Fox files: ‘A Michelin 3-star state’

This report tends to focus on the myriad of things that make Utah a great place for corporate investment.

But in this brief Fox File, I thought I’d take a quick minute to share with you a very cool honor the state received that I learned about at a recent meeting of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Board.  It relates to why we live here, why we’ve had 100,000 net new residents move into the state every year, and why some of our rural economies buck global trends — it’s because, as Vicki Varela, Managing Director of the Utah Office of Tourism says, “mother nature played favorites with Utah.”

As you likely know by now, Fodors Travel named Utah — that’s right, the entire state — as its top travel destination in the WORLD for 2016. When I read that, I thought we had reached the pinnacle of tourism accolades in the state. At the time, tourism tax revenue was responsible for $1.09 billion of tax revenue, according to the Kem C. Gardner Institute.

Well, the state may have topped that this year by earning a 3 Star Michelin rating. The Michelin ranking system is an historic ranking that dates back to the beginnings of the mass production of automobiles, when only 3,000 automobiles were on the roads of France. The Michelin brothers (who ran the tire company) hatched up a marketing scheme to get more people on the roads of France: a travel guide. That guide has morphed into an iconic ranking system. The elusive stars push restauranteurs, chefs, hoteliers, and others involved in the hospitality business to new levels of service and creativity in the pursuit of earning one, two, or three stars.

According to my good friend Vicki Varela, “this is the first time in Michelin history, the hundred years that they have published this, that they have recognized a state as [a] tourism destination that you simply must see.” How cool is that!?

We are so fortunate to have amazing natural wonders from north to south, and east to west. Some of those wonders are remote and others have amazing amenities. While the natural wonders of this state have existed for eons, we have to take our hats off (or our chapeaus in this case!) and give major kudos to Vicki Varela and her team at the Utah Office of Tourism. While Utah has always had amazing tourism appeal, her fantastic marketing team ensures that the world is aware of how special this place is. Congrats, UOT!

I’ll be off enjoying some of these Utah wonders this week with dear friends and family. I hope you have had the chance to do so this summer as well. Au revoir and bon voyage!