By: Natalie Gochnour
Originally published in the Deseret News
The Utah Jazz experienced a breakthrough last year when the franchise traded Enes Kanter and promoted Rudy Gobert to the starting center position. The Jazz have played better basketball ever since. The trade created an inflection point that produced improved chemistry and defense. The young team passed a threshold.
The Utah economy may be passing through a similar threshold and, like the Jazz, is competing at a higher level. The state has grown and invested. In the process, we’ve traded away our small size and are shedding our insular reputation. In a very real way we’ve been discovered.
The narrative works like this: Beginning just before the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and continuing today, Utah invested mightily in its future. We rebuilt our freeways, invested in regional rail, and are in the process of building a completely new airport. During this period, we also built new health care facilities, schools, high-rises, a signature mixed-use development in the core of our urban center, and a nearly completed performing arts center to attract more Broadway shows.