Published by the PARK RECORD (9/1/2017)
The Wasatch Front is in the midst of a tech boom positioning it as a major challenger to Silicon Valley. Startups and officials say the industry is flourishing in Park City, as well, though theres room for growth.
When Entrepreneur magazine recently named Salt Lake City, with its burgeoning technology industry, as the top challenger in the country to Silicon Valley, Brent Stucker was not surprised. It's why he moved his company to Utah. Stucker is the founder of 3DSIM, a 3-D printing software startup that relocated to Park City in 2015 after struggling to lure qualified employees in Louisville. And while Salt Lake City, Provo and Ogden often overshadow Park City in discussion about Utah's tech boom, he and other business people and officials say the town is taking part in the state's rise. "We're seeing exactly what we hoped to see when we moved here," Stucker said. "There's a culture here in Park City that really is attracting top tech talent to little startups that put themselves here."
As Stucker sees it, the lifestyle is the best offering Park City has going for it. 3DSIM, for instance, was drawn initially to Salt Lake, but the work-life balance and recreation opportunities Park City provides — while still near an international airport — eventually swayed Stucker. Officials from other growing tech companies, such as Skullcandy, which recently built new headquarters in Kimball Junction, and Avi-on, a startup specializing in the internet of things, say they value the same thing about Park City.
Jeff Jones, Summit County's economic development director, said the numbers back up the notion that Park City is in the midst of a tech wave. According to data from his office, Summit County has added nearly 1,000 tech-related jobs since 2010. They pay an average wage of nearly $80,000 — well above the county average of $48,200 — and account for roughly 10 percent of Summit County's gross regional product.
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