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Heber Valley strategizes how to welcome international tourists

Throughout 2022, Wasatch County has weighed different approaches to assess property values fairly. The process involves the county assessor performing reviews at individual homes and land parcels.
Ben Lasseter
The Heber Valley Chamber wants to ramp up its efforts to welcome travelers from around the globe to Wasatch County.

The Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted its spring tourism mixer Thursday morning, April 25.

Representatives from the Heber Valley’s marketing, tourism and hospitality industries gathered to learn more about how to best cater to tourists from around the globe.

With Deer Valley Resort expanding in Wasatch County and the Olympics likely on the horizon for 2034, the chamber says it is ramping up its efforts to welcome more international travelers to the valley.

Rachel Bremer, of the Utah Office of Tourism, manages international strategy for the state. She said building relationships with travel agents is key for increasing Heber’s visibility.

“More and more people in the U.S. want someone to customize and help them decide how to plan a vacation, plan a holiday,” she said. “In these international markets, it really exists.”

And once guests from abroad arrive in Utah, Bremer said it’s important to ensure they feel at home.

“Think about what’s going to make visitors welcome,” she said. “Visitors love to have a hot cup of tea – do we have hot water readily available in the lobbies?”

She also recommends going the extra mile to recommend local attractions and sharing information about best practices for tipping and other cultural nuances.

Heber Valley Chamber executive director Dallin Koecher said he thinks Heber has a unique opportunity to win the hearts of international visitors.

“I got to spend some time in Europe this summer, and you know, my favorite part about the whole trip wasn’t London, wasn’t Paris, wasn’t Munich, wasn’t big cities,” he said. “It was the little towns that we went through, where you get to experience what life was like for the residents there…. We have that secret charm, that secret little gem, in Heber.”

Athletes already travel to the Heber Valley from around the world for competitions: the International Biathlon Union held its World Cup at Soldier Hollow in March, and the venue will host the Pan-American Mountain Bike Championships this May.