Governor Gary Herbert Signs House Bill 201
As of 12:20 Pm April 6, 2012, Skiing and Snowboarding became the official winter sport of Utah.
House Bill 201, introduced by Steve Eliason and Wayne L. Niederhauser, passed both the House and Senate unanimously creating both skiing and snowboarding an official state symbol (http://le.utah.gov/~2012/bills/hbillint/hb0201.htm). The bill was signed by Govenor Gary Herbert at the Ski Utah Local Media Day.
Its obvious to skiers and snowboarders that our sports should be the official winter sport, many even thought that the snow sports already were the official sport. Skiing and snowboarding bring an average of 1.173 Billion dollars to the Utah State econonmy while providing over 20,000 jobs in the industry. The amount of money brought in from skiing and snowboarding is still riding the boost the 2002 Olymopic Winter Games provided for the state with the econmic impact from the winter sports up 69%.
According to Forbes, The average NBA team is now worth $369 million, 1% more than last year. But several of the league’s 30 teams have not fully recovered from the recession, and as a result values are still 2.6% below the $379 million peak average they hit two years ago. Skiing and snowboarding in Utah is up 69% and worth almost four times as much as an average NBA team in just one season. The Jazz as of 2011 were worth 343 Million. While the Jazz are a fun team to watch and a great part of our state, the economic impact of the Jazz is peanuts compared to what skiing and snowboarding does for our state.
In Utah, 1 in 4 residents have skied in the last year with 2 in every 5 households owning skis or snowboards. Numerous programs are offered through the state to encourage and help youth ski and snowboard including the 5/6 grade program that brought 8000 kids to the resorts for the 2010-2011 season.
Skiing and snowboarding help create a healthy lifestyle, and while the two winter sports are not entirely responsible for Utah being consistently ranked in the top 5 healthiest states, they sure are a major contributor.
Skiing and snowboarding fuel Utah’s economy, so to have them officially recognized as Utah’s state winter sport was just obvious and time for it to happen.