Being selected a participant in Destination BrandCamp, was a coup for Kane County. Only four counties in the state were selected for the premiere marketing program developed by Roger Brooks International. Kane, along with Box Elder, Daggett and Emory Counties, were chosen to be benefitted by Roger Brooks’ expertise.

Brooks is revered in the realm of destination branding and marketing throughout the country. He has helped over 1000 communities in North America become better communities, find their identity, and become a destination for visitors.

The services of Brooks was made possible through the ‘Rourism’ initiative the Utah State Office of Tourism kicked off in November of 2014. Kane County being selected was worth tens of thousands of dollars, since the State Office of Tourism is covering all expenses related to working with Brooks. (His services go for around $10,000 a day.)

How did Kane County get on the ‘A’ list? While the other counties possibly needed more help in marketing their areas, Kane County already was a tourism destination.

According to Kane County’s economic projects leader Matt Brown, the idea was the brainchild of Vicky Valera with the State Office of Tourism. From there, he credits Kane County Commissioner Dirk Clayson, who learned about it and started to lobby for our county to be included.

Once chosen, people representing different county interests attended a Brooks training seminar. Those attending from here were Ken Gotzenberg, (travel), Tyler Cornell, (recreation), three representatives from Best Friends, Victor Sandonato, (business), Colette Cox, (Chamber of Commerce), Kelly Stowell, (CEBA), and Matt Brown.

“Everybody loved it,” said Matt Brown. “Roger Brooks is great.”

But why is branding important?

“Branding is not about a logo or slogan,” explained Brown, who gave a presentation on the program on April 7-8-9 at the SWATC campus. “It gives you a feeling that this would be a great place to visit.”

To that end, the Brooks methodology allows that visitors want to do what the locals do. And around here – that is? There are LDS Church things...hiking......biking...ATV activities... sporting events...and what else? What do people here do for recreation, entertainment and the like? On a Friday night, what do you do? These are things that demonstrate that people here have a full life and are happy! Why not share what we have with visitors?

“The idea is you do it in a real organic way,” said Brown. “Not necessarily top down. Brooks said that he never had any success working with governmental entities to get his best marketing accomplished. You must find champions within the community! Narrow your focus on what the community should be, and understand that you can’t be something to everyone. Find your unique niche!”

“As I’ve been doing the presentations, I was surprised at the range of interests here,” said Brown. “This community is very diverse!”

He encourages everyone to take the anonymous survey online at “Our goal is to have 300 people respond,’ said Brown.”