A look at parasocial relationships

By: Elise Dunaway

SALT LAKE CITY — Many people feel attachments to celebrities or fictional characters. They treat them as if they knew them in real life. This is known as a parasocial relationship. The term was first used in 1956 by Donald Horton and Richard Wohl in their paper “Mass Communication and Para-Social Interaction: Observations on Intimacy at a Distance.” It originally referred to television figures, but has since been expanded to include celebrities, fictional characters, athletes, and other media figures.

Originally thought to mbe mostly formed only by lonely and isolated people, studies have since shown that everyone experiences parasocial relationships, regardless of how lonely they may be. In extreme cases, parasocial relationships can result in stalking or other problematic behavior, however most people treat them as they would a normal interpersonal relationship.

University of Utah freshman Lily Chidester thinks that parasocial relationships are more common today due to how prevalent social media is. Social media allows people to interact with others who have a parasocial relationship with the same figure, which then can help develop real friendships with those people.

University of Utah freshman Lily Chidester on April 7, 2019. (UNewsWriting/Elise Dunaway)

“Networking among people with a common interest is greatly amplified by social media because it increases the fanbase of the thing in question, whether that’s a fictional character, like in a book or a TV show, or a celebrity, who’s a real person, but is just one person,” Chidester said. “They can’t interact with everyone that knows them.”

Social media also increases the access people have to celebrities. People have the chance to interact with public figures, which can increase the likelihood of forming a parasocial relationship.

Logos for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, which are popular platforms for fans to interact with celebrities.
Instagram/Facebook logos: Wikimedia Commons
Twitter/Snapchat logos: Pixabay

“It seems that liking, sharing, and commenting on social media increases perceived intimacy between the person and the celebrity or character, increasing the person’s perception of their bond,” said Dr. Julia Moore, a Communication professor at the University of Utah.

Parasocial relationships offer many benefits to the person engaging in them. They provide a sense of companionship and can supplement real interactions with people. They also provide a sense of connection and community. People are able to bond with others who have a parasocial relationship with the same media figure. This gives them a group of people they can relate to.

Parasocial relationships are still relationships even though there is no reciprocation involved. People tend to get attached to celebrities they view as similar to themselves. These relationships can give people an emotional outlet. They can be themselves because there’s no expectation to meet a certain standard or act a certain way.

“The greater the intensity of the parasocial relationships, the more likely it is to have a significant impact on one’s life in terms of time spent, goals, and emotions or feelings of attachment,” Dr. Bert Uchino, the Department Chair of Psychology at the University of Utah, said.

Data showing which type of celebrities adolescents formed parasocial relationships with. (UNewsWriting/Elise Dunaway)

study done in 2017 looked at what kinds of public figures adolescents formed parasocial relationships with. It also looked at how they classified those relationships. Subjects were asked to name one celebrity they’re attached to and explain why. Their responses were then categorized into Actor, Singer/Musician, Athlete, Other, and Writer. The Other category included figures like talk show hosts and comedians. For girls and boys, actors were by far the most popular public figures to be attached to.

According to Dr. Uchino, access to actors and other public figures via social media can increase the likelihood of forming parasocial relationships. 

“It gives them yet another platform to interact with fans and often involves disclosure of personal information, which we know deepens relationship development,” he said. “It is likely that celebrities know this and are trying to foster a more devoted fanbase.”

While celebrities can’t form relationships with each individual fan, their actions on social media can encourage the fans to do so with them. Appearing to be relatable can increase a sense of connection and devotion. This can also increase how many people are part of the fanbase.

Social media may not play as big of a role in the formation of parasocial relationships with fictional characters. As they aren’t real, the characters can’t make posts or interact with fans in any way, shape, or form. The development of a parasocial relationship would then have to come from the source material and original content generated by fans.

“I have these fictional characters that I have built relations with, and particularly Harry Potter is super interesting because it’s something that was from my childhood. I’ve read the series an insane amount and basically have it memorized. It’s a huge part of me and how I define myself,” Chidester said. “It’s taught me ways to better myself as a person and the characters have taught me things about myself that definitely still could have come about in relationships with people where it was reciprocated, where they’re not fictional characters in a book.”

Popular franchises with characters people tend to form parasocial relationships with.
Star Wars/Disney logos: Wikipedia
Marvel/Harry Potter logos: Wikimedia Commons

College students can receive companionship and support from parasocial relationships. This can be very beneficial, especially when trying to balance school and having a social life.

“Parasocial relationships can be especially beneficial for college students with low self-esteem. Parasocial relationships with fictional characters or real celebrities can make people feel a sense of belonging,” Dr. Moore said. “So even though parasocial relationships are not ‘real’ in that the two people don’t actually know one another or interpersonally interact, these relationships have real effects on people, and many of these effects are positive.”

Elise Dunaway’s Reflection Blog

Kierra Cable

My Blog:

After reading through the assignment for this class, I knew exactly the area that I wanted to study. Unfortunately, my ambition certainly outdid my experience. I have never done a project that involved using AP style. This made it increasingly difficult to write my article without having to correct multiple errors.

When I thought about what I wanted to do, I decided to talk about a very difficult topic. I currently work for the VOA at the youth resource center. This homeless shelter houses teens ages 16-22. Nearly half of these teens are part of the LGBT community. I was interested by the amount of teens that came from a religious home and then became homeless. I wanted to see if there was a specific correlation between teenagers in the LGBT community and religious homes leading to homelessness.

Finding sources for this was fairly easy, however, extremely controversial. I had access to data supplied by the VOA and point people to talk to. It was difficult to find a religious leader from the LDS church to candidly talk with me. Luckily, a good friend of mine who serves as a Bishop agreed to participate in my interview. Although I had sources to talk with, I had a hard time getting information from the religious perspective.

Overall, this project was very sensitive. I wanted to give perspective to both sides of the controversy. I learned that to do investigative journalism, you often need to intrude into dark spaces. I’ve learned that there are stories that are worth researching and boundaries that should be pushed to get that information. I am grateful for those who were willing to participate in my search.

About Me:

Kierra Cable is a senior at the University of Utah studying Strategic Communication. She will be graduating in Summer 2019. She has already begun a career with the Volunteers of America working with homeless youth in Salt Lake.

Kierra has worked in the nonprofit/ministry area for the last five years. She hopes to continue to pursue a position working with youth for the rest of her career.

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Elise Dunaway

My Story: A look at parasocial relationships

My Blog: Elise Dunaway’s Reflection Blog

About Me:

Elise Dunaway is currently a sophomore at the University of Utah. She is majoring in Strategic Communication and minoring in Theatre. After graduation, she wants to work at a public relations firm. Elise enjoys collaborating with others and is excited to work on PR campaigns and other projects in the future.

In her free time, Elise likes to read mystery novels, spend time with family and friends, listen to music, and knit. She also likes to travel and has a goal to visit every National Park in the United States. She has currently visited seven—Zion, Arches, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Great Basin and Haleakalā. 

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Emerald Barney

My Story: Teen nicotine use

My Blog: Looking back on teens and e-cigs

About Me:

I am a 20-year-old sophomore at the University of Utah pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Strategic Communications. I am expecting to graduate in August of 2020 after completing an internship throughout the summer. In addition to academics, I work as an Educator at lululemon in Salt Lake City.

I am from Bountiful, Utah and grew up with three older sisters who are more like my three best friends.

When the weather allows, I spend most of my time outdoors in one of Utah’s five national parks, exploring the Cottonwood Canyons, or relaxing on the beach at Bear Lake.

LinkedIn: Emerald Barney

Emily Albrecht

My Story: In the Salt Lake Fire Department, it’s still a man’s world

My Blog:Finding a balance when writing about harassment

About Me: Two years into my undergraduate degree at the University of Utah, I’ve begun to realize that writing will always be an essential part of whatever I do. This isn’t just by necessity, although writing is integral to just about everything. The real reason is that I love writing. I always have, and I always will. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to change that. My two most involved hobbies at the moment are writing for the Utah chapter of the collegiate magazine Her Campus and my newly-minted food blog, Pancakes and Porridge.

I’m currently pursuing a double major in English and Strategic Communication. Although my current plan is to go into copy writing and advertising, my ideas of the future are always shifting. I like to stay open to new opportunities and new ideas. My mantra is that I’m still so young and the world is changing so much, there’s no reason to put myself in a box too early.

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Alex Stein: Reflection blog

As I narrowed down my topics for my enterprise story, I knew I wanted to incorporate diabetes into my article. Since 2009 I’ve had Type One Diabetes and it has dramatically changed my life. Most people know that there are Type One and Type Two diabetes but often get the two confused or assume that they are similar when in actuality they are two completely different diseases. As a Type One, I’ve noticed over the years that the media sheds more light on Type Two Diabetes. I felt that there were far too many issues amongst the Type One community that needed to be brought to the public’s attention.

The increasing drug prices, specifically Insulin, is something that not only affects me but also thousands of other Americans with Type One Diabetes. When writing and interviewing people for my story I needed to be cautious to not insert my personal beliefs into my writing. I found that, while I took out my bias, the people I interviewed all had a similar opinion which helped me when writing the story. I was able to insert a cohesive voice across the three individuals. Overall, the story was much harder to put together than I thought because of how much more information and people I needed to talk to in order to get to the bottom of the complicated issue of drug pricing and price increases. However, I think it is important to start the conversation amongst all demographics which I hope my enterprise story is able to do.

Sky-high insulin prices leave type 1 diabetic​s worried for the future

By Alex Stein

SALT LAKE CITY — Type 1 diabetics are struggling to make ends meet due to price increases of Insulin over the past several years. Some Insulin has risen over 700 percent the past 20 years, making it hard for many diabetics to afford the proper amount of medication needed each month.

Not only are Insulin prices rising each year, the cost of other vital supplies for diabetics to maintain a healthy and functioning life are also on the rise. The basic necessities include a meter to check blood glucose levels, test strips, syringes, two types of insulin — most common ones being Humalog/Novolog and Lantis, and an emergency glucagon pen. Some diabetics, who can afford more advanced technology to monitor their diabetes, also use two different types of machinery:

An Insulin Pump — An insulin-delivering device that distributes insulin through a small tube or cannula.

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                                                        A CGM — Continuing Glucose Monitor. This device monitors blood glucose levels continuously and also is able to detect the direction in which the blood glucose is trending. It also can alert the diabetic before they have a severe low or high. 

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These devices are considered a luxury to the diabetic community due to the sky-high price tag that comes along with them. Savannah Ward, a 22-year-old college student at Brigham Young University has been a diabetic for 19 years. At age four, Savannah was able to go on the pump which in return helped her manage her uncontrolled diabetes. From age 4 – 11 she continued using the pump in hopes that her family’s insurance would continue to provide coverage. “ I was on shots for a really long time. It’s hard to take care of yourself, and I didn’t want to until I got the pump.”

Unfortunately, Ward’s worst nightmare came true, when at age 11 her insurance no longer covered her pump, making it too expensive to continue using it. From age 11 – 21 Ward had to manage her unruly diabetes with injections and vials of insulin multiple times a day.

“ My mental and physical health was compromised because of it. I was always stressed out about my blood sugar numbers and then when they were high or low I would get depressed and anxious which also has an effect causing me to take more insulin which would stress me out more because we couldn’t afford to buy any more insulin.”

The cost of caring for diabetes without insurance coverage is distressing. “It’s a vicious cycle that just keeps going when you have to worry about if you get to pick up your order of insulin each month and hope that your insurance will still cover your expenses.”

Sadly, Savannah Ward is one of many that struggles each month with managing the costs of being a diabetic. Thousands of Americans also deal with the mental and emotional burdens that come from trying to pay for their supplies month to month.

Nurse Practitioner Ann Haynes has been strictly devoted to diabetes for six years now, although she has been practicing medicine since 1989. “Up to 80 percent of diabetics ration their insulin” says Haynes, explaining that there are significant risks that come with doing so.

“When diabetics ration their insulin they then have uncontrolled diabetes because of it. They risk going into Diabetic Ketoacidosis, and if not treated right away they can either go into a coma or die.” The risk that comes with saving insulin throughout the month comes with major consequences and complications don’t stop there.

Haynes explains that having prolonged uncontrolled diabetes puts major stress on the body’s organs and many diabetics are at risk for kidney failure and blindness because of it. She also explains that having a lot of variety in your blood sugar can result in amputation of extremities like toes, fingers, feet, hands, and whole arms or legs.

Although prices have drastically increased, there may be light at the end of the tunnel thanks to an up-and-coming drug company. Dan Liljenquist, the Chief Strategy Officer at Intermountain Healthcare, was fed up with medication shortages and overpriced drugs that many people need in order to survive. He and some of his colleagues developed an idea for a non-profit generic drug company called Civica Rx, expected to hit the market in early 2019. “We felt that unless we acted and did something that it would not resolve on its own,” he says. According to Liljenquist, the generic drug companies continue to monopolize the market by increasing the prices and restricting the supply which causes shortages of vital drugs and medication.

While insulin isn’t one of the drugs that will be part of the Civica launch, Liljenquist is aware of dilemma that diabetics are facing.

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“Our priority is making sure essential medications are available and affordable to everyone, that’s very much on our minds. Given the complexity of insulin and the other needs, we aren’t starting with it but we certainly are aware of it and our patients deal with that every day.”

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Civica Rx or similar efforts could be the solution for diabetics across the country in dire need of help. Hopefully, in the next few years, diabetics will see a dramatic decrease in insulin prices allowing them to receive the proper dosage of medication without having to worry about if they will have enough each month.

     The Cost of Diabetes. (2018, April 30). Retrieved from    http://www.diabetes.org/advocacy/news-events/cost-of-diabetes.html

     Ransom, E. (2018, September 4). #Coverage2Control: JDRF Advocacy to Lower Insulin Prices. Retrieved from https://www.jdrf.org/capital/2018/09/04/coverage2control-jdrfadvocacy-to-lower-insulin-prices/

The “Me Too” movement and its impact on college campuses

By Laura Child

https://unewswriting.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/reflection-blog-laura-child/

SALT LAKE CITYThe Me Too movement’s purpose is to help survivors of sexual violence find healing, particularly young women of color from low-income communities. The movement began to gain traction when the MeToo hashtag went viral on social media platforms in 2016. Subsequently, the movement’s goal has evolved to include the expansion of global conversations around sexual assault, and to find advocates willing to share their own experiences and seek justice misconduct.

These shared experiences remind everyone of what it means to be sexually assaulted. Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity or contact that happens without consent.

The social media movement galvanized around the sexual assault case of Harvey Weinstein, but has resulted in many celebrities and individuals coming forward to share their own as victims of sexual misconduct. Men and women have found empowered and healing through sharing their voice and fighting for justice.

 Reports of sexual assaults in the workplace and on college campuses have increased since 2006. Universities have been criticized for a lack of enforcement and measure to protect students from misconduct. The social movement has forced universities to create new procedures, certifications, and resources for their students on campus. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 20-25 percent of college women and 15 percent of college men are victims of forced sex during their time in college. Unfortunately, more than 90 percent of sexual assault victims on college campuses don’t get reported. Since 2017, however, there has been an increase in the number of sexual assaults reported on college campuses. Many universities have worked to develop campaigns and rallies to help make their students feel safe and heard.

In 2017, thirty-two sexual assault cases were reported to the University of Utah. However, these cases were campus-only reports, which means they didn’t include the off-campus sexual assaults of U of U students, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Police Chief Dale Brophy doesn’t believe the school is seeing an uptick in sexual violence; he thinks more survivors are reporting. “More reporting is a good thing,” he says. Following an investigation on how the U handles their assault reporting, the U launched the SafeU website last year in hopes of better supporting their students. The website’s goal is to inform and provide students with several tools and resources. This website allows students to file reports under section IX. The U has also added additional forms of counseling, reporting, therapy, medical services, and police reporting.

 The U has a variety of resources for students who have been victim to sexual misconduct. “The Student and Wellness Centers helps those who have suffered by allowing them to chose the best way of healing from their own trauma,” says Ellie Goldberg, Assistant Director of Advocacy. The goal is to be a students support system by creating a safe, confidential atmosphere.

Survivor advocates, provide resources for students on campus to help heal, provide medical referrals, help financially, inform on legal justice options, or provide free counseling.  “No one should ever have to go through this trauma. If they do, we will do everything in our power to help them heal in a sensitive environment,” says Darrah Jones, one of the Survivor Advocates at the U.

 As members of the university community, it is important to become involved in the prevention of sexual assault campus. The police department at the U has held various bystander certification courses to help inform students, raise awareness, and provide skills to recognize, intervene, prevent and/or stop inappropriate comments, actions, and behaviors.

The U also provides seminars and guest speakers to help inform individuals on how to prevent these situations. ”We must teach our young adults about sexual misconduct from a young age in today’s society. The hard conversations about safe sex, intimate relationships, and social-emotional learning are conversations that can truly make a difference,” said Anita Hill, in a recent forum held at the University of Utah Alumni Center.  

As students and members of the University of Utah community, we can help end gender-based violence on campus by becoming better educated. We must unlearn rape myths, such as the belief that rapes are only committed by strangers or that alcohol can justify sexual assault. Myths like these protect the assaulters and create an environment where survivors aren’t supported. If we are aware of someone who is experiencing this, we can be supportive by believing, listening, and educating. By doing so, we can help guide them to the resources they may need. If this movement has taught me anything, it has made me believe that when we come together and voice our opinions, we can be heard and make a difference.

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Exemplary Service Through the Bennion Center

by Kyle Lanterman

SALT LAKE CITY─ Since 1987, the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center has been a valuable resource by aiding the Salt Lake Community. The Bennion Center provides service to others living in the region, with many University of Utah students involved in the process. The mission statement of the Bennion Center reflects that there are strong values rooted within the center such as integrity, collaboration, diversity, engagement, and optimism to name a few. Six office spaces, a conference room, and a few couches constitute the space where students make items for the homeless or construct sustainable gardens. The center itself is extremely small compared to the impact it has on the Salt Lake Community.

The Bennion Center delivers service to address a variety of issues in the community including hunger, homelessness, illiteracy, sustainability, and health care. The people that work to make these areas in the Salt Lake Community better have bought into the mission of the Bennion Center and the work that comes along with it. Not only does the Bennion Center extend its outreach in Utah, but students and staff have done service work in many other areas in the Country. In addition, there are two service trips that are located in Cuba and Costa Rica. The outreach to these areas are inspired by a spirit of wanting to help communities that have people and environments in need. The community of the Bennion Center draws students who have want to take action in service.

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An infographic depicting the locations of service projects by students and staff from the Bennion Center from the past year. Service projects have dominated the western United States and have gone outside the country in Cuba and Costa Rica. Graphic creation credit to nationalgeoraphic.com

“So I was kind of involved with volunteer work in high school and wanted to continue doing volunteer work in college,” says Eric Nhem, a 22-year-old University student from West Valley City and Bennion Center volunteer. “My friend texted me one day and sheasked if I wanted to do this thing through the Bennion center,” Nhem continued, “I said what the heck is the Bennion Center?”

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Eric Nhem, 22, a student programs coordinator the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center. Nhem hails from West Valley City and works with students to fulfill their needs for service projects. Photo courtesy; Bennion center website.

That “thing” turned out to be a once a month assignment with Project Youth, which helped Title I students learn about higher education. Nhem eventually became the director of Project Youth after two consecutive years of volunteering with them which lead him to become a student programs coordinator with the Bennion Center. Nhem’s role is vital for the Bennion Center and the work that is done there.

“Basically, my job is to coordinate with students about service projects they wish to participate in and then guide them about what needs to be done. For example, what resources they might need or who they need to take talk to,” says Nehm. “Those two areas are usually what needs to be tackled first in order for the projects to get going.”

Regardless of who needs to talk to who or what the students need, there needs to be a level of optimism brought to the table. This sense of optimism is needed for student run projects to flourish and along with enthusiasm for the service to continue. The students  display optimism in their work and and are enthusiastic about it every day and those elements are what brought Nhem to the Bennion Center originally. 

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The bulletin board located outside the Bennion Center, with the main sign in the background. The Bennion center is located in room 105 in the Union building on the campus of the University of Utah. The center specializes in volunteer work in areas such as hunger, sustainability, homelessness, literacy, and healthcare. Photo credit: Bennion center staff.

“I fell in love with one program that had a mission I believed in,” Nhem stated.

Believing is something that holds the Bennion Center together, as communications specialist, Jennifer Jones, will attest. As the communications specialist, it is Jones responsibility to make other aware of the great work being done at the Center.

“My job is awesome because I get to brag about all the fantastic things students are doing here!” says Jones, and there is no shortage of work to be discussed. “Just the other day we had a group of students ironing plastic bags to make beanies for hospitalized infants and sleeping mats for the homeless. That is the kind of stuff that tends to take place in the Bennion Center on a day to day basis.”

Jones is particular proud of the people she works with. “What motivates me to do my work is everyone who is involved with the Bennion Center. We have so many students from a plethora of backgrounds who are passionate about their work,” she says.

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Students collaborate as they construct arts and crafts for the Primary Children’s Hospital in the Bennion Center. The center specializes in volunteer work in areas such as hunger, sustainability, homelessness, literacy, and healthcare. Photo credit: Bennion center online blog.

On a given evening, the Bennion Center is bustling with activity. This night, students sit on couches and huddle around a coffee table discussing their current work and planning out future projects. Nhem and Jones have their own workspaces where they speak to students or other parties about current or future projects. What goes on in the Bennion Center on a day to day basis continues to change the Salt Lake Community in a positive way.

The mission of the Bennion Center is “to foster lifelong service and civic participation by engaging the university with the greater community in action, change and learning.” This mission is being accomplished routinely through the meaningful work by students at the U with the help of staff members such as Nhem and Jones. Lifelong service is being given and will continue to be given as long as the belief in projects exists along with the drive to help others and make the local community of Salt Lake City a better place.

 

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Poor air quality continues to be an issue for residents of Salt Lake City

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By Trevor Hofer

SALT LAKE CITY—Poor air quality has been an issue for citizens of Salt Lake City for many years. The time of year when air quality is at its worst is December through February. During this time, residents must deal with inversion. Weather Questions, a website states, “inversion acts like a lid, keeping normal convective overturning of the atmosphere from penetrating through the inversion.” This definition explains that inversion contains various air pollutants which cause bad air quality to stay trapped within the valley and breathed in by the population.

Although Salt Lake City’s air quality has improved, the air quality is still ranked as the sixth worst in the nation by the American Lung Association. The American Lung Association gave the Salt Lake Valley an “F” in both the amount of particulate pollution and in the ozone. The American Lung Association based their ranks on two factors, particulate pollution, and ozone. According to Dictionary.com particulate pollution is “pollution of an environment that consists of particles suspended in some medium… [it] is a mixture of solid and liquid droplets floating in the air.” Particulate can affect every person in Salt Lake City, but those at higher risk according to the National Park Service website are those with heart and lung diseases, diabetes, asthma, and children.

The other factor that the American Lung Association bases their rankings on is ozone. According to AirNow, ozone can either be good or bad depending on where it is located. “Good” ozone is found 6 to 30 miles above the Earth’s surface where it protects us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Bad ozone is near ground level and forms “when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boiler, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources react chemically in the presence of sunlight” creating bad breathing air. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that ozone has linked poor air quality to adverse health effects such as with some being chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, wheezing, and trouble breathing during outdoor activities and exercise.

Peter F. Vitiello, an assistant scientist in the Environmental Influences on Health and Diseases group who is also a member of the American Lung Association, stated that “poor air quality is hazardous and is something in which we should not take lightly.” Vitiello suggested that we should try to keep the environment healthy as we would want our health to be.” As mentioned, many factors play a part in the poor air quality that is affecting the residents in Salt Lake City. Liberation News states one of the primary sources causing a significant decrease in safe air quality is the five oil refineries owned by Chevron and Andeavor. Also, mining operations in Salt Lake City also attribute significantly to poor air quality.

 

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Burning wood is one of the causes of pollution. The DEQ has put out regulations on how much and when you are able to burn wood

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) mission is “safeguarding and improving Utah’s air, land, and water through balanced regulation.” The DEQ has a department solely focused on Utah’s atmosphere and is continuously looking for ways they can improve the air quality of Utah. They also have many other apps where we can view how the air quality is today and have also set up a few regulations by which we should live. Some of these suggestions are to turn your key, be idle free, travel-wise, conserve energy and use a shovel rather than a snow blower. These are just a few suggestions by which we should live to improve our quality of air.

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Cars are one of the leading causes of pollution at 50-55 percent for the Salt Lake Valley

Beau Call from the DEQ said that “they have a rule called the water heater and they suggest that the water heater when you buy a new one should have low oxides of nitrogen level.” Call also stated that, “they have an Air Quality board which listens to the suggestions from the DEQ and decide if this is the best path for better and cleaner air.”  They are also trying to put regulations on industries on how much they can produce. According to Call, “the major industry only attributes to 17 percent and cars produce 50 to 55 percent 25 to 30 percent are from buildings and homes. So the cars are the main issue; therefore, the newer cars are improving, and they are producing cleaner gas to minimize the pollution.” Call suggested that if we could use electric cars, it would vastly improve the air quality.

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Stats from Beau Call about the causes of pollution.

Salt Lake City has taken a few steps to improve the air quality and to lessen the carbon footprint. Liberation News claimed that the first step was back in the year 1999 where the first electric TRAX light rail line was made available to the residents of Salt Lake valley. The DEQ also has a  few incentive programs and they will pay you to switch you to a new heating device that will be cleaner for the air quality; for example, if you have a wood stove. We have plenty of cleaner resources around us that we need to use rather than sit idly by. If we do these things that the DEQ has suggested, we will be able to create a better environment and we will be able to live healthier lives.

 

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Nicholas Gruet

MY STORY:

Nick Portrait

Nicholas Gruet, 21, junior, from Ogden, Utah. Currently pursuing a degree in Strategic Communication with a minor in Business.

MY BLOG: Earning easy side cash. 

ABOUT ME: I am a junior at the University of Utah majoring in Strategic Communication and minoring in business. I currently have an internship with the Utah Athletics office working with their sports information directors (S.I.D.). In this I cover Utah cross country and track and field, as well as write player features for the mens football team, basketball team, and women’s basketball team. I am an avid sports lover who loves to be active and outdoors. My favorite sports are basketball, baseball, and golf. I played all three of these sports in high school at the varsity level. Basically, my world revolves around sports and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Shane Bryan

IMG_7297My Story: Biking into the Future with Bike Utah

My Blog: Reflection Blog

About Me: Originally from New Hampshire and now a Senior at the University of Utah studying Strategic Communication. Currently Marketing Director for the University’s mountain and road bike team. Always on the move and seeking new challenges. In the future, a dream job would be marketing in the mountain bike or auto industry.

Check out my LinkedIn here

Biking into the Future with Bike Utah

Article and Photos by Shane Bryan

SALT LAKE CITY — Biking on city streets can be intimidating for new bicycle commuters. The rush of traffic, distracted drivers and the difficulty of using a map can easily deter people from riding bikes instead of getting into a car. Bike Utah, a bicycle advocacy organization, is here to help residents all over Utah get on a bike and feel safe while doing so. They work to make cities and towns all over the state more bike friendly.

Based in Salt Lake City, Bike Utah operates as a non-profit organization. The organization started ten years ago after a road cyclist was hit and killed on the Utah

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Simon Harris demonstrating proper road riding techniques (Photo by Shane Bryan)

roads. The founders quickly became aware that there needed to be some serious advocacy for safety between drivers and cyclists. The mission of Bike Utah is to “integrate bicycling into the everyday culture of the state,” says Simon Harris, Bike Utah’s Youth Program Manager. “We envision Utah as the most bicycle friendly state in the country.”

Bike Utah carries out their plan via city planning—putting traffic plans into action, and working with local governments to make the roads a safe haven for cyclists.  

Throughout the city, there are extra wide bike lanes with more room for riders and marked lines so drivers can steer clear. There are large signs specifically identifying bike lanes, and paint on the roads to show where the lane is and where bike riders have a right-of-way. Popular destinations are also clearly marked with nearby street

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Wide bike lane Eastbound on 300s (Photo by Shane Bryan)

signs, eliminating the need to use a map or phone while you ride, all in an effort to keep bikers safe.

Bike Utah has been chosen as the non-profit sponsor for the new Thousand Mile campaign, an effort to revamp old bike paths and add new ones totaling 1,000 miles. Introduced by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, the Thousand Mile campaign is intended to make Utah one of the best cycling and active transportation states in the country.

Bike Utah’s role is to “provide strategic planning, technical assistance, and financial resources so communities can begin or continue developing bicycling in their area,” according to Bike Utah, they help, “communities to advance their bicycle-related goals.” This means advancements in local bike routes to get kids to school, people to work and riders out enjoying the roads and trails. 

Multi-use pathways and mountain bike trails are also laid out in the Thousand Miles plan. Salt Lake City also has protected bike lanes, similar to ones found in Europe, in which there is a physical concrete barrier separating the bike lane and the car lane, reducing the probability of a car merging into the bike lane. Through their work, Bike 

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Concrete barrier separating the road from the bike lane Westbound on 300s (Photo by Shane Bryan)

Utah would like to inspire people to ride bikes instead of driving, to help keep our air clean and reveal the health benefits of pedaling to your destinations. Active transportation is healthy for you and the community. Riley Peterson of Salt Lake City, commutes around the city all the time whether it’s to school or to work. “I always have lights on which makes it safe and I have never had an issue with any cars,” says Peterson. “Plus, it is just more fun to ride.”

There are things you can be doing to further increase your safety on the road. For starters, follow the rules of the road. Stop at stop signs, use hand signals, and stay in your lane. Also, wear bright colors. Brighter colors will pop and grab the attention of drivers. Standing out from the line of traffic on a bike will separate you from the crowd. Having a front and rear light is also a good way to do this. Many people think that only having a front and rear light at night is important; however, Adam Olson, Manager of Trek Bike, encourages riders to use 

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LED lights can keep you safe day and night (Photo by Shane Bryan)

lights at all times. “Using lights in the day time increases your chances of being seen,” says Olson. “Drivers are more likely to see a flashing object over a cyclist with no safety warnings attached.”

Drivers are always subliminally looking for objects that they are accustomed to seeing on the road (street lights, street signs, parked cars, etc.), the flashing of a light makes it apparent to drivers that there is something else to watch out for. 

Bike Utah also hosts an amazing kids program teaching kids from an early age about bike education and safety by visiting schools statewide.  Over 250 kids have learned how to ride a bike while increasing overall bike knowledge by 67 percent. You can support Bike Utah and follow upcoming events by clicking here for more information. Next time, consider throwing a leg over a bike before you step into a car.

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Curing homelessness with a focus on the individual

Story and Photos By Clara Welch

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City has been striving to relieve the burden of homelessness and make downtown safe. A 2017 study found 2,876 homeless people across Utah — 1,804 people in Salt Lake County alone.

 

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Rio Grande area has a high population of homeless and has been the center focus of efforts to combat these numbers in Salt Lake City. (Photo by Clara Welch)

Operation Rio Grande — Salt Lake City’s initiative to address homelessness along the Wasatch Front — has three phases focused on reducing crime, helping those with mental illness or addictions, and finding employment and housing for individuals. Improvements have been seen from these efforts and are expected to continue.

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A homeless man sits on a bench trying to stay warm on a chilly morning. Other people were walking around or sleeping. (Photo by Clara Welch)

Utah has been using a Housing First model since 2015.  Housing First departs from the traditional ideas that people need to be sober and employed before they can be given a basic human necessity. Finland and Japan have adopted this method and have very low numbers of homelessness. The success rates vary, depending on how you analyze it, from 40-80 percent of those being housed remaining housed. They are encouraging numbers from a tactic that focuses on the person as a human being, not as a burden.

Organizations all across the Salt Lake Valley are striving towards the same goal as Operation Rio Grande, providing multidimensional help from medical to social needs. Community efforts are changing the care that is provided, bringing the humanity back into relieving the burden of homelessness.

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Maliheh Clinic is a free clinic serving those who earn less than 150 percent of the federal poverty standard. They offer multiple services, focused on providing quality healthcare no matter the ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. (Photo by Clara Welch)

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Maliheh Clinic’s mission statement and numbers for 2016. (Photo by Clara Welch)

Collin Hoggard, a student at the University of Utah, volunteers at the Maliheh Clinic. Hoggard explained how the Maliheh Clinic, “started as a way to reach out to the uninsured people in Utah.” It’s been serving patients who earn less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines since 2005.

In 2016, Maliheh had 15,344 patient visits and 28,819 volunteer hours served. Providing preventative care, the Maliheh clinic reduces the burden that emergency rooms and hospitals experience with patients coming in with easily prevented emergencies.

Hoggard is a Spanish interpreter and accompanies patients on routine visits to therapy sessions. “It’s been amazing to connect with the patients,” says Hoggard, who sees real people with real needs. It has changed the way he sees those in different circumstances than himself. 

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Fourth Street Clinic has been serving homeless patients since 1988 and was moved to this location in the early 90s. (Photo by Clara Welch)

 

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Fourth Street Clinic’s mission statement with their number reports for 2017. (Photo by Clara Welch)

Like the Maliheh Clinic, the Fourth Street Clinic provides free healthcare and is located near Rio Grande. It’s a convenient location for many of the homeless people located downtown. The Fourth Street Clinic has a staff of over 60 people, including 7 full-time healthcare providers, and 150 volunteers providing over 14,000 hours of volunteer service. James Jarrad, Development and Communication Manager at Fourth Street Clinic, explained that the network of donors, volunteers, and staff bring quality healthcare to 5,000 yearly patients, who otherwise, would have none.

Jarrad visits with real patients who share their stories for the clinic website. “Becoming homeless can happen to anyone and for almost any reason,” he says. “There are so many different things to get to where you are in life and they can add up to either completely build your life up or tear it down,” Jarrad explains. “Sometimes you have no control, sometimes it’s within your control.”  

 Jarrad emphasized that, “homelessness is so much more complex”, than what the general public might think.

Connect2Health

Connect2Health’s mission statement with their number reports for 2017. (Photo by Clara Welch)

Connect2Health is a non-profit, student-run organization with a mission to “empower individuals to utilize community resources in order to cultivate multi-dimensional health.” By enlisting eager students, Connect2Health strives to connect patients with the resources they need to get back on their feet.

Focusing on needs other than medical, Connect2Health volunteers work one-on-one with patients at multiple locations. Volunteers can be found at Fourth Street Clinic, University Hospital, Primary Children’s, and the Wellness Bus. Connect2Health is creating a new norm by sending patients out with not only prescriptions, but resources including food, clothing, child care, and degrees.

Knowing that help is available is empowering to homeless and low-income individuals, but volunteers are impacted in a powerful way as well.  “It really helps to break down bias, develop cultural sensitivity, and develop empathy,” say Alexis Lee, Director of Connect2Health.

Volunteers work with individuals, who right now, happens to be homeless, says Lee, but it is important to see these people outside of their immediate circumstances. Connect2Health engenders empathy and understanding for these individuals, Lee says. 

Helping the homeless is more than just making downtown safer, it’s about seeing people for who they are. Operation Rio Grande addresses part of the issue of fixing homelessness, but it is organizations like Maliheh, the Fourth Street Clinic, and Connect2Health that fulfill the bigger picture and long-term needs.

What keeps these organization going are the volunteer hours. Donating time and spare items can make a difference in another human’s life. Homelessness is a multi-dimensional issue. A combined effort from the state, city, organizations, and individuals will help lift people from the burden of homelessness and be seen as fellow human beings with just a different set of challenges than you.

 

 

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Araceli Haslam

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MY STORY: The aftermath of passing Proposition 2 in Utah.

MY BLOG

ABOUT ME: I’m currently a student double majoring in Strategic Communications and Fine Arts with an emphasis in photography at the University of Utah. I have an extensive background in media including video, film photography, editing, and alternative photo processes. I have directed and produced several short films. My short documentary, A Wealthy Diagnosis, won Best Student Documentary at the IFF in Burbank, California. During the 2017 legislative session, I worked with Senator Jim Dabakis, producing short videos for him on different legislature topics.  I spent a month and a half in Costa Rica volunteering in a cultural immersion program called Amigos de las Americas. Salt Lake City is my home and I’ve embraced our beautiful nature since I was a child. I learned to ski the second I learned how to walk.

Linkedin Profile

Kennedee Webb

2015-09-29 17.54.34 (1)My Story:

My Blog: 

About me: 

Hello readers, my name is Kennedee Webb. I am a junior at the University of Utah, majoring in Strategic Communications. I am 22 years old and am from North Ogden, Utah. I have been attending the University of Utah for around 4 years and am looking forward to graduating. Some of my interests and hobbies include: boating, wake boarding, snowboarding, hiking, and photography. I am looking forward to share my experiences of learning about the bluebird and lime scooters with the readers.

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kennedee-webb-b67953138/

Michael Sanchez – Bio

MY STORY 

MY BLOG

ABOUT ME   

Michael Sanchez is a transfer student from Salt Lake Community College, where he received his associates degree in communication studies. Currently, he is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in strategic communication at the University of Utah. He plans to explore a career in public relations when he graduates.

Photography is his passion. In the summer, you can find him exploring the wilderness and documenting his adventures. When he has free time he loves to volunteer, whether it be at the Sundance Film Festival or at the local food bank handing out food, he loves human interaction and getting to know people.

As of now, the fast-paced environment of broadcast news is where he works as a photojournalist for ABC4. No matter what the assignment, Michael is up to the task. Getting that perfect shot is something that fills him with pride.

 

 

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Kate Pekuri

MY STORY

MY BLOG 

LinkedIn

ABOUT ME:

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Kate Pekuri is a 21 year old student pursuing a degree in Strategic Communication and a minor in Business. She currently works as the Wings Team Captain for Red Bull and serves on Alpha Phi’s executive council as Vice President of Membership Recruitment.

Kate is from Boise, Idaho and came to the University of Utah 3 years ago. When she’s not in school or working, Kate enjoys spending time with her friends, skiing, and traveling.

 

 

Parking at the U: Is is worth it?

By Michael Sanchez

SALT LAKE CITY — For students and faculty at the University of Utah, parking on campus can be a sore subject. With construction shutting down parking lots and the stressful morning rush to find available spaces, students may find themselves asking, “is parking on campus worth it?”IMG_1917

The sluggish speeds on Foothill Drive, construction blocking regular routes, the cost of parking both legally and illegally, the long walk to class after finding a spot—all of these are issues facing a person commuting to the University of Utah. The problems are easy to identify. The causes and solutions can be more elusive.  

“I think parking spots are going further and further away from the main buildings that I go to because of the amount buildings that are under construction,” says Tamara Oniani, a design student at the University of Utah. Oniani’s walk back to her car is around 10 minutes. Closer parking would make her feel safer on days when she gets out of class in the evening, she says.

Safety has been a concern at the U recently. Walking to and from class, especially at night can be a concern. According to Commuter Services, some of the A parking becomes U parking after a certain time of day. Also, there are escorts available throughout the day for students who feel uncomfortable walking to their car.

An annual parking pass for students at the University of Utah costs around $260. After paying for tuition, housing and books, students can often feel overwhelmed by the added cost of parking at the U. Additionally, employees who receive benefits from the university are allowed to purchase parking with the “A” designation. Parking in “A” designated parking will cost a faculty member around $580 a year. While this pricing may seem unfair at first glance, there are reasons why commuters pay so much to park.

“The only money that we are able to spend is what we are able to generate from fees that we impose,” says Alma Allred, Executive Director of Commuter Services. Commuter Services sets the price of parking, and collects fees to build and maintain parking across the University of Utah campus. Unlike other departments at the U, Commuter services does not receive any tax revenue or money from tuition. The department is run like a business, and it must generate money in order to operate. “We’re supposed to bring in more than we absolutely need, to fund additional construction projects,” Allred says.

The peak hours, when most people park on campus, is around 10 am — which is when the majority of classes are taken by students. This creates a problem for students with morning classes. The dash to find parking is a regular occurrence at the U.

“From my perspective it works fine,” says Raymond Olsen, a U of U staff member who commutes to campus from Logan about four times a week. “It works well for me, I get here early enough, and my secretary provides me with a day pass.”

Olsen is an anomaly when it comes to parking, but he also offered some insight on how to get better parking. “If I were trying to find parking after 8 am, it would be awful.” he says. For some students showing up to school earlier than everybody can be a good solution to finding parking. This practice can also facilitate early morning study time, or perhaps more realistically, a nap before class.

Construction projects on campus have also impacted how many parking spaces are available on campus. “We are sort of in a continual crisis mode, trying to replace parking that is taken by construction of other facilities.”  says Allred. These construction projects take months, and without a backup plan they can cause a high number of parking spaces to disappear. “On Monday we are going to lose 400 spaces,” he says. This is because of the construction of new student housing, due to our growth of the university according to Allred. 

Commuter Services must also consider their impact when they build new parking. A typical parking space in a garage cost on average $22,000 per space. Which, from the stance of Commuter Services, is not a good return on investment.

One solution Commuter Services wants to encourage is the use of public transit. Currently there are 8,000-12,000 people a day who use mass transit to commute to campus. “We want to get as many people as we can on mass transit,” says Allredy. “Every person who rides mass transit saves a parking space for somebody who has to take their car.” This solution is the most obvious answer to avoid parking on campus, but in some cases it is not the most practical.

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Infographic of how many people for every one parking spot on campus for the University of Utah and surrounding states. 

Reflection Blog: Katie Andress

by KATIE ANDRESS

Brainstorming what I wanted to cover for my enterprise story was pretty simple. A topic that I’m very passionate about immediately came to mind, as it seems to always do when I need to write or speak about something I’m interested in.

Skeleton, the sport I have competed in for the past five years and have had the best, most unique experiences in my life. Along the way, I met some great people, athletes, teammates and friends. Even though I no longer compete in skeleton, this is a community full of friendly faces that are always happy to see you succeed and to catch up with you.

So, for my story I decided to choose one of my friends, Akwasi Frimpong. I found his story inspirational because I think he was seen as the underdog in most competitions and he ended up going to the Olympics and even after, is continuing to make a name for himself and leave his mark on the skeleton community.

When thinking about sources for my story, obviously I thought about Akwasi, but I had to think about who else is associated with him and his story, so that’s where Zach Lund and Lauri Bausch came in. These are the best people to contact because I’m talking to the founder of the program, the head performance director/coach and Akwasi’s coach during the Olympics.

After interviews, I made sense of all the information I gathered by putting it into categories based on the questions asked and the answers given, also in order of the story line I was going for. Once I did that, it all came together how I wanted my story to be read.

The writing process came in bursts. Once I gathered and organized my information, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with it or how I wanted to articulate it to the reader. So I set it aside and came back to it. Once inspiration hit, that’s when I’d write. I’d write until it became a struggle to think of something and then I’d take a break and do it all again. After it was roughly written. I went back over it to finalize the product. And I learned that’s the way I like to write as opposed to forcing it.

Overall, I think writing this story was a good experience. It not only taught me the process of writing a news story and how to conduct interviews and form a story, but it also allowed me to connect back with the skeleton community that I’ve missed a lot.

 

Zac Fox Reflection Blog

Not a Master Procrastinator

I developed this idea because of the recent traction most ski resorts have been getting during the summer with activities and events, and wanted to dive deeper. Writing this enterprise story was no small task. I typically pride myself on being a master procrastinator. This was not something that could have been procrastinated, here’s why.

First, you’re interviewing at least three people for one story. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. With a typical essay or story you have to write, you’re usually on your own schedule — at midnight with a cup of coffee in hand and a steady 50 words per minute. Whoever you choose to interview most likely has a life, an agenda, and a schedule of their own that probably doesn’t coincide with your own.

For example, I had just finished up a lunch interview with J.P. Goulet, the Marketing Coordinator for Powder Mountain. I interned last year under him at Powder Mountain, and knew he’d be a perfect fit for the story. After a long drive down Ogden Canyon and food properly settled in my stomach, it was very much time for a nap. I set my alarm for an hour, or so, until about 20 minutes in I get a call from Theresa Foxley, the CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. That was definitely not conducive to a great nap. I instantly shot out of bed, grabbed my notebook and began some vocal warmups to get rid of the tiredness in my voice — a nap-voice, if you will. She helped me get a view at the bigger picture, and statewide presence that the ski resort shift allows.

Despite being startled from a food-coma induced nap, talking to J.P. and Theresa was loads of fun. Writing this story taught me a lot. You would think a couple years in college would teach you not to procrastinate a huge assignment like this — and you would be right. Never procrastinate when you’re on other people’s schedules.

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Read more about the author here.

 

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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Zac Fox

MY STORY: website-bio

MY BLOG: Not a Master Procrastinator

ABOUT ME: Zac Fox is currently a fourth-year student at the University of Utah pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree in Strategic Communications, and is expected to graduate in August 2019.

In addition to completing his college career, Zac is currently the Director of Marketing and Communications at Project Embrace and the Creative and Marketing Director for  AdThing at the University of Utah. Zac had previously worked in several marketing internships in both Salt Lake City, Utah and Los Angeles, California. He had also worked for the University of Utah’s student newspaper, The Utah Chronicle, and the U’s student-run outdoor magazine, Wasatch, as the Production Manager for 3 years — leading his team to achieve over ten design awards recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Utah Press Association.

When he manages to find spare time, Zac can usually be found with a camera in hand taking pictures of his environment. He likes to tell people he’s a “professional observer,” crusader for the brand bible, and hates writing about himself in the third person.

LINKEDIN: Professionally stalk me here.