponent of public lands, the trade shows’ leadership took a stand in protest, as did many companies that attend the convention.

Outdoor industry stalwarts, including California-based retailers Patagonia and The North Face, met with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert after President Trump’s the decision to reduce Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The companies ultimately decided that moving the show from its longtime home of Utah would be the best choice for their industry as a whole. 

“I say enough is enough,” Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder, said in a statement. “If Governor Herbert doesn’t need us, we can find a more welcoming home. Governor Herbert should direct his Attorney General to halt their plans to sue and support the historic Bears Ears National Monument.”

Over the past 20 years, Outdoor Retailer has brought 40,000 visitors annually to Utah during their twice-yearly shows, which run for three days at a time. Additionally, the shows have brought $45 million in consumer spending.

While these numbers may seem large, the loss hardly puts a dent into Utah’s roughly $13 billion tourism economy. The outdoor recreation industry brings in $12.3 billion in consumer spending a year as well as $737 million in state and local tax revenue, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. While Utah as a whole will most likely see little impact, local businesses may see mixed outcomes, depending on their size.

Smaller companies may have a harder time as they relied on the increased sales the shows brought, but shouldn’t be hit too hard, said Sunn Kim, the retail store manager at local Utah company Backcountry.com.

With annual revenue of $634.54 million, Backcountry.com makes most of its sales online, allowing it to weather the shows’ departure with little impact on its bottom line. The company has a small retail shop that may be affected by the departure.

I believe the departure of [Outdoor Retailer] will have a more immediate impact on Utah’s outdoor industry and economy,” Kim said. “I believe that smaller businesses focused on tourism will suffer, but this impact will only be temporary.” 

City hopes Murray Theater, historic hostess to the stars, can return to glory

Story and photos by VICTORIA TINGEY 

She’s hosted Judy Garland and Adele. Wrestlers and ballerinas. But after being down on her luck and threadbare, the time has come for the storied Murray Theater to be great again. The plans to restore the historic building have the city reaching for the future.

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Murray City Theater-Neon Sign

Murray City purchased the 79-year-old structure with the purpose of rehabilitating it into a cultural arts facility, and bringing the building — which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 — back to life.

Built during the Great Depression, the theater, which is located on 4961 South State St., opened in October 1938 and soon hosted live bands and film productions. The first film was “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” with Tyrone Power and Ethel Merman. Show prices were 20 cents for matinees. 

“The facility captures the vision of a broad array of cultural facilities which are distributed throughout Utah,” Kim Sorensen, the Murray City Parks and Recreations director, wrote in an email.

The building’s unique design catches people’s eyes as they enter the city. This structure stands apart because of its age, architecture and charm.  

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View inside of Murray Theater from the balcony

“The façade is an excellent example of Art Moderne complete with rounded corners, horizontal windows and a vertical marquee that serves as a landmark along heavily traveled state street,” Sorensen said.

When asked how this structure will enhance the community, Sorensen addressed that because this facility would provide year-round indoor space, and programming options will expand significantly. It will provide a venue for both small professional and amateur ensembles made up of members from local orchestras and band organizations.

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Layout of Murray Theater hung up in the Foyer

As the city looks at the plans to refurbish this structure, they are trying to look what will help create a long lasting concept that will draw people as it once did. 

Jeff Martin, city facilities manager, said, “The City has asked for an assessment about the theater that includes: asking the community how to best utilize the space and what costs and upgrades will be needed to meet the community’s needs.”

The building was bought by the City in 2016. Their plans were to be able to repurpose this building so that they could positively enhance the downtown area of Murray.

“It’s not everywhere that a historic theater is owned and operated by a city, and one where they are actively looking to renovate and provide a fresh venue to their citizens,” Martin stated.

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Detailed architecture in the front entrance of the Theater

The architecture helps to emphasize the old rustic feel when walking into the building. This building has played a big role in the history of Murray and they believe that it can still add value to maintaining cultural entertainment  and historic identities within the community.

Community members and visitors see the special features that add character to the city.  

“When working, the neon sign on the front of the building puts out bright vibrant colors that light up the surrounding block. It really attracts your attention as you’re passing by,” Martin said.

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Old piano located on Murray Theaters center stage

There are other unique features about the building that Martin indicated including that there is an air handler that provides cooling and heating for the main theater room. The original fan is up to 6 feet in diameter and approximately 6 feet long. They included that the original motor still drives the belts that turn a large pulley to operate the fan that still works to this day.

They believe companies that create neon signage is a dying industry. It is harder to find people who can make repairs to the glass work involved and components to keep it operating. The color and light output that comes from these types of signs is really unparalleled. The city officials believe that these building gives a sense of how far the City has come.

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View of the Theater from the stage

“As I have worked with these buildings, some visitors came to watch movies at the theater when they were kids. While others attended events and concerts. Those memories tie into future generations and connections to build upon. It adds another aspect of how Murray is unique to its surrounding entities,” Martin said.

The reinvestment in the building is going to add to improvement of properties that run through State Street, an important corridor for the Wasatch front because of it’s big transportation roadway. Any enhancements that will be made will better the community at large. There have even been long term plans by state representatives to try to create more reinvestment in properties on state street because of it.

“This project will help revitalize our downtown area which is in dire need. It will be a catalyst to get things going, drum up the old history of Murray!” said Susan Nixon, the Associate Planner of Murray.

The city administrators are confident that the enhancement of the Murray theater will be an important catalyst for redevelopment of the downtown of Murray. It will add value to the social and cultural elements of the community. This project will bring the past into the future and make the area of Murray vibrant again.

 

Fate of old Holladay’s Old Cottonwood Mall still up for debate

Story by CALI FELTS

After years of planning, the fate of Holladay’s Old Cottonwood Mall is still up for debate.

The town of Holladay is currently in the middle of a debate over real estate developer Ivory Homes and Woodbury Corporation’s third proposal to build a residential and commercial area to cover the empty land where the mall once stood. 

Holladay city planners have been wondering what to do with the Old Cottonwood Mall, which was built in 1962, for a decade. Real estate developers had planned to demolish and rebuild Cottonwood Mall. For much of that time the mall stood mostly empty, except for a Macy’s Department Store, which finally left the site in 2017.

Since 2008, much of the lot has been sitting there empty waiting for either the proposed new mall to be built or for a different plan to be introduced. In 2017, Salt Lake City real estate developer Ivory Homes and Woodbury Corporation, which manages commercial real estate, tried to come up with a solution for the empty lot. They proposed to build a housing unit as well as an enclosed shopping area and restaurants.

But getting Holladay on board has been a challenge. Holladay residents have shouted down two of Ivory’s plans since last November. Holladay city officials have said that the buildings are too high and would cover Mt. Olympus.

Residents have said that the development would also crowd the area with traffic and more people. They even have an Instagram, @iloveholladay, and a website advocating against the new development.  

Other Holladay residents like Harrison Creer want something done with the space. Creer supports the concept of doing something with the mall so it’s not a place where “high school kids go to mess around and do dumb stuff.”

“I am not a huge fan on the idea Ivory [Homes] wants to do for [the old Cottonwood Mall site], but it would be nice to have the eyesore gone,” he said.

In March, Ivory Homes and Woodbury Corporation released their third proposal for the remodel of the Old Cottonwood Mall land after hearing the complaints of the Holladay residents.

In a joint statement posted online the company said, “We heard you Holladay! Ivory Homes and Woodbury Corporation have made substantial changes to the original plans to develop the former Cottonwood Mall site in order to accommodate this great community.”

Developers have lowered the height of the proposed buildings, decreased the amount of homes, increased the size of the lots, expanded its commercial spaces and added more open space.

“We will do all this while maintaining Holladay’s unique feel and charm,” the companies said.

Cinda Taylor, a representative from Ivory Homes, in an interview highlighted the economic benefits for Holladay if the development goes through. She explained how Holladay needs the revenue generated the short and long-term investment this development would bring.

Taylor also explained how the new development would create a ‘Halo Effect’ for the city. This means that not only would it benefit the businesses being built in this development but surrounding businesses as well from the new residents, local workers and the ‘regional draw’ Holladay will have.

As a visual marker, Ivory Homes floated balloons to show how high the buildings would be. But not everyone is impressed. The balloons had completely covered the view of Mount Olympus which the residents did not appreciate.

It makes me so sad to have a visual of what could potentially change the face of our quiet neighborhood forever,” Suzy Rasch, a Holladay resident, said.

Rasch has been an outspoken opponent of the redevelopment of the mall. She’s used social media to make her point and protested at Holladay Planning Commission meetings with signs, including one that read “Not this plan, High Rise? High Traffic.”

 

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Ironically, the owners of Ivory Homes and Woodbury Corporation both live in Holladay near the Old Cottonwood Mall. The owners could not be reached for an interview.

Another Holladay resident, Cristie Briggs, says after going to a presentation for the new development her opinion has completely changed.

“I used to be 100 percent against but after seeing the newest plan and the way it was presented, I really loved it,” she said, adding that she liked the way the buildings look in drawings of the plans.

Local entrepreneurs discuss new wedding business in Salt Lake City

Story and gallery by JOE WOOLLEY

Simon Morris, 36, a local entrepreneur who was born in Salt Lake City, has always dreamt of one day owning his own business. When his fiancée, Sarah Beale, 34, pitched the idea of starting a business together late one night he jumped at the opportunity.

“All dreams are possible if you work hard and believe they can happen,” he said.

Morris grew up in a military household and was expected to follow his brothers into the Army. Morris had other interests such as fashion but felt so much pressure from his father to join the military, so he kept his passion to himself.

After a childhood full of expectation, Morris joined the Army at the age 18 and was due for deployment September 2001. However, his world changed as it did for so many when the World Trade Center in New York was hit by hijacked planes.

“The experiences from the Army will follow me in every aspect of life, but it was time for a change,” Morris said.

His priorities had changed and he no longer wanted to be a part of the Army. “I know to some people it may be foolish, but I didn’t sign up to be fighting terrorists. I wanted to  follow my dreams and be involved in fashion,” Morris said.

In 2001 Morris went to New York and attended Fashion Institute of Technology to study fashion. He was finally content with his job and never looked back. After graduating in 2005, he went straight into the fashion world and began designing wedding dresses for Roma weddings.

During his period in college he met Beale during one of his art classes. He claimed that it was “love at first sight,” and the two of them hit it off straight away. He admitted that he’s not sure where he would be without the help of his companion.

In 2012 Beale owned a Toni and Guy hairdressers in Nottingham, United Kingdom. She loved the responsibility of owning a business. However, unforeseen circumstances forced her to leave and move onto a new chapter. “I loved satisfying people and giving them makeovers is one of the most rewarding jobs out there,” Beale said.

After learning the couple shared the same ambition of owning a business, Beale thought it would be a great idea for them to follow their dreams. She said, “I didn’t really know what business he wanted, but I gathered we could integrate our skills and create something amazing.”

After many discussions the couple decided to create a company which focuses on wedding days. They both agreed that they could incorporate their skills and give the special day something extra.

Morris committed to the wedding dress designs along with the choice of venue, while Beale would take the responsibility of hair and makeup. He said, “It was really a dream come true for me, when Sarah first pitched the idea to me I was very concerned, however, after going over the risks I decided it would be a good idea for us to give it a try.”

The business is yet to officially be launched as Beale is still in the works of getting her medical aesthetician certificate, but once that is completed they can offer their services to the public. While they cannot officially start their business, they are currently in negotiations on where to set up the main office.

“The whole process has been a blur, it only seems like yesterday since I pitched the idea to Simon,” Beale said. Even though they can’t make the company public yet they have been offering people a free makeover session to experience some of the work that they will be offering.

Lindsay Bollschweiler, one of the people who experienced this free makeover session, said, “This is one of the most amazing makeovers I have ever had. My wedding is sometime next year so I will certainly be using the services of Simon and Sarah to help with the big day.”

Another person who experienced this free makeover was Maddison Kemp, who could not speak highly enough of the professional approach Beale took. “The things that this woman can do with a makeup brush is amazing. Not only did I love the makeup, but I enjoyed the company from both Sarah and Simon. They were so welcoming.”

The pressures of starting a business had been much different than what Morris expected, but he reassures himself daily that all of the hardship will be worth it in the future. “I never thought that this process would be easy, but every single day comes with a new challenge,” Morris said.

Going from the Army then to fashion was a major change for Morris, but he said the challenges created from this project have been much more difficult for him.

The wedding dress designs seem like a breeze to Morris who learnt his trade during his time at school. He took several designated classes to learn how to design wedding dresses and holds the ability to create a dress for personal specifications. However, the venue choice did seem to unnerve him a little. “I often know what people like, but weddings are such a particular case, so I have to be extremely careful when judging a person’s character,” he said.

Beale said that she has never seen Morris this stressed about life. But, she continues to remind him of the end product. “I have been doing makeup and hair for a long time, so I am very much in my element, whereas Simon is not so much in his comfort zone so it’s difficult for him,” she said.

Morris added, “We just want to make people happy. I understand how important their wedding day is and I want to make it my duty to give them the best day of their lives. If I can put a smile on just one person’s face a day then I’ve achieved something.”

 

Three dessert shops in the Salt Lake Valley you need to try

Story and slideshow by ELIZABETH NYGAARD

Dessert is the best meal of the day.

If you’re looking for a delicious dessert for date night, family night or a birthday party, there are many Salt Lake City restaurants and bakeries where you can get your dessert fix. The list of desserts ranges from edible cookie dough, to out of the box ice cream, and gourmet desserts.

Edible cookie dough would have sounded weird a few years ago but Dough Co. a local Utah-based company, is doing dessert right, with eggless cookie dough options.

Dough Co. has a location in the Sugarhouse neighborhood at 2121 S. McClelland St. They are open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Dough Co. is opening a second location in South Jordan later this year.

Dough Co. offers a variety of edible cookie dough options, including milk n’ cookies, which is a scoop of edible cookie dough and ice cream and A shake with your choice of dough flavor blended with ice cream.

The Sander Family and Myles Sander, a student at Westminster, studying neuroscience were at Dough Co. to celebrate family night.

“We’ve been coming here for awhile now, my little brother loves cookie dough so whenever he picks dessert we come here.” he said.

Myles and his family shared the p’zookie, a warm skillet of melted cookie dough with ice cream on top.

Dough Co. has edible cookie dough in many different flavors ranging from: Chocolate Chip, Loaded Brownie, PB Explosion, Cake Batter, S’mores, Red Velvet, Oreo Thin Mint, Mexican Hot Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pretzel.

The March 2018 flavor of the month is Cookies & Cream.

Dough Co. gives out samples of dough for guests that are unsure of what to get.

If edible cookie dough isn’t your thing and you’re more of an ice cream person head to Trolley Square to try Normal ice cream.

Normal ice cream is a food truck located at 600 S. 700 East inside Trolley Square for the winter season. The shop is open Wednesday through Friday 4-9 p.m., Saturday 1-7 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.

Normal is a local food truck and it is women owned and operated.

Gabby Snow, a student at the University of Utah and her boyfriend, Weston Don Merkey, love Normal ice cream.

“We went to Normal for ice cream for date night tonight. We love it here!” Snow said. “I got the Tutti Frutti (earl grey and pomegranate twist, fruity pebbles, passion fruit caramel, and toshi cherry) and Weston got a cone of the London Fog (Earl Grey soft serve, dark chocolate dip, lavender ganache, and cotton candy).”

Snow tells her friends, “The flavors are all diverse so if you’re looking for out of the box ice cream come here!”

Normal ice cream changes its ice cream flavors, but they are always diverse and exciting.

Normal serves composed cones, which are six specially created cones, and on Sundays Normal offers a doughnut ice cream sandwich. Other ice cream sandwiches include dulce de leche filled banana ice cream served between shortbread cookies and dipped in dark chocolate.

The base ice cream flavors right now are Earl Grey, Vanilla Bean, Pomegranate, and Nutella.

If you’re looking for an all-around dessert shop, Last Course is the place for you.

Last Course has two locations: at 115 South Regent St. in Salt Lake City and at 185 E. 12300 South in Draper. Both shops are open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Mayra Repetto, a student at the U studying biology, raves about Last Course.

“My friends surprised me with a trip to Last Course for my birthday! I’ve always loved Last Course and the desserts here,” she said.

Last Course has gourmet desserts and ice cream, such as Strawberry Nachos, 24 Karat Cake, and Glamping S’mores.

“My favorite is probably the Upside Down Caramel Apple Pie, it’s so dreamy,” Mayra Repetto said.

The Upside Down Caramel Apple Pie is a cinnamon roll filled with layers of warm apples covered with salted caramel sauce and a streusel topping.

Last Course isn’t limited to just desserts. It also features gourmet ice cream scoops.

Everyday flavors include Tahitian Vanilla, Breakfast Cereal, Smoked Maple Bacon, and Olive Oil.

The breakfast cereal ice cream is cream infused with Trix Cereal, with chunks of Lucky Charms throughout.

The workers at Last Course offer an unlimited amount of tastes for guests.

Last Course is a Utah company that uses local ingredients to make its desserts.

The dessert shops around the Salt Lake Valley are not limited to these three. There are many options. These three shops cover all dessert favorites and happen to be many people’s top-three places to go.

Just as Mayra Repetto believes: “Dessert is spent better with friends and family!”

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For the love of books

Story and gallery by KATHERINE ROGERS

The tinkle of a bell, the smell of paper, the sight of colorful covers on the shelves, a friendly face greeting you from behind a counter. Nothing is quite like the feeling of an independent bookstore.

The local bookstore is a unique place. Each of the following bookstores brings something different to the community. All of them create a place for lovers of literature of all kinds to find their people.

The King’s English Bookshop, located at 1511 S. 1500 East, opened in 1977 by Betsy Burton. For the last 41 years it has been a favorite of many Salt Lake City locals.

General Manager Anne Holman explained what has kept the store around all this time. It is the community. The store provides a safe place where readers can connect and discover new literature.

Customers of all ages and backgrounds frequent the King’s English. In fact, Holman said there is no typical patron. “I don’t think readers are ‘average,’” she said.

The King’s English provides more than just books. The store holds all sorts of events. Once a week there is a story time in the children’s section. There were launch parties when the “Harry Potter” series was being released. The tickets for that event went very quickly.

Holman also talked about the authors who have been invited to the store, such as Stephen King and Diana Gabaldon, author of the “Outlander” series. Sometimes these writers have in-store book signings or give talks off-site. The goal of these events is to bring literature to the community.

Holman does worry about online book dealers like Amazon. Not only do these dealers take money away from the community, but they don’t provide the same experience as the bookstore.

One of the best parts of a local bookstore is when you can sense the seller’s passion for what he/she does. This feeling is obvious when you walk into Dark Soldier Comics, found at 8521 S. State St.

Sinai Valero, inspired by her love of comics, opened Dark Soldier Comics with her family in 2014.

At the time Valero was still a junior at Bingham High School. She had fallen in love with comics a few years before, after discovering the “Spawn” series.

After deciding to open the store, Valero wanted to make sure she knew what she was doing. So, she spent a long time doing research on the business. She even trained for three days at a comic bookstore in Las Vegas.

As a result, Dark Soldier is still open while other comic bookstores in the Salt Lake Valley have been closing. Valero credits this to staying on top of the comic trends.

The store sells everything from DC Comics to anime merchandise. At Dark Soldier you can buy single issue comics or a tradeback, a compilation of single issues, if you fall behind on your single issues. Plus, you get a chance to talk comics with Valero, someone who knows and cares a lot about them.

Dark Soldier Comics often has booths at conventions. Anime Banzai is one of Valero’s favorite events. Her booth is among the few that focus on comics, so hers stands out in the crowd.

The internet provides a problem for local comic bookstores. Downloadable comics take away the need to purchase the latest issue at the store. However, those downloads aren’t as friendly as Dark Soldier.

If you’re looking for something more unique, you should check out Ken Sanders Rare Books  268 S. 200 East.

The owner, Ken Sanders, has had many roles before he became an antiquity literary dealer in 1997. These roles have included a “cowboy printer,” a comic book geek, and a radical environmentalist. Each of these roles helped create the matchless atmosphere of the store.

Like King’s English there is no average customer at Ken Sanders Rare Books. Instead the customers come in all shapes, sizes and ages. From the serious literary collector, to young children, who get to pick a free kids’ book, they all enjoy getting lost in the store’s maze of shelves.

Many bookstores have a specific genre that sells better than others. In Ken Sanders’ store the thing that sells best is whatever he and his sellers are most passionate about.

And they are passionate about their books. Sanders often says that he loves “books like Scrooge McDuck loves money.” He has even sold some of his favorite books just by reading an excerpt to a customer.

Ken Sanders Rare Books hosts all sorts of events. It has had readings from authors like Edward Abbey, author of “Desert Solitaire” and “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” and Charles Bowden, author of “Down by the River: Drugs, Money, Murder and Family.” The store even puts on concerts for indie musicians.

Sanders loves these events. He says they feel like a success, not if they make a lot of money, but when they are well attended and well liked. They are successful when they start discussions.

Like other bookstores, Sanders’ biggest concern right now is online book shopping. But one of the best parts of a bookstore, Sanders says, is that you learn about amazing books you never would have heard of anywhere else — books like “Leavings,” a collection of poems by Wendell Berry.

Despite the threat of online shopping, bookshops are likely here to stay. Each of the booksellers pointed out that online shopping does not provide the same feeling independent bookstores do. As Ken Sanders said, “Finding something you didn’t know you were looking for, that’s the serendipity of the bookshop.”

 

Plant-based dining takes root downtown

Story and photos by Allison Oligschlaeger

SALT LAKE CITY — To any unsuspecting omnivore, the new Cinnaholic on 700 East looks like any other bakery. The only hint to the contrary is the two-inch tall, health-department mandated “V” in the corner of the glass serving case, discretely indicating the restaurant’s open secret.

Everything at Cinnaholic, from its custom cinnamon rolls to its coffee offerings, is egg-, dairy- and gluten-free. The franchise’s menu is extensive, boasting 20 flavors of frosting and even more toppings. Each option is entirely vegan.

Not that their marketing strategy reflects that — “the whole franchise, we don’t lead with ‘vegan,’” says Kurtis Nielsen, owner of the recently-opened Salt Lake City location. “The concept plays to everyone.”

Nielsen, a veteran of the health food industry and recent adopter of the plant-based diet, attributes the strategy to the business’s reliance on walk-in customers.

“The vegans are going to come — they have limited options, as we all know,” Nielsen jokes.

Those with little exposure to vegan food may pass it up as less appealing, “substitute” fare, requiring a more tailored marketing approach than the store’s vegan customers.

Cinnaholic’s approach isn’t unique in the fast-growing industry of vegan and vegetarian restaurants. In fact, much of the sector’s recent growth can be attributed to a new focus on acquiring omnivorous customers.

“You don’t have to be vegan to appreciate the food,” says Joslyn Pust, duty manager at Zest Kitchen and Bar. “It’s more than salad, it’s more than fake meats. That’s the biggest thing we try to convey to people.”

Since opening in 2012, Zest has enticed brunchers and barhoppers of all dietary persuasions with upscale vegetarian entrees and a zany cocktail menu. Rather than pushing the meat-free angle, Zest’s marketing strategy focuses on the food’s organic sourcing and health benefits. In fact, Pust estimates only a third of the restaurant’s staff is vegetarian or vegan.

“I think that honestly speaks to how accessible our food is, and our drinks as well,” Pust says.

While Salt Lake City’s vegan establishments of yore — like Sage’s Cafe and Vertical Diner, opened by veteran restaurateur Ian Brandt in 1999 and 2007, respectively — focused on meeting existing demand for plant-based food, their newer counterparts are committed to extending it. The last five years have seen a veritable explosion of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, nearly all of which practice some degree of “omnivore outreach.”

 

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Buds, a vegan sandwich shop popular with University of Utah students, was founded in 2012 in hopes of rehabilitating the meat-eating public’s opinions on veganism and vegan food.

“They just wanted to show people that you can get good food and it doesn’t have to contain animals or byproducts of animals,” says Buds employee Emma Broadbent. “It doesn’t have to suck, you know? Vegans don’t just eat salad.”

Buds founders Alex and Roxy expanded their cruelty-free restaurant network in September with BoltCutter, a South-American inspired restaurant and bar, and MONKEYWRENCH, an adjacent dairy-free ice cream and espresso shop. MONKEYWRENCH barista Molly Jager, a senior at the U, said the shop is rebounding from a quiet opening as Gallivan Avenue-area professionals discover MONKEYWRENCH’s morning coffee offerings. The store’s variety of dairy-free milk and cream options make it particularly popular with lactose-intolerant customers, Jager said.

Unlike the staff at Zest, the crews at both MONKEYWRENCH and Buds are made up entirely of herbivores. Jager is the only vegetarian employee at MONKEYWRENCH; the rest of her coworkers are vegan.

“It’s interesting and cool being around a group of people who are really passionate about what they work with,” Jager says. “Everyone is very dedicated to it and very vocal about it and it’s cool to see that excitement.”

Additional recent newcomers include dinner restaurants Seasons Plant Based Bistro and Veggie House, both 100% vegan. Seasons positions itself as upscale Italian dining, while Veggie House purports to meld the best of “fast” Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese food.

“We’re proud to watch our city’s taste buds continually expand,” said Nick Como, Director of Communication for the Downtown Alliance. “The opening of several new vegan restaurants downtown proves downtown is truly for everyone and has something for every taste.”

While the recent crush of such establishments may seem sudden, Pust says it’s been a long time coming.

“The community has grown exponentially just since I’ve worked at Zest,” she says. “In the past two years it’s exploded.”

Jager attributes some of the community’s rapid growth to trendiness — “It’s kind of an Instagram thing now,” she says — as well as to an increased cultural focus on physical and environmental health, which she says “goes hand-in-hand” with eating less meat.

Nielsen says the rate at which people are adopting veganism and vegetarianism is perfect for entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on the craze. While flashier food trends like gluten-free and low-carb were quickly adopted by corporate giants, the relative slow burn of plant-based diets allows smaller producers and restaurateurs to dominate the scene, he says.

While Nielsen does believe the mainstreaming of veganism is inevitable, he hopes it’s a while off.

“It’s going to happen, but I hope it happens slow, because it’s fun as a smaller player to be able to get into something like this and be successful,” he says. “For example, if Cinnabon was doing this, I wouldn’t have the opportunity.”

Nielsen is optimistic about Cinnaholic’s future in Salt Lake City.

“I think it’s a great market for it,” he says. “We’re off to a roaring start.”

 

(Read Allison’s reflection blog about this story here.)

Caputo’s on the University of Utah campus

Story and slideshow by PARKER SCHLAF

When walking into the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building located near the center of the University of Utah campus, you are met with quiet tones and students hard at work. Rounding the corner of the lobby you start to get a whiff of Italian seasonings and warm rich coffee. Tucked right around that corner is the modern Italian deli counter of Caputo’s. A man at the counter looks up and shoots a smile to the next student in line.

Approaching the counter, the student next in line was met by an employee. After pondering the chalk-written menu, the customer approached the counter again and told him he would take a half of a Roasted Reds sandwich and a half portion of pasta salad. Simply nodding his head, the Caputo’s employee completed the order and hollered, “Half  a red and half pasta!” The student then stepped back and met with the other students waiting for their food to be prepared.

“Half of a red and half pasta salad!” gets shouted out over the counter by the man who took the order. Students were quickly being shuffled through the line, grabbing their food, selecting their drinks and heading off to find a table.

The Roasted Red sandwich, stuffed with roasted peppers, came in a deli basket lined with a classic red-and-white checkered paper. It was dressed with olive oil, Italian seasonings and other vegetable toppings. The pasta salad was accompanied by carrots, green peas, cauliflower, zucchini and then tossed in an olive oil and Italian seasoning. All of the ingredients used in this and other dishes at Caputo’s are either local or imported.

Sean Rorke, 27,  talked about working for the Caputo’s company and said it has been a great gig and that he loves it. He said, “Before working here, I worked for three years at the downtown location (located at 300 South and 300 West). Totally different ball game [here] than the downtown store.” He then talked about how he enjoyed working on a university campus versus another Caputo’s location. He said he preferred the faster workplace environment that the university location demanded and also the slight differences in the breakfast/lunch menu. Rorke did note that a nice additional benefit the university location offers is the break he gets for the weekends, as most of the campus is shut down from Friday evening until Monday morning.

“Better ingredients. I don’t even have to say anything else. We do a lot of local foods and whatever we don’t get locally, we import. We don’t skimp on any of our ingredients,” Rorke said, as he continued to talk about some of the benefits of eating at the Caputo’s on campus and why he thinks it would be beneficial for students to eat here compared to some of the other options. Rorke said Caputo’s is a perfect place to dine on campus, if you don’t already have a meal plan through the U and can afford to spend the extra dollar or two.

Tony Caputo has been running a successful locally-owned business for over 20 years. Having opened his first fresh market and deli in downtown Salt Lake City in 1997, his business has now grown into three other markets and delis spread over the Salt Lake Valley. The largest market he still owns and cares for is near his original deli and market located on 300 South and 300 West. Caputo added his most recent location to the U’s campus in 2008. Caputo recently cut back to working part time, he wrote on his blog, but he is still deeply involved in his company and local community.

Being a firm believer in providing only high quality ingredients to the local community, Tony Caputo has changed the fresh Italian market and deli scene of Salt Lake for the better. Joelle Bleiman, a 20-year-old student at the U, agreea. “It’s one of my favorite places to eat on campus when I want some real food!” Being the avid Caputo’s customer that she is, Bleiman also said the pasta with red sauce is the best thing to order.

Samantha Fox, a third-year student at the U, said, “I’m only 20. I love easy access to local foods with a decent price.” She then added how efficient the employees are. Compared to other quick stop options on campus, Caputo’s provides local and nutritious options for students. Having a Caputo’s location on the U’s campus is fortunate. Both Bleiman and Fox have been to other Caputo’s locations, but would agree the accessibility and all around “vibe” of the university location makes it the best one.

Immigrants with pockets full of dreams

Story and slideshow by MARIA HERNANDEZ

A reckless 20-year-old. Lying inside a car carried away by a loud train. He couldn’t make a sound. Breathing was already dangerous. Standing up at the wrong moment meant the end of his adventure. Hours passed, and Manuel had nothing but himself in the darkness of that summer night. With nothing in mind but the American Dream, Manuel lay patiently in the car, waiting for the right moment.

This is the story of Manuel Valdez. A motivated entrepreneur who came to the United States with nothing but the clothes he had on, and his pockets full of dreams.

His Life in Mexico

Valdez lived his whole life in Zacatecas, Mexico. Raised in a big family of seven children, mother and father. They all lived together on a small ranch, living from selling what they grew on their farm. Valdez has a passion for horses, cars and farming, like most people in his family. However, Valdez was also passionate about adventure. He had finished high school and continued to pursue a technological degree in Mexico. But after graduating as a technologist in electricity, Valdez struggled to find a job. He knocked on many doors, only to find disappointment. Employers kept rejecting him because of “lack of experience.”

“Ironic. How did they expect me to gain experience when they wouldn’t let me work?” Valdez said.

It was a hot evening, and after so many rejections Valdez couldn’t stop thinking about his future. Ramiro, his best friend, made a surprise visit from the U.S. “Manuel, let’s go north,” he said. “Your life and the life of your loved ones will change.” This wasn’t the first time Valdez heard the so-called pláticas, or talks about America. But this time, the idea kept echoing in the back of his mind. Adventure’s flame had been turned on in Valdez, and nothing now could make it stop.

Crossing the Border

Full of courage and passion, Valdez decided to leave everything behind and come to the United States. Through contacts, Valdez found himself sneaking into a new car that was transported by a train into the United States.

First try.  Caught.

“I went with Ramiro, and they caught us in Chihuahua trying to board the train to El Paso. They drove us on a truck to the opposite side of the city just to be mean,” Valdez said, laughing. “They really thought that was going to stop us from trying again. Silly immigration.”

Second try. Caught again.

Third time was the charm. The friends made it. After two days and one night in the train, they finally had arrived to Los Angeles.

New Adventure in Los Angeles

Valdez started working on a lime farm in Los Angeles. He worked long hours and earned 30 cents per box of limes. He would collect around 18 boxes per day. “Those hours were hell, man. I knew how to work the land, that was all I had been doing back home. But the pay was terrible there, and after all the fees they charged, I ended up with just enough to pay rent,” Valdez said.

Salt Lake City

Tired of strenuous hours of work, Valdez was ready to quit. Why was he struggling here when he could be comfortable at home? Wasn’t this the land of freedom and opportunity? In search of new adventures, Valdez moved to Salt Lake City, where some of his relatives lived. He started working in several restaurants, at least three jobs at a time. After work, he would also ride his bike every night to the Rose Park neighborhood on the west side of the city to take an English as a second-language class. And then he’d cycle home to the block of 400 West and Main Street to get ready for a new day.

Citizenship and New Challenges

Through his hard work, Valdez gained his citizenship through the amnesty decree. He could now not only pay taxes, but also enjoy their benefits. He could go back home and take presents to his nieces and nephews. He could finally live a life free of fear and uncertainty. This only inspired him to keep going, to work even harder and for longer hours. To save enough money to start building a stable life.

After several years of hardship and long work hours, Valdez learned English and made enough money to go visit his mother in Zacatecas several times. Some of his brothers followed him to the U.S., and life was almost stable.

A New Business Proposal

While in between jobs, Valdez met Susan Harris, a businesswoman who wanted to start a new business together. Harris saw Valdez’s potential and knew he was the guy she needed. Harris contacted Valdez and following this phone call, Valdez’s life changed.

After many discussions, Harris and Valdez started a Mexican restaurant. A very small shop in Cottonwood Heights, a neighborhood in southeast Salt Lake City. Valdez, with some of his brothers who were in Salt Lake too, created the recipes, decorated the place and did all the finances to start this new business. Little did they know that 23 years later, Lone Star Taqueria would be one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in Salt Lake Valley, with hundreds of customers desiring the family’s famous fresh fish tacos. Lone Star Taqueria was even featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Drives by Food Network, and has appeared in several magazines.

“I had heard wonders about this place, but I always thought it was overrated. What could you expect from a hole-in-the-wall place?” Lora said, one of Lone Star’s regular customers or amigos, how they are called by the employees. “However, when I did come, my world changed. Lone Star has the best Mexican food I’ve ever had, and I’m from California! It is authentic and always fresh. I come here at least three times a week, and they treat me like family!”

Testimony from a New Adventure

In 1994, the same year that Lone Star was opened, another adventure came into Valdez’s life: His son Antonio Valdez. “I grew up at Lone Star. My dad would pick me up from daycare, bring me to the restaurant and put me in a tomato box so I wouldn’t crawl away. I remember seeing my dad working so hard and still being there for me, and since then I have admired that man to death,” said Antonio, 23, who recently graduated from Utah State University and works as an internal auditor for Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Today

“It has all been worth it. I see my children being successful, and it feels good, you know. Laying down on that train, every lime I picked up in LA, every plate I washed in restaurants; every sacrifice was worth it,” said Valdez, when reminiscing about his life. “I’m glad I jumped on that train and waited in that car. Life is stable now, and I hope it continues to be.”

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Three Salt Lake City fashion creatives discuss the impact of social media marketing

Story and photos by BRITT BROOKS

A swipe, a like, a comment, a follow.

To get a look at marketing in the 21st century, go no further than your smartphone. Today you can look at any online platform and find a person, product, or brand that sparks your interest. But the businesses that perhaps utilize social media the most are those in the fashion industry.

Whether it’s celebrity-sponsored posts, live streams of runway shows, or notifications for product drops, fashion can be an immersive experience now more than ever. The elite fashion gods such as Gucci, Versace, Chanel and Balenciaga all have millions of followers on social media. But what about the startups?

Three up-and-comers in Salt Lake City’s fashion industry gave insight to their experiences with social media. The impact can be positive or negative depending on how active users are with the content presented to them.

Sydni Zaugg sat in a window seat at Salt Lake Coffee Break, her platinum blond bob stood out against head to toe black clothing and silver jewelry. Zaugg, 19, is a college student who attended the International Fashion Academy (IFA) in Paris in 2017. The program spanned three weeks and allowed her to attend Paris’ spring Fashion Week in early March.

Zaugg said she wouldn’t have even known about the opportunity had it not been for Instagram. After following IFA professor and trend specialist Agus Catteno on Instagram, Zaugg realized her wish to be educated about fashion in France was a possibility.

Zaugg direct messaged (DM’d) Catteno and asked questions about her job at IFA and  the opportunities for classes. Without her connection to Catteno, Zaugg wouldn’t have had a welcoming person to show her the ropes, and probably wouldn’t have gone to Paris for classes in the first place.

Parisian fashion influenced Zaugg’s personal style. And it serves as her template for advising others as she pursues a career as a stylist and photographer in Utah.

Social media give Zaugg a platform to share her availability for styling sessions and examples of her work such as dark, moody and romantic photoshoots with friends and models. But as with everything, it isn’t perfect. Zaugg mentioned the downside of pursuing likes and comments: a loss of creativity.

Avant garde clothing still graces the runways, but Zaugg has noticed brands moving toward more streamlined, minimalistic styles. This can be attributed to regular trend cycles. But Zaugg sees it as a reflection of the heavy use of social media marketing. Current fashion can be more about who you are, not what you wear. Big entertainment names like Kardashian and Hadid can be more influential than the brands themselves.

The integrity of the fashion industry can quickly fall victim to the whims of celebrities and influencers. Copycats are bad for any creative-based industry. To combat this ever-present sameness, Zaugg has a perfect mantra: “Clothes should give you confidence to express yourself how you want to, not how everyone else dresses.”

Someone curating new and wearable pieces for women is Madison Martellaro. A 21-year-old senior at the University of Utah, Martellaro has already started a company. In April 2017, she began working on her online clothing store, Fleur Fashion Boutique. She can be seen wearing multiple pieces from her boutique’s line including jeans, bomber jackets and everyday T shirts.

Martellaro came into the fashion industry alone, with virtually no connections. After months of research and hard work, she was able to start her business and advertise through social media to grow a following before the boutique launched on Nov. 9. She credits her online following of nearly 1,000 people to creating brand awareness before items were even available for purchase.

To get a good idea of what her customers actually want, Martellaro used polling features on social media. Polls and comments influenced the way the boutique website looks and functions. For example, followers wanted to know the models’ sizes and dimensions as well as see the clothing from multiple angles. These are two details about Fleur Fashion Boutique that came directly from future customers’ wish lists.

During her first photoshoot, Martellaro held a livestream. The feature on Instagram enabled her to connect even more with her future consumers. “I want to show people really what goes behind a business,” she said. In a world where new competition crops up every day, a behind-the-scenes connection with followers is priceless.

Martellaro takes a lot of pride in curating pieces that women of all sizes can wear and personalize. One of her biggest goals is to sell clothes that can be worn day to night, and look glamorous no matter the occasion.

Packaging is an important part of her brand’s final presentation and delivery. For a cohesive image, all clothing and accessories come wrapped in tissue paper with the greeting “Hello Beautiful” in bold font on the outside. Fleur Fashion Boutique encourages its recipients to take selfies with their deliveries, creating a wider community of people that talk about the products.

“That was the biggest thing for me,” Martellaro said, “making sure women felt empowered and special.”

Keeping a cohesive and unique image is one of the top priorities for Davis Hong. A polished and composed 24-year-old, Hong graduated from Salt Lake Community College with a design degree. Sitting in a wrap-around black coat of his own design, Hong said he likes to wear his own creations.

Recently rebranded under its new name, BYSHAO has been in the works for over two years, and is set to launch in 2018. Hong has made huge strides toward creating his ideal company and style.

Sustainable, ethically sourced materials are of utmost importance for BYSHAO. Only natural fiber fabrics like cotton and linen blends are used in the designs. To avoid creating more waste on our planet, Hong prefers working plant-to-piece with certified organic materials, and avoids polyester. Natural textiles and humane working conditions are the core of his passion for sustainable clothing, and it’s something he’s sticking to.

The pieces of BYSHAO are best described in Hong’s own words as minimalistic, gender-neutral and timeless. Specializing in overcoats and tops, BYSHAO is both modern and classic with structured silhouettes and neutral colors.

Participating at the 2017 Art Meets Fashion show in Salt Lake City, Hong’s brand was one of the five main shows. Events like this help secure a following that he hopes will subscribe to BYSHAO’s e-newsletter. Emails are more of a personal connection with consumers, directly informing them about lookbooks and future sale dates. A great way to foster a connection that leads to loyal customers is to start on platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

As Hong’s demographic isn’t necessarily in Salt Lake City, he finds it important to get to know his followers through social media. He mentioned his use of geo tags, event announcements, stories and live videos to view people from the other side of the planet. “You can basically be right there and see the people there as well,” Hong said.

Networking locally and internationally has furthered Hong’s knowledge and increased the presence of his brand. Social media form connections that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. He’s found photographers, models and hair and makeup professionals to work on photo shoots and runway shows.

The internet is a fantastic way for startup businesses to get their name into the hands of others. “Social media is very much an open portfolio,” Hong said. The ability to view others’ work passively before making real-life connections is something new to the world. This can acutely affect professional creatives, as a lot of their work can be judged from a 5-inch screen.

Without social media tools, Hong would have had a much harder time making local and international connections in the fashion industry. It’s unlikely that Martellaro would be the owner of a business she built from scratch at such a young age. And Zaugg never would have known about the opportunity to study fashion in Paris, or launch her career as a stylist.

Connecting with customers, mentors and possible collaborators — no matter where they are in the world — is perhaps one of the greatest online inventions of all.

Promises of big futures aren’t paying off for many law students

by Jessica Morgan

At the age of 27, Holly Halpin began her 3-year law school degree at the University of Utah.” At the time I viewed it as a huge step forward for my future,” said Halpin. But what was promised to be a sound investment in her future will likely delay financial stability and will likely not come with the elite title and job security promised her.
Halpin graduates in a few short weeks from law school and will soon become a lawyer. However, whether she will actually practice law upon graduating is uncertain. What is often an exciting time for many has turned into a dubious future for Halpin.
Not only will she be graduating with debt of $25,000 in books and tuition alone per year, she is left without a job to help repay the monetary investment of her education.
Yet surprisingly, Halpin is only one of many who will be graduating law school without a law job, or a job all together.
As of 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of new lawyer positions available is expected to be fewer than 60 percent of the number of graduates out of law schools.
Anneliese Booher, Director of Professional Development at S.J. Quinney College of Law, attests to this statistic. “I would agree that there are more graduates than jobs right now. Many people have been attending law school in the past few years. Add that to the state of the economy, and law jobs aren’t as accessible as they once were. However, Utah has a surprisingly high record of graduates immediately entering the [law] job force,” said Booher.
According to a 2009 annual report of the Association for Legal Career Professionals, Booher isn’t far off. The ALCP reported that approximately 45 percent of all graduates said that they were working. But this low statistic is often not what law schools around the country promote.
“When I started law school, and even before, when I was looking into the prospect of becoming a lawyer, what was really appealing to me was the fact that I would not only have job security, but receive great pay as well,” said Halpin. And the law schools she looked into, and the one she eventually attended, all promised her this luxury. “Every school you apply to paints this picture of working bliss after graduation. No one tells you that you might not be able to find a job.”
This unsettling situation of empty promises is happening at many law schools across the country, leaving many students with high hopes and dreams with little return.
In fact, some students have been so outraged by false advertising by law schools that they took the situation in their own hands by ironically using the education gained from their institutions.
In 2011 a class action lawsuitwas filed by Anna Alaburda, a graduate of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, against her school. The lawsuit was seeking damages for misrepresentation and fraud regarding the school’s published employment statistics and salary information.
Although Halpin will likely never file a lawsuit against S.J. Quinney, she understands the frustration of being misled.
86 percent of the lawyers interviewed in the ALCP poll reported that their start dates for work were pushed to more than 6 months after passing the bar. This statistic rings especially true to Halpin. “I am part of the vast majority of my graduating class that will be leaving law school with no job,” said Halpin.
However, there are still plenty of students graduating with jobs. Garreth Long is one of them. “I have been lucky when it comes to the job front. I not only have a great job, but have had options: a luxury that I know many of my fellow students haven’t had,” said Long.
And although Halpin is without a job, she might soon be joining those who have law-practicing jobs. “I am not going to let the fact that I don’t have a job hinder my dreams. In fact, I am thinking of starting my own law firm. It may be 6 months down the road, but I’m not going to let time or intimidation stop me,” Halpin said.
So although she was given false promises, Halpin, like many lawyers across the country, is letting her dreams and ambition pave the way to financial and professional success, something her institution failed to provide her.

Human rights conference brings up controversial topics among academics

by Jessica Morgan

Richard Miller brings to the U his expert knowledge as well as his controversial ideas about global power and America.

Rachael Boettcher, a law student at the University of Utah, stood in the hallway after class and chatted with a group of friends. Like many students at the U, she worked hard during the week so she could spend her weekends as she pleased. Today she was planning a worry free weekend with some of her law school friends.
Boettcher has always enjoyed the freedoms America has to offer. She was able to attend university as a woman, something many women in other nations simply aren’t allowed to do. Beyond that, Boettcher often walks alone downtown late at night with little worry or harm.
“I am lucky that I am able to do what I want on the weekends, or everyday for that matter,” Boettcher, 25, who often lets loose when not in school, said.
Yet, her freedoms, at least her views of what she had always taken for granted, were about to be challenged.
“I’d like to propose an idea, one that I believe is an inevitable truth: that we are so indebted to China that we will eventually lose our power as a country and a global power,” Richard W. Miller, renowned author and professor of philosophy at Cornell University, said Thursday at an event hosted by the University.
The United States is in a great amount of debt and China holds a large portion of that deficit. This number continues to grow with time.
According to the Federal Reserve, as of January 2011, foreigners owned $4.45 trillion of the U.S. debt. That is approximately 32 percent of the total debt of $14.1 trillion.
And as of May 2011 the largest single holder of our governments debt was China, with 26 percent of all foreign-held U.S. Treasury securities: 8 percent of the total public debt.
The topic of America’s debt to China has long been debated, but along with debate often comes humor, something that seems to accompany similar prominent subjects.

image courtesy of about.com

However, Miller did not bring much humor to his lecture that was part of the Human Rights Conference. Instead he brought controversial ideas.
“I’d like to go even further…I suggest that we surrender to China before the inevitable occurs. I believe this is in our best interest as a country,” said Miller.
There are many people who would agree with Miller when it comes to the nations debt to China. Those in agreeance would likely argue that the numbers do the talking.
“To put China’s ownership of U.S. debt in perspective, its’ holding of $1.2 trillion is even larger than the amount owned by American households. U.S. citizens hold only about $959 billion in U.S. debt, according to the Federal Reserve.” (usgovinfo)
Yet, simply because America owes a debt, it does not mean that our nation must surrender, many disputed after the lecture. There were many students and attendees who were not afraid to voice their opinions, even if they were disapproving of Millers controversial views.
“I respect Miller, and think he is an exceptionally well educated man, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with him,” said Garreth Long, a law student at the U.
Fellow student Joseph Taggart agreed. “You will always find competing views on a subject…although I disagree with his idea that we should surrender ourselves to China, I can still respect him and his opinion,” said Taggart.
And although Miller’s lecture may have been controversial and perhaps even uncomfortable, his views were not disregarded.
“We are lucky to have someone as reputable as Richard Miller come speak to us and share his knowledge and understanding on the topic…It is important to listen to ideas that you may not agree with and even make you uncomfortable,” said Professor William Richards.
For Boettcher, Millers speech seemed radical and even uncomfortable, but after leaving the lecture hall she was able to go back to her life like normal. After all she was looking forward to her fun filled weekend. She likely walked around downtown late at night without harm. However this time she was likely acutely aware of the freedom she was so readily enjoying, all because of Millers controversial lecture.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

By. R. Ammon Ayres

SALT LAKE CITY – Students who graduate with their Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) are finding that their degrees are not enough to secure a job.

Ever since the economy crashed back in 2008, many men and women have struggled providing for their families. The situation has slightly changed since, and is worse for Americans who prepared for their future by investing in their greatest investment, themselves. Dedicated students put themselves through school with help from their family, government and student loans, but now find that they are unable to find a job which can pay enough money to pay the loans they took out for college.

It’s hard for anyone to act ignorant to America’s crisis situation; in a general aspect everyone in the USA has experienced a negative effect from the failure of the economy. If every citizen does not personally know someone who is unemployed, there is a likely chance they have seen homeless people on the street. The unemployed reach from all different classes; graduating students are finding it difficult to fight their fellow classmates for the limited number of jobs. There is one cutting solution that can outdo a college degree; this advantage is found within the branches of a professional network.

In America’s modern economy 80 percent of people are finding employment through using someone they know, said Salt Lake City attorney Matthew Driggs.

“The economy has been tough for all applicants, when we have an opening we scan through over one hundred applicants who have an MBA.  When we do hire someone they are only paid $12 dollars an hour with benefits,” said Driggs. When employment is scarce those without jobs will take work for less money. $12 an hour cant pay the bills, let alone the expensive student loans.

Spencer Taggart who is a former manager at Blendtech in Orem, Utah, had a wonderful experience finding a job after receiving his degree. “I secured my job within a week of graduation because I built my network, and was able to call some favors,” said Taggart.

“The best thing anyone could do for their lifelong career is by building their network… When you meet a prominent business man get him to remember you, get their contact information and keep in contact,” said Taggart.

Recent Utah State University MBA graduate Michael Hill had a tough time trying to find a job. His expectations upon graduation were high, “While numbers where constantly thrown around, we were generally told we would have no problems finding a job, and hoped to start our careers making $50 to $60 thousand a year.” Hill discovered finding a job wouldn’t be so easy. His first job he made $18,000 a year, working in a call center. After submitting hundreds of applications he found a job that he could use his MBA with.

“I found networking was the only way to find employment… My MBA did me nothing in the quest to finding a career on my own,” said Hill.

Successful businessmen have made networks which allow them to be their own bosses. Not every successful business man has an MBA, or a college degree for that matter. Everyone is struggling, not just those who have gone to school. The successful business men who don’t have degrees do have amazing people skills, and the ability to get things done. Anyone can create a successful network, and that’s what it will take to have more success in  the job search. More and more Americans are discovering the truth in the common term “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

Birth Control is Least Important Issue in 2012 Election, Poll Suggests

by Mark LeBaron

A recent Gallup poll shows policies concerning birth control lag behind other political issues for the 2012 election amongst registered voters.

Healthcare, unemployment and the federal budget were a few of the issues that had more “extremely” and “very important” responses in the poll, which was conducted March 25-26 with a random sample of 901 registered voters.

The results didn’t surprise many people.

“Birth control is a personal choice and shouldn’t really be an issue right now” said Danny Gonzalez, a financial planner. “In the state we are in right now, we need to focus on unemployment and the federal budget.”

Others put healthcare as their most important issue. Recently, the Supreme Court has begun examining to see if the Affordable Healthcare Act is constitutional. Its constitutionality hinges on if the government can mandate that every citizen either have health insurance or suffer a fine.

“The healthcare bill must be struck down as being unconstitutional,” said Forrest Kelsey, a student studying psychology at Utah Valley University. “The bill will be like the federal budget; spending money we do not have.”

Current presidential candidates have been campaigning hard on these issues. Seven months from the national election, many people may not know whom they will vote for.

“I haven’t decided who I am going to vote for yet,” said Alex Germane, a mechanical engineering major at the University of Texas-San Antonio. “I want a president who is respectful and honorable.”

Gonzalez echoed Germane’s sentiments.

“The media is never going to give a pure opinion about a candidate. I have to do my own research,” said Gonzalez.

There are still many things to come forth from this year’s campaigning and elections.

The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percent. To access this and other polls, visit http://www.gallup.com.

New Poll Reveals Importance of National Budget in Upcoming Election

by Brent Flory

SALT LAKE CITY-According to a new poll conducted by Gallup, registered voters say the presidential candidates’ views on the federal budget deficit and national debt will be extremely important in determining who gets their vote.

For President Barack Obama, this means focusing his campaign on plans to decrease national debt.  If not successfully executed, it could be the end of the road for Obama.

            According to the poll, released on Monday, 83 percent of Democrats say the federal budget deficit and national debt will strongly influence their choice for president.  If Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination, he could gain some Democratic votes, if voters believe he is the better choice for the economy.

            Local voters agree with the poll.  Amber Christenson, a Salt Lake Community College student, said, “I was one of the biggest Obama supporters in 2008 but the national debt just continues to increase.  I won’t be voting for him in November.”

            Christenson said she agrees with many of President Obama’s views however, the economy is most important in determining her vote.

            The poll also revealed 83 percent of Republicans feel the issue of national debt is imperative in making their choice for president.  University of Utah student Brett Andrews, a declared Republican, said he will vote for the candidate that has developed the best economic blueprint.

            “We are paying billions of dollars in interest…we aren’t even paying off our deficit.  I’m going to choose the candidate with the best economic plan in place,” said Andrews.

            Gas prices are also important to voters, according to the new poll.  Of the registered voters polled, 73 percent said gas prices were important when they fill out their ballots.

            When asked to what degree of importance gas prices in determining his vote, Andrews replied, “Economy is most important.  If the economy is in-line, gas prices naturally will go down.”

            Complete details of the poll can be found online at http://www.gallup.com.

City Creek Center Helping Small Businesses Downtown

By Erica Hartmann

SALT LAKE CITY- The doors of the new 700,000 square-foot mall, City Creek Center, have been open for about a month now, but the traffic hasn’t seemed to slow down yet! City Creek seems to be the “face-lift” that downtown Salt Lake City needed. The hoards of people excited to see the new center have made City Creek’s grand-opening a success and have also helped the existing stores and restaurants in the area.

            Many things have attracted shoppers to the new center. An impressive retractable roof (something entirely new to the United States, the only other exists in Dubai), a brand new sky bridge that crosses overtop Main Street, as well as a handful of new stores to the Salt Lake area (Michael Kors, Brooks Brothers, Pandora, Porsche Design, and Tiffany & Co. just to name a few).

            The stores have made money like they couldn’t believe. Kaleb Larsen, an employee in the men’s department of Nordstrom said, “It’s been non-stop busy. The first day we opened we made our entire day’s sales goal in the first hour, and it hasn’t seemed to slow down much from opening weekend. It’s been great for me since I work on commission.”

            It’s been a similar story at the smaller stores in the center as well. Suke Wilkins, one of the managers at Banana Republic said, “On an average Saturday we’ll have 2,700 people in the store, that’s more than we did at Gateway in an entire week. It’s been crazy, but a good crazy.” Wilkins also said, “We’ve hired on about five more people since opening the new store, we need more coverage and are making the money to be able to hire more people. It’s great!”

            Everyone is excited to see the new mall and the shoppers seem to be willing to spend the money needed to at these high-end stores. Many people questioned whether or not the higher price-point stores would do well in a market like Salt Lake, but so far, they seem to be fairing very well. Jenn Smith, a sales associate at Tiffany & Co. said, “most days we have to form a line outside the store because so many people want to come in. A lot of people are just curious and look around, but there have been a lot of buyers as well. Business is good so far.”

            With the new mall placed smack-dab in downtown, questions were raised about how the locally-owned and smaller business on Main Street would be affected. William Lewis, an employee of the sandwich shop Gandolfos, located on Main Street a few blocks south of City Creek said, “We’ve always been busy with the all the businesses and high-rises located so close to us, and City Creek definitely hasn’t hurt business. We’ve seen an increase on Saturdays.” He also stated, “The food court is nice at City Creek, but it’s always so crowded, I’ve heard a lot of people come in saying they had to get away from all the people.”

            Eva’s, a popular restaurant on Main Street has also seen an increase since City Creek opened. Nicole Wallace a waitress at Eva’s stated, “We’ve seen a lot of shoppers come down here for a bite to eat. I think the Cheesecake Factory is really the only sit-down dinning option for shoppers over there, and I’ve heard there’s always over an hour wait. We have much better, locally-grown food than the Cheesecake Factory, and we can usually seat people right away.”

            There is one other restaurant besides The Cheesecake Factory located at City Creek, called Texas de Brazil, but you’ll have to spend much more money to dine there than you would at most restaurants located on Main Street (and most likely the food will be better and you won’t have to wait at the restaurants on Main).

            City Creek is a new and exciting place to come visit and it seems to be helping all the small businesses around this enormous new mall. Luckily for the small, delicious restaurants located on Main Street, the eating options at the mall are limited and super crowded, causing shoppers to venture a few blocks south for a bite to eat.

            So come down and spend some money (most likely a lot considering the price-points at most stores) while also supporting the older, smaller shops and restaurants on Main Street. Downtown Salt Lake is definitely becoming a place to visit with many different things to offer!

The new role of college students

Why they may be the answer to many of the world’s problems

By Rebekah-Anne Gebler

SALT LAKE CITY—“The Story of Stuff” video was created by one person, Annie Leonard, and a small team of co-workers in 2007.

Almost five years and more than 15 million views later, that video “is one of the most watched environmental-themed online movies of all time,” according to the organization’s website, http://www.storyofstuff.com. With its easy-to-follow cartoons and understandable lingo, this is understandable.

Leonard’s efforts were extensive but those by college students don’t need to be.

Why college students’ actions are so integral to helping the planet was the topic of discussion at a lecture conducted by library accountant Carrie Brooks on February 29. The discussion was about a different video by Leonard called “The Story of Broke” and was part of the Green Bag Lunch Series held at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library.

“The Story of Broke” talked about where the majority of the money in the economy is going versus where it could be going.

Leonard said that instead of spending money on fixing problems, that money should be spent on preventing them.

The prime models for this need of priority changes are college students. Many are pressured daily as to where—and on what—they will spend their money.

“It’s just frustrating…There’s money to do it. It’s just a change of priorities,” said attendee David Maxfield, a senior library specialist.

Maxfield refers to the struggle that college students face daily. With consistently new technology from iPads to crackle nail polish, college students are enticed into spending money on things they want while the economy is begging for that money to be spent on preventing problems.

That’s why Brooks said that education is the main focus of lectures like the Green Bag Lunch Series.

“So many people have no idea why or what or how these things happen,” said Brooks, referring to today’s economic problems.

College students are also the influencers in this plan as well. Many students are at a point in their lives where they have to make their own decisions for the first time.

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, 30.4 million 18- to 24-year-olds were enrolled in a 2- or 4-year college or university as of 2009.

Even if only 10 percent of those students were living outside of their parents’ home, that is still more than 3 million people who are flying solo in making their own decisions since leaving the nest.

The University of Utah’s Marriott Library recognizes that so many students are at a crossroad with their decisions. They act as the center and the source of sustainability for the campus, said Brooks.

Efforts like “The Paper Project”—a campus-wide recycle effort—and “Just Fill It!” –a water bottle-filling station project—were both started at the Marriott Library and were funded by Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund (or SCIF) Grants to aid students in their sustainability efforts.

The faculty and students involved in the campus’ sustainability efforts have created simple ways to help change many students’ habits.

Students can find resources on simple changes they can make in their lives, what the U. is doing to “Go Green,” and even give suggestions for new ideas to further these efforts on the “Greening the Marriott Library” webpage at http://www.lib.utah.edu/info/green/.

College students may feel pressured by the many different options of where to spend their time and money, but through simple actions, they can be the solution for tomorrow’s problems.

Birth Control ranks lowest among voters concerns.

According to USA Today/Gallup poll, Americans are less concerned with government policies concerning birth control than any other issue discussed in this year’s presidential election campaign.

Only 20 percent of registered voters voted birth control as an extremely important national issue. Other concerns, such as international issues, were voted at least a 36 percent on the national issues list.

Some Americans feel that birth control should not be a national issue at all and should not even be mentioned.

“I don’t agree that birth control should be a national issue, it should be personal,” said Hilda Bravo, University of Utah academic program specialist. “I think that I would just rather they don’t talk about it.”

Where most Americans agree with Bravo, there are a few that believe that the government policies behind birth control are to be concerned with.

“I can see why most people would rank birth control as the least of national concern but what they aren’t looking at are the government policies behind birth control,” said Karen Klc, University of Utah secretary. “I still would not rank it the top concern but I definitely would not rank it the lowest.”

University of Utah student, Steve Richardson agreed with both Klc and Bravo concerning the birth control issue. He believes that birth control is an important issue to be concerned with. However, he also believes that there are other national issues such as healthcare and gas prices that require more attention.