In a move aimed at boosting LGBTQ+ tourism revenue and showcasing the vibrant local queer and allied business scene, the Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce announced an ambitious project to establish an LGBTQ+ visitors center in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. The anticipated launch is set for May 2026.
Taking inspiration from the successful San Diego LGBTQ+ Visitors Center, the Salt Lake City Center will serve as a hub for visitors to connect with local businesses, discover exciting events, and access essential resources for LGBTQ+ individuals looking to relocate to Utah or start and expand their businesses in the state. The visitors center will also feature queer arts and historical exhibitions, host Chamber and SafeZone Utah events, and provide cost-effective retail space for local Utah artists and creators.
With LGBTQ+ travel expenditures accounting for a substantial seven to ten percent of the total U.S. tourism revenue, the Chamber is embarking on this venture to connect LGBTQ+ travelers with the rich tapestry of experiences that Utah and its communities have to offer, thus contributing to the strengthening of the local economy.
Small business owner Ed Turner, the Chamber Board Secretary, who himself relocated to Utah in 2017, expressed his delight with the state’s livability and the vibrancy of the local queer community.
“Utah’s LGBTQ+ community has played a major role in the economic growth and development of our state, with Salt Lake City consistently listed as having one of the largest queer communities in the US,” Turner said. “The Chamber celebrates the state’s major tourism draws, regardless of the season, and our local queer and allied business impact. The visitor center will only add to the uniqueness of Utah while supporting the state’s world-class visitor attractions and unique cultural history. The Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber wants everyone to visit the country’s best-kept secret.”
Over the first half of 2024, Chamber leaders, in conjunction with a community-based advisory committee, will meticulously evaluate the feasibility of the project and finalize the timeline. Fundraising and planning activities will span through the end of 2025, with the ultimate goal of inaugurating the Visitors Center in May 2026.
Those interested in learning more about the project or becoming part of the Chamber’s LGBTQ+ Tourism Committee are encouraged to reach out to Liz Pitts, president and CEO of the Chamber.
The Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce, devoted to fostering enduring partnerships between key organizations and businesses, is committed to promoting growth and visibility for LGBTQ+ communities and their allies throughout Utah.
For more information, visit: utahlgbtqchamber.org or connect with the Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn at @utahlgbtqchamber.