ENVIRONMENT

Utah’s ‘Dark Sky Month’ aims to showcase the stars

Apr 4, 2024, 10:00 AM | Updated: 10:54 am

Dark sky month...

Goblin Valley 2019 (Angie Payne via Utah Office of Tourism)

(Angie Payne via Utah Office of Tourism)

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Spencer Cox declared April as “Dark Sky Month” in 2021 and the Utah Office of Tourism is all in. 

According to a video released by Gov. Cox, over 80% of Americans can’t view the Milky Way from their homes due to light pollution.

According to the Utah Office of Tourism, the Beehive State is home to some of the darkest skies on Earth. Additionally, the state currently leads the world in dark sky preservation with 25 accredited Dark Sky International places.

Astrotourism attracts millions of visitors to our state and national parks. Visitors flock to them to view Utah’s dark skies. 

“Dark sky preservation encourages overnight stays, diversifies the Utah product, and expands the visitor experience,” Natalie Randall, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism said in a press release.

“Utah State Parks, our national parks, and community partners have shown tremendous leadership and vision in preserving the night sky throughout the state.”

Other benefits of Utah’s dark skies

Astrotourism is continuing to grow in Utah. According to the Utah Office of Tourism, it could bring $5.8 billion in visitor spending over the next 10 years. Additionally, it could support 11,000 new jobs yearly, boosting local economies. 

Although April is designated as the state’s “Dark Sky Month,” stargazing attracts astrotourists to Utah all year. Often, clearer skies can be seen in colder months. 

To learn more about Utah’s dark skies and see a guide with maps go to visitutah.com.

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Utah’s ‘Dark Sky Month’ aims to showcase the stars