Utah has been Forbes magazine’s Best State for Business and Careers for five out of the last six years and Mel Lavitt, chairman of the board of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), says Park City has an important role in it.
Lavitt and his family were so taken with Park City on a 1976 ski trip, they bought a condo and relocated permanently in 2001. “I always figured if the investment banking has an important role in it.
Lavitt and his family were so taken with Park City on a 1976 ski trip, they bought a condo and relocated permanently in 2001. “I always figured if the investment banking business didn’t work out, I could become a ski instructor. Fortunately for those potential instructees, I didn’t have to do that.”
GOED grows Utah’s economy through initiatives, including a program that offers tax credit rebates to companies that produce high-paying jobs.
But Lavitt says Park City’s allure and lifestyle also plays a big part in bringing in high-paying companies. “Utah has become an important technology center with venture capital firms pursuing opportunities throughout the state,” he says. “As these companies expand, they bring executive recruits to Park City, because it’s such an incredible place to live. I call Park City our bottom-of-the-ninth closer because the opportunity to live here often is the final tipping point in favor of moving high-level talent to Utah.”
Park City’s ski industry, mountains and proximity to industry standard-bearers Rossignol, Backcountry and Skullcandy have convinced other businesses to expand operations in and around Park City. After GOED lured Armada, its CEO Eric Snyder told Lavitt “his only regret in moving the company from California was not doing it sooner.”
After 14 years in Park City, Lavitt calls himself a born-again Utahn. “I could not be involved or do what I do for the government in any other state but Utah. And the reason is that you can get your arms around Utah. It has a great spirit and a great welcoming atmosphere.”
written by: Vanessa Conabee
profile photographed by: Adam Finkle