Visit Salt Lake (VSL) has appointed Ryan Mack as its Director of Media & Communications to support VSL’s mission and promote Salt Lake as an intriguing travel destination for tourism and conventions.
In his new role, Mack manages public relations and communication efforts for VSL, targeting local, national and international media sources to build awareness of Salt Lake’s vibrant, diverse culture to key markets, publications and media while supporting meetings and conventions.
“We’re so pleased to have Ryan on board,” said Karen Boe, vice president of communications & public relations. “The new “West of Conventional” brand platform recognizes that Salt Lake is the intersection of many facets, where things that wouldn’t ordinarily go together blend effortlessly. Our modern and inclusive cultures, pastimes and landscapes come together here, and Ryan is perfectly poised to tell the world our story.”
“Salt Lake is a city in ascension, both physically and culturally,” said Mack. “I am thrilled to be surrounded by talented colleagues who believe in VSL’s mission and am excited to show off our beautiful city.”
In his previous role, Mack served as the Director of Marketing & Communications for the Downtown Alliance. Mack oversaw marketing and communication initiatives promoting downtown as a destination to local and regional audiences. Key initiatives included the Downtown Farmers Market, THE BLOCKS, Open Streets, Tip Your Server and more.
The move follows Visit Salt Lake (VSL), in partnership with Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, launching a new brand that will serve all of Salt Lake. This new brand, much more than just a logo change for VSL, will serve our entire destination. It is being launched to build a stronger recovery for the visitor economy and to dramatically increase tourism and convention attendance.
Extensive research showed that perceptions of our potential visitors lag way behind the reality of our destination. Salt Lake is more modern, progressive, inclusive and vibrant than travelers realize and VSL intends to showcase the story of its fresh, creative energy.
Visit Salt Lake recognizes this new brand is a key piece to our recovery. The “new visitor economy” is upon us and VSL is taking strategic steps to secure our place in it. Recently, Salt Lake has experienced a dramatic increase in leisure travel and business travel is picking up right behind it. There is a distinct opportunity to change misperceptions about Salt Lake and showcase Salt Lake’s incredible modern, fresh, vibrant destination that is truly inclusive and genuine.
“Together we’re building a stronger visitor economy that’s more resilient and more relevant to everyone,” said Kaitlin Eskelson, president & CEO of Visit Salt Lake. “We just launched a compelling new brand for our entire destination that will serve us as we rebuild and move toward a very bright future. We are passionate about our place and excited to educate would-be travelers about our secret gems.”
In nearly 40 years in business, this is the first true brand identity campaign Visit Salt Lake has entered into. The entire rebranding process has been years in the making. Visit Salt Lake had previously embarked on a research, brainstorming and fact-finding mission called Project Blueprint. The trove of data from that project was included in the new branding approach.
After a robust interviewing process a new brand agency, BVK, based in Milwaukee, was chosen for their deep expertise in repositioning and telling stories of destination marketing organizations such as VSL, high-end hotels and resorts, tour operators, attractions, airports and airlines. Ultimately, they uncovered astounding insight about Salt Lake and those who travel here.
“As partners with Visit Salt Lake, we are certain this new direction will bring great results and enable VSL to attract more conventions, leisure travelers and visitors. The size and scope of the visitor economy is substantial,” says Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “Salt Lake County’s $4.65 billion share of Utah’s $10.1 billion visitor economy represents Utah’s eighth largest industry and provides $1,166 tax relief to each household in Salt Lake County.”
The new “West of Conventional” brand platform recognizes that Salt Lake is the intersection of many facets, where unconventional ideas make for a better world. Here in the modern mountain hub of the west, things that wouldn’t ordinarily go together blend effortlessly, creating an eclectic and creative spirit that brings better thinking and fresh ideas to the world. Our diverse cultures, pastimes and landscapes come together here. The new salt crystal design of the logo recognizes that there are many facets of life in Salt Lake and VSL will use this visually to tell the story. The new “intersection” ad campaign will run nationally.
“BVK and Visit Salt Lake are partnering in developing a strong, sustainable and unified brand for Salt Lake. Destinations need to reimagine and restructure themselves to meet the evolving demands of not just the traveler but also the local community – those who live and work here,” said BVK SVP Brand Strategy, Stephanie Barkow. “Perceptions of Salt Lake lag way behind the realities. Here, things that shouldn’t go together miraculously do. And it fuels an environment of fresh, creative energy where unconventional thinking empowers a better way forward.”