Carbon County Tourism Dropped in 2013, Expected to Rise This Year

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Director of the Carbon County Office of Tourism Shalee Johansen visited with Business Expansion and Retention Program (BEAR) members on Thursday morning regarding tourism throughout the Castle Country area.

The office of tourism is funded by restaurant and hotel taxes gathered in Carbon County.

“Everyone that comes to Carbon County is a tourist in my eyes,” Johansen explained. “Whether they are a construction worker or a rodeo clown, if they are staying in a hotel or eating in a restaurant, they are a tourist and they are helping the local economy.”

That is why the office of tourism is searching for ways to increase visitors in the area throughout the next year. Tourism showed a decrease from years before, about $14,000 from last year alone. While slower years can be expected, Johansen is positive about the direction to which Castle Country is moving this year.

“We have already had a good year so far,” she indicated during the meeting. “The past couple months have been very progressive and we have a lot of things planned throughout the next 30 days and the next year.”

In early May, a photographer from National Geographic is coming to Carbon County for a dinosaur discovery trip before continuing to other areas of Utah. The Regional Energy Fair will also take place soon along with various other events throughout the summer months.

“Events are really picking up,” Johansen stated. “Bounce back passes are doing great things for our area.”

Bounce passes are given to visitors from the office of tourism. The passes offer things such free meals or passes to the wave pool. According to Johansen, the passes have been a great asset to Carbon County.

BEAR members will meet in two weeks to discuss further plans for economic development in the area.

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