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Provo seeks hole-in-one with city’s first economic summit

By Genelle Pugmire - | Oct 11, 2021

Courtesy Provo City

Mayor Michelle Kaufusi poses at the golf hole sponsored by the Millrace development during the Provo Advantage Economic Summit on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021.

Provo’s newly redesigned Timpanogos Golf Course, formerly East Bay Golf Course, was the backdrop for the city’s first Provo Advantage Economic Summit.

More than 150 economic development professionals were on hand to golf their way through the economic advantages of Provo. Each of the 18 holes on the golf course showcased a host highlighting the “Provo Advantage.”

“Developing Provo’s best future requires a competitive and collaborative approach,” said Mayor Michelle Kaufusi. “Our economic summit represents both as we take 18 holes to share what sets Provo apart with those who will help us achieve our community vision.”

The Provo Advantage Economic Summit began with the surprise helicopter arrival of Kaufusi. The helicopter then remained “parked” on Hole 15 to showcase the Provo Airport, now the second busiest in the state, as one of Provo’s key economic drivers.

“The new Provo City airport terminal was predicted to ‘open the floodgates of awesomeness,'” Kaufusi said. “Even before its completion, it has proven to be a wise return on taxpayer investment with six new destinations announced, each bringing an estimated $15 million annually to our local economy.”

Courtesy Provo City

BYU supporters sponsored a hole at the Provo Advantage Economic Summit on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021.

Other hole sponsors highlighted Provo’s advantage with high-quality educational institutions, an innovative start-up culture, strong corporate community partners and active local economic agencies.

“Collaboration matters in the business of community building — and that is what we are doing in Provo.” Kaufusi said. “We are grateful to be supported and surrounded by so many who share our community vision and see the untapped potential Provo holds.”

Economic Development is one of Kaufusi’s four pillars of the city, and the advantages of Provo’s economic opportunities will be showcased throughout the coming year.

In enticing new businesses and to showcase what is already here, Kaufusi and her team touted the national recognition Provo continues to receive.

Provo has been recognized nationally in 2020/21 with the following accolades: No. 1 Top Performing City (Milken Institute); No. 1 Safest City (MoneyGeek); No. 1 Youngest City (porch.com); No. 1 Most Charitable City (Smart Assist); and No. 3 Best Run City (Wallet Hub).

Courtesy Provo City

Mayor Michelle Kaufusi flies into the Provo Advantage Economic Summit via helicopter from Provo Municipal Airport on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021.

Kaufusi also noted several areas of the community that bring notoriety and business to the city, including:

  • Provo’s positioning as the center for education, medical, government, hospitality and transportation for all of Utah County — the fastest growing county in the fastest growing state in the nation.
  • Provo’s unique, livable downtown, with over 70 restaurants in the downtown area, a four-star hotel and two convention centers. Over 1,000 multifamily dwelling units have been built in the past three years or are planned or under construction.
  • Provo’s ongoing connection to technology as an innovation hub for the area — from the early days of WordPerfect and Novell to the many spinoffs of those companies and dozens of start-ups — supplied with a constant flow of employees flowing from BYU and UVU to keep Provo at the forefront of innovation.

Kaufusi said momentum continues to build as others recognize Provo’s advantages. That includes 250,000 square feet of Class A business space under construction, several high-end multifamily housing projects under construction, an expansion of the Provo Airport, a new 100,000-square-foot City Hall opening in 2022 and the redevelopment of the old City Hall site, set to soon begin.

Golf carts line up during the Provo Advantage Economic Summit on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021.

Mayor Michelle Kaufusi poses with Jim Evans, executive director of America's Freedom Festival, during the Provo Advantage Economic Summit on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021.

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