Utah’s beautiful landscapes will inspire groups during winter when snow blankets the ground as well as when it melts away and flowers are in bloom. Regardless of season, attendees will be thrilled to find out the Beehive State is the host meeting destination.
But the spring and summer months, which bring particularly gorgeous weather and lower room rates, are especially appealing to groups who’d like to include outdoor pursuits and travel to off-site events as part of the meeting itinerary.
Visiting a breathtaking national park, playing a round of golf, participating in an axe throwing or archery competition, zip lining and taking a scenic gondola ride are among the warm-weather experiences that will elicit a positive buzz from attendees convening in Utah.
Indoor Axe Throwing and Archery in Salt Lake City
The Salt Lake City region is consistently busy for meetings and conventions year-round, including during the warmer months, according to Mark H. White, senior vice president, sales and services for Visit Salt Lake.
“Spring and summer are exceptionally popular times for meetings and conventions because the weather is so pleasant,” he said. “This provides near endless opportunities for indoor/outdoor dining and group activities.”
Social Axe Throwing, for instance, offers an experience that’s similar to darts at its indoor Salt Lake facility and via its mobile unit, which could be set up at outdoor events.
“Participants hurl axes at wooden targets under the direction of trained staff,” White said. “For those seeking ultimate axe-throwing convenience, a mobile operation can set up just about anywhere, including inside the Salt Palace Convention Center.”
Similarly, hitting a target is the name of the game at Easton Archery Center, which offers indoor/outdoor team-bonding shooting games, including archery tag.
The center also hosts group receptions.
Mountain Meetings When the Snow Melts
Snowbird is a ski and summer resort that accommodates meetings with up to 500 people and is located 28 miles from Salt Lake’s convention district.
According to White, it “rivals the Swiss Alps.”
Spring and summer activities that groups will enjoy at Snowbird include zip lining, a ropes course, and riding the 125-person aerial tram that accesses the Summit Lodge at 11,000 feet.
Summer Ski Lift Ride in Park City, Utah
In Park City, the three other seasons are more popular for meetings than winter, which is considered high season for leisure visits, according to Tonya Sweeten, vice president, group sales for Park City Chamber/CVB.
“Groups and meetings are looking for large room blocks that are rarely available during the winter and, when they are, come with high room rates,” she said. “Spring, summer and fall offer groups those same rooms, quality service and meeting rooms at a fraction of the high season/winter room rate"
“There are so many outdoor activities for groups in Park City once the ski mountains are closed for the winter season,” Sweeten added.
Located here is Utah Olympic Park (UOP), a premiere training facility for winter Olympic sports that groups love to visit from either Park City or Salt Lake, which is only about a half-hour away.
UOP offers guided tours and interactions with Olympians, and attendees could also ride the bobsled, alpine slide and the world’s steepest zip line.
Team-bonding fly-fishing excursions are also unique to the area and considered an ideal spring outing. Groups could fly fish on one of three blue-ribbon rivers located within 45 minutes of Park City or at DeJoria Center. DeJoria Center hosts concerts and other events, and also has a 1,100-acre ranch featuring easily accessible on-site activities for groups of all sizes, including fly-fishing and horseback riding.
During the summer groups will enjoy scenic gondola rides, which begin operation in June, as well as Park City’s e-bike program. According to Sweeten, attendees could rent bikes and explore the town’s 400 miles of picturesque trails.
Ogden’s Blue and Starry Skies
Groups meeting in Ogden in the spring and summer months could step outside the host hotel and hop on lifts at three world-class ski resorts to hike “in a sea of wildflowers,” according to Anissa Brown, director of sales for Visit Ogden.
She said warm, beautiful weather, blue and star-filled skies, a dry climate and excellent dining are all draws for groups.
“Our spring groups can golf and ski in the same day and then fish downtown the following morning within walking distance of the conference,” she said.
Additionally, groups could plan an evening outing to North Fork Park, which holds an International Dark Sky Places designation. A visit to the park, one of Utah’s 12 dark sky parks, is a wonderful idea for planners who’d like to arrange a memorable stargazing activity during the meeting.
Sky views are also available at Ott Planetarium’s public observatory, which accommodates private observing events.
Groups meeting in Ogden in mid-April could take advantage of Ogden Restaurant Week, during which dozens of eateries offer two-course and three-course lunches for a reasonable price. Participating restaurants are located within walking distance of the convention center and downtown hotels, including several on Historic 25th Street, a stretch that attendees will enjoy exploring after lunch.
And every Sunday from mid-June through mid-October, Snowbasin Resort presents Blues, Brews & BBQ, a free concert series at the base of the resort.
“Enjoy scenic gondola rides, hiking, biking and mountain-top dining before visiting the beer garden and settling in to listen to top regional and national touring acts,” Brown said.
Bask in the St. George Sun and the Area’s Parks
St. George, an all-seasons convention destination boasting 360 days of sun, offers quick access to the stunning Zion National Park, the third most visited National Park in the country that will make a lasting impression on visiting groups.
The spring and summer months are also ideal times to visit nearby Sand Hollow State Park, where attendees will enjoy ATV riding through the sand dunes.
Zion National Park
“Meeting planners want to create an ‘experience’ for their attendees and no one does ‘experience’ better than St. George,” said Jacqueline Grena, meeting and convention sales manager for the Washington County Tourism Office.
In April, for example, is an annual street painting festival that groups could visit. Located at Kayenta Art Village, a popular area arts hub featuring galleries and studios, the event combines great works of art, food and entertainment.
Snow Canyon State Park is also recommended to groups interested in a quick escape because it’s only a 15-minute drive from the Dixie Convention Center.
“Start the day there, escape midday or wind down after a day of meetings with hiking, biking, horseback riding, or simply climbing on the petrified sand dunes,” Grena said. “It’s a must-see for its geographical majesty, photographic wonder and spectacular landscapes.”
Likewise, groups will enjoy networking while hitting the links on one of the courses along the Red Rock Golf Trail, which also showcase beautiful landscapes.
“Reasonable prices don’t accurately reflect the quality of golf, views and vistas, and experience you’ll get,” said Grena.
Utah CVB Contact Information
Park City Chamber/CVB
Visit Salt Lake
Washington County Tourism Office