A few months ago, I met a nice fellow from American Fork named Scott. We exchanged pleasantries, inquired about one another, and shared a good conversation over lunch.
Upon discovering that I write for a living, he asked for whom. “Magazines and websites,” I replied. “I also do a little work for Utah Lake,” I added, not expecting much of a reaction.
Scott took an immediate interest. “I’ve been reading utahlake.gov and have really enjoyed a lot of the stories on there,” he said. He singled out our story on James Jonsson, who last year became the first person on record to swim the full length of Utah Lake, and added that other stories had piqued his interest in discovering the lake for himself. “I’m planning on seeing the lake a lot more now,” he told me.
My conversation with Scott reminded me of a chat I had two years ago with a former BYU student. Although she had lived two miles from the lake for four years, not once had she visited it. When she later found out how much others enjoyed it, she resolved to experience it for herself the next time she was in town to visit family.
In writing for utahlake.gov, I’ve spoken to countless others about the lake and their resolve is universally the same: Once they learn more about the lake, its beauty, and all its recreational uses, they’re determined to experience it for themselves. Whether in winter, in the water, out of water, or in the summer, most become genuinely excited about the wonderful resource.
The traffic numbers bear this out. Online traffic to Utah Lake has increased from 100-200 monthly visitors two years ago, to 2000-4000 monthly visitors last year. Local tourism officials cite a 40% increase in traffic, including much of it to Utah Lake (most notably ESPN’s recently televised bass tournament at Utah Lake).
So the response is largely the same. The more people know about Utah Lake, the more they like (and use) it.
Photo credit: Jeremy Hall