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Did You Know? Sporting events provide major Cedar City tourist revenues
by Gerald R. Sherratt
Dec 01, 2010 | 495 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PERSON OF THE MONTH. Byron Linford, Cedar City’s new events promoter, has made a major impact on the economic wellbeing of Cedar City. For the 10-month period from Jan. 1 to Oct. 1, 2010, he has created or partnered 27 events for Cedar City with an estimated $6,823,125 of economic impact (these numbers are based on a formula determined by the Utah State Office of Economic Development) to our motels and restaurants, service stations, and retail stores.

This doesn’t include the Collegiate Water Polo National Championships in November as those numbers are still being compiled. One sample event: the Red Rock Relay had more than 2,200 athletes (plus many other family members and friends who accompanied them) and it alone generated $1.475 million.

Forty-four events are currently scheduled for the 2011 calendar year and there are probably still more to be added. In the current economic downturn, Linford is proving to be a godsend for the hospitality industry of Cedar City.

JUST THE FACTS: Renon Savage reports that 21 new business licenses were awarded in October, including Freestyle Pizza (they also have a location in Beaver) at 755 S. Main St.; The Little Brick House, a gift, oddities, antique and consignment shop, at 97 W. 400 South; and for those that might need their chimney cleaned (since more are burning wood this year) there is Vortex Chimney Sweeps (phone 435-313-2857).

The unemployment rate in September (seasonally adjusted) in Iron County was 8.9 percent. Surrounding counties unemployment figures: Washington, 9.8 percent; Garfield, 11.0; Beaver, 9.3; Kane, 8.2. The Utah unemployment rate was 7.5 percent.

The Department of Workforce Services reports that Iron County’s non-agricultural employment in October totaled 15,829, or 265 more than in September and 1,820 more than in August.

ON PRAIRIE DOGS AGAIN: Because of the difficulties with both defining and tallying the total numbers of different species in the world, the number of species varies from 2 to 100 million depending on who is doing the counting.

So if the intent of the Endangered Species Act is to preserve all the different species wherever they may be, and the government adopts the 100 million figure, think how much of the federal budget will be devoted just to preserving all the species if the formula that has been proposed for preserving the Utah prairie dogs is adopted: $106 million times 100 million species = $10,600,000,000,000 (10 quadrillion, 600 trillion). So the answer is all of it and then a whole lot more!

REMEMBERING. The forerunner to the establishment of Southern Utah University in Cedar City was the Parowan Stake Academy, a school organized by the LDS Church in 1886. It was one of a number of such academies the church founded in Utah and surrounding states (the one in St. George eventually became Dixie College and the one in Ogden became Weber College).

The Parowan Stake Academy (Cedar City in 1886 was part of the LDS Parowan stake, thus the name) attracted students from all over southern Utah. Originally housed on the second floor of the Knell Block Building on Main Street (unfortunately now gone), it later moved to a building located where the City Park is today.

The Mormon Church trained and paid the teachers, the local community provided the classrooms and equipment, and the students paid tuition, which with local donations covered the school’s operating and maintenance costs. Cedar City wanted the academy to become a permanent school and purchased five acres on the edge of town (which acquired the name Academy Hill) as a site for its future buildings.

When Southern Utah University (known then as the Branch Normal School) was authorized by the Utah Legislature in 1897, the academy ceased operations and Academy Hill became the site of the new state school that is now Southern Utah University.

COLORADO RIVER. Since 1922, the waters of the Colorado River have been allocated by a legal contract to seven western states, including Utah. The amount that each state receives was determined by the water levels of that year, which was the result of several wet years.

The flow in 1922 was about 16.4 million acre feet per year while the actual flow in normal years averages about 13.5 million. But the Colorado River basin has been hit by an 11-year drought and the average flow at the core of the drought (2000 to 2004) was only 9.6 million acre feet.

Further, historical tree-ring samples (the growth patterns indicate the amount of rainfall received) suggest the recent drought has been the normal condition of the basin for centuries. Lake Mead is today at the lowest level since it was first filled 75 years ago. All of which will have implications for the planned Lake Powell Pipeline that would bring water from the Colorado to Kane, Washington, and Iron Counties.

HERITAGE THEATER. The operating revenue for Cedar City’s Heritage Theater from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010 was $86,064. The theater’s operating expenditures for the same period was $303,918, resulting in an operating loss of $217,854, which was covered by a subsidy from the city’s General Fund.

Revenues to the theater have dropped precipitously over the past four years from $134,232 in 2007 to $108,041 in 2008, $96,300 in 2009, and $86,064 in 2010. The total expenditure from the General Fund for the theater in fiscal year 2010 was $877,337, which includes both the subsidy and the building’s bond payment.

Some argue that a more diverse performance schedule that would include popular performers and groups (such as Branson’s Hughes Brothers that were the year’s top draw in its initial year in Cedar City), could increase attendance (and revenues), attract a wider segment of the city’s population, and reduce the taxpayers’ subsidy.

The Heritage Theater management, which has the responsibility for marketing the facility, should study how, with 150 less seats than the Heritage, the Orleans Showroom in Las Vegas presents a constantly evolving schedule of outstanding live entertainment from the top names in everything from stand-up comedy to vocal jazz. 

NATIVE AMERICANS. Most scholars believe that the Paiute Indians arrived in Utah about 1100-1200 A.D. and that their language belonged to one of the northern Numic branches of the Uto-Aztecan language family. The area’s original settlers hunted rabbits, deer, and mountain sheep, and gathered berries, nuts, seeds, and roots. They raised corn, melons, squash, sunflowers, gourds, and, eventually, winter wheat.

The social organization of the tribes revolved around the family and Paiute groups gathered together in the fall for dances and marriages (marriage meant the establishment of a joint household and did not involve a ceremony).

The religion of the Paiutes revolved around the activities of the gods Wolf and Coyote. Wolf was the older brother and the most responsible, while Coyote often performed the role of trickster/ troublemaker. Tales of these and other spirit animals generally were told during the winter at family and tribal gatherings.

REMEMBERING. With plans continuing to move forward for the construction of a Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA) on the campus of SUU diagonally across University Boulevard from the Randall Jones Theatre, art enthusiasts remember with fondness the origins of the annual Cedar City Art Exhibition which helped foster an interest in the community for painting and sculpture.

The exhibition, held for many years every spring, had its origins in 1939 when the Cedar Junior High School invited artists to submit prints to be exhibited together with student works. The following year, the then new Cedar High School opened and an exhibition of 112 paintings by Utah artists was presented in the school’s gymnasium.

Under the tutelage of Mary Bastow, art teacher at the Branch Agricultural College, a local Fine Arts Guild was organized and the Guild membership became advocates for art in Cedar City, helped hang exhibitions and functioned as guides.

The spring exhibition grew over the decades and became a major Utah art event. Staged in a variety of buildings, in 1976 the exhibition moved to the newly opened Braithwaite Gallery at SUU. The promise now of a larger, properly equipped art museum with the capacity to bring large traveling exhibitions to Cedar City is generating much excitement among city art lovers.

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