If you’ve never heard the term “Silicon Slopes” before, I imagine it won’t be very long before you do.
The term, now used promotionally by Governor Gary Herbert, refers to a collection of information technology and software development firms located throughout the Salt Lake City metropolitan area and surrounding communities. It is within a two-hour plane ride of its California-based counterpart.
What You Need to Know
You might be asking yourself why it’s important to know about what goes on in the Silicon Slopes area. Just what is the state of Utah doing to shape itself into a key player in the national and international business scenes?
Well, for starters, some of the world’s largest tech companies are either headquartered or have key offices in the area. These include names like:
- EA Sports
- Vivint Solar
Many of these longstanding companies, as well as up-and-comers, are setting up operations in business-friendly Utah for reasons that include low taxes, low energy costs, and exceptional quality of life among the citizens.
Those factors, along with the close proximity to both an international airport and an inland port, make it easy to see why Pollina Corporate’s Top 10 Pro-Business States List ranked the state of Utah as #1 in the nation in 2014.
It’s especially important to note the Silicon Slopes area’s ease of access to international travel, as the state’s International Trade and Diplomacy Office (ITDO) focuses on building international relationships via trade missions and diplomatic visits.
The office wants to create an environment in which foreign leaders feel comfortable doing business in the state. The ultimate goal is to reach the point where those leaders will recommend their companies come to Utah to seek business partners.
And it appears they have largely succeeded in that mission.
Bullish on the Slopes
“At first he was a bit standoffish, but the fourth day of the visit he was directing his people from the embassy in Washington, from Peru and from California, where his major representatives for trade are located, they needed to come to Utah and they needed to engage with us here because there are some great and wonderful things happening.”
Those are the words of Harvey Scott, ITDO’s director. He’s referring to a recent visit made by His Excellency Harold W. Forsyth, former Ambassador of Peru to the United States.
As more attention is brought to Utah’s growing technology sector and business development opportunities, we are seeing more high net worth individuals and big-money investors flocking to the area.
Right now, the state has housing developments popping up all over, as well as an always-growing high-speed rail system to accommodate commuters who migrate into the area.
Tourism is another factor in this state’s success and increasing prominence. It not only boasts 16 ski resorts and is the yearly home for the Sundance Film Festival, but its natural beauty and myriad activities make it a popular destination for tourists from all over.
For investors looking to join the ranks of the wealthy, Utah’s Silicon Slopes is the next hot spot.