Utah, Tourism, Utah Pioneer Centennial


Crowds of skiers and ski enthusiasts gathered at a Utah resort on March 2, 1947. Excitement filled the brisk air as spectators watched professionals cut through the lingering winter snow to compete in the U.S. Slalom Ski Championships. Skiers from all over the nation were a blur as they expertly weaved between the gates. "Romantic Alta" provided the perfect spot for the championships with her "great white blankets" of "lavish and dependable" snow nestled in the heights of the Utah mountains. The Slalom Ski Championships were only one of several athletic events held as part of the Pioneer Centennial celebrations in 1947. The Pioneer Centennial was not just about pioneers and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; it was also about Utah tourism. In this paper, I argue that the 1947 Utah Pioneer Centennial was a major milestone in the state's promotion of tourism for Utah. The state used the national attention generated by the Centennial to develop and diversify Utah's tourism brand.