The Kanab Area Chamber of Commerce held their last luncheon of 2022 at the Hilton Express Inn & Suites on December 12 at 11:30 a.m. Chamber president Pat Guerrero, vice-president Ron Thomas, treasurer Matt Claflin, and secretary Don Jennings were all on hand to welcome luncheon attendees.
A delicious buffet of pulled pork, chicken cordon bleu, gravy, vegetables, and salad were provided by chamber member Honey’s Marketplace, and chamber member Southern Utah News supplied complimentary copies of their latest issue for lunchtime reading.
Pat Guerrero welcomed the group just after noon, including Best Friends Animal Society; Best Friends Roadhouse & Mercantile; Brown Box Bake Shop; Center for Education, Business, and the Arts; City of Kanab; Coyote Sky Tacos; Dark Sky RV Park & Campground; Kanab Create; Kanab Film Fest; Parry Lodge; Shanell Healy at Realty ONE Group; Ron's Fresh Baked; Utah Association of Counties; and West Wind Ranch.
Kelly Stowell, executive director of the Center for Business, Education, and the Arts (CEBA), was the speaker for this month’s luncheon. CEBA's purpose is to increase economic growth by providing the rural area of Kanab City and Kane County with access to educational, business, and entrepreneurial opportunities, and is a collaborative effort between Utah Tech University, Kanab City, and Kane County.
Kelly spoke and shared slides about CEBA’s efforts in 2022, including work on outdoor recreation development in Kane County like the mountain biking trails at Sun Horse Point, East Zion hiking and biking trails, campground renovations at Navajo Lake with the US Forest Service, the Robinson Canyon trail up by Alton, and the Tilted Basin mountain bike trail east of Kanab.
CEBA has also spearheaded a wide range of film projects that have taken place in the past year. Kelly said, “This has been one of the busiest years in the film commission’s history,” noting that, “part of that is due to legislation that just passed” called the Rural Film Incentive. “The whole state has been busy. The Rural Film Incentive works,” Stowell commented, showing slides of film projects like an Alicia Keys video, Kevin Costner’s “Horizons” western, a Duluth Trading Company commercial, a Chevy truck commercial, and an episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” featuring Natalie Portman, who adopted a dog from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary when the project was complete.
Kelly finished with a few words about the Raising Kane Business Summit, set to take place at the Kanab Center on January 13, 2023 and featuring a talented group of presenters focusing on local economic, business and community development projects.
Stewart Clayson of the Utah Association of Counties presented some initial findings of his team’s work in collaboration with Kane County to identify tactics and initiatives to diversify its economic base. Their analysis has included stakeholder meetings, community gatherings, secondary research, and quantitative analysis of the area economy. Although an in-depth report is still forthcoming, Stewart shared that general recommendations include embracing the creative economy, regional collaboration, and emphasizing investments in housing and community development for future growth.
The Raising Kane Business Summit will take the place of the chamber luncheon in January. Watch the chamber’s website and Facebook page for more information: www.kanabchamber.org.