UTAH JAZZ

Utah Jazz majority owner says Utah on verge of being economic powerhouse

Jun 10, 2021, 4:05 PM | Updated: 5:15 pm
economic powerhouse...
Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith walks through the office in Orem on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz majority owner Ryan Smith joined Gov. Spencer Cox for a special one-on-one virtual conference and said Utah is poised to be an economic powerhouse.

One way Smith said he knows this is because it only took two phone calls to round up partners to purchase the team. He teamed up with Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and Silicon Valley venture capital guru Ryan Sweeney.

Smith told Cox all the hard work going into Utah is quickly making it become a leader in the world.

“There’s nothing I want more than to be able to show what you can do in Utah,” Smith said. “You can change the world in Utah; there’s nothing you can’t do.”

He also said getting his partners on board is a great example of how investors are seeing the Beehive State.

“That is what happens as a benefit of all the work that’s been done here in Utah,” Smith said. “Success breeds success. I made two calls … and we walked into the NBA and said we’re ready to go.”

He spoke with Cox in a pre-recorded interview for SelectUSA. This is a global conference that brings international and US investors together. 

Cox also believes the state’s young and educated population helps with commercial success.

Investors clamoring for an opportunity in Utah

Cox said 20 years ago not many people were willing to invest in the state. However, those are circumstances “we’ve seen change dramatically over the past decade.”

Ben Hart, Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development deputy director, said people are clamoring for an opportunity in the state’s startup community.

“Without question, we’ve got more interest from international businesses right now than we’ve probably ever had in the state of Utah,” Hart said. “We’re making our presence known on the international stage.”

He said the Winter Olympics in 2002 helped get Utah’s name out there. He also said the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with its global presence helps, too. For more on this story check out Deseret News.

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