July 13, 2021 (Salt Lake City) – The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, in partnership with Utah Outdoor Partners and Silicon Slopes, recently conducted a survey of tech industry employees in Utah regarding the importance of outdoor recreation and access to wilderness. The survey found that access to outdoor recreation is the number-one factor for tech sector employees to live and work in Utah.
“Of Utah natives working in the tech industry that have left the state and moved back, 82% said outdoor recreation and/or access to wilderness and public lands was the most important factor in moving back, over family (76%), career opportunities (76%), and cost of living (61%),” said Dianne Meppen, director of survey research at the Gardner Institute. “This research highlights the importance of accessible outdoor recreation opportunities to our economy as businesses decide whether to relocate or expand in Utah.”
The survey also found that of the 38% who chose to stay in Utah despite a higher-salary offer elsewhere, 85% said outdoor recreation and/or access to wilderness and public lands was their most important factor in choosing to stay. Fifty-nine percent utilize Utah’s outdoors once a week or more.