Showcasing a distinctive history and culture, plus natural lures not found in any other state, Utah tempts meeting groups with venues and attractions sure to instill standout memories. Whether planners are on the lookout for urban adventures or rural retreats, the Beehive State delivers in quantity and quality.
Following is a tour of offbeat options around the state, from a fascinating new art and science enclave to some rock formations like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Salt Lake City
Among Salt Lake City’s most singular attractions, according to Laura Barnes, tourism communications manager for Visit Salt Lake, is the Family History Library, the largest of its kind on the planet. This free attraction draws about 1,500 visitors a day and includes among its archives more than 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records.
The library requests that visiting groups check in well in advance when possible in order to optimize the experience, and free tours and orientations are available. To really make the most of the experience, ask group members to bring along any family tree information they can; discovering more about family roots can be an eye-opening and unforgettable experience, and groups can have an amazing time sharing some of the genealogical gems they discover.
If this seems a bit too academic for your group, a brand-new museum opened last October that is all about interactively combining science, technology and art. The Leonardo is a cutting-edge bastion of cool artwork, mind-blowing tech and hands-on science activity, and while it’s aimed at adults, it will truly bring out a childlike sense of wonder in your attendees. The venue boasts seemingly infinite event settings as well.
“Groups gathering here will have a new and spectacular experience that is sure to wow every attendee,” says Karmay Gorley, group and event sales coordinator for the Leonardo. “Every setting here is so unique and different.”
As for one-of-a-kind dining outings, it’s hard to top the recipe for fun served up by Log Haven, about a 20-minute drive from downtown SLC. Set inside the Wasatch National Forest on 40 acres of gorgeous grounds, the restaurant is surrounded by nonstop scenery and boasts event spaces ranging from a hillside amphitheater to a rustic foyer.
In pretty Park City, Amy Kersey, communications manager for the Park City CVB, proposes a pair of promising possibilities for out-of-the ordinary group outings.
While the Utah Olympic Park might not sound that unusual at first mention, where else in the U.S. can groups access five Olympic sports in one locale? Answer: Nowhere! Perhaps most exhilarating of all is The Comet bobsled ride, careening down the track at up to 80 mph. And if groups are more into sensational spectator sports, the Flying Ace All-Stars showcase a spectacular aerial show each Saturday during the summer, with freestyle skiers and snowboarders getting acrobatic before plunging into a 750,000-gallon splash pool.
Meanwhile, unique group dining and nightlife can both be savored at the High West Distillery & Saloon in Park City’s charming Old Town section. This is the world’s only “ski-in” gastro-distillery, and has a number of fascinating facets tied to local history, making it even more appealing. The bar, for example, is built from the Great Salt Trestle Bridge of 1904. More importantly, though, it’s a wonderful place for a group event, with spaces for groups ranging from 10 to 175. Customized a la carte menus are available, and group tours allow attendees to see and taste how the heralded whiskeys and specialty spirits are crafted.