Visit Salt Lake CEO Kaitlin Eskelson makes lemonade with lemons • Salt Lake Magazine

It’s a familiar story. The bright-eyed kids come here to ski and end up staying in Utah. But not all ski enthusiasts who have found their way west grow up to be Salt Lake City’s chief cheerleader. Visit Salt Lake’s new CEO Kaitlin Eskelson came from Wisconsin to Utah at the age of 22 and turned her love of the mountains above the city into a career inspiring the world to discover SLC.

And, in another familiar story, she took the job in March 2020 — yes, this month of march-start a new job the main purpose of which is to bring congresses and visitors to Salt Lake in droves.

“The pandemic has forced us to pivot on behalf of the business community and really focus on providing support services to small businesses that depend on the visitor economy,” she says.

To that end, Visit Salt Lake has become a resource helping members navigate the red tape to find help overcoming the foreclosure, providing webinars and advice to the local business community.

“We’ve gone from being 100% outward looking to inward looking, finding ways to dig in and help the community,” says Eskelson.

“We have a rich history combined with a forward-thinking future. ” -Kaitlin Eskelson

Eskelson is a leader of the genre that makes lemonade from lemons. She had honed her craft, educated herself, and prepared for first place at Visit Salt Lake for most of her career. She received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Utah. Passionate about Utah and the people who live there, she is a tireless activist who dedicated her college years to promoting Salt Lake City and the State of Utah as a collective gem of a destination. of travel.

“I think what happened was about 10 years ahead of schedule,” she says. “Meetings and conventions were already evolving into hybrid configurations with in-person and virtual components. “

To speed up this transition, VSL took advantage of the downtime to build a multimedia center in the Salt Palace to facilitate virtual meetings. Current projects continued at full speed, including the construction of the much-discussed convention hotel near the Salt Palace and a complete overhaul of the city’s image. The new slogan “West of Conventional” addresses the contradictions of Utah.

“We are a community of juxtapositions,” she says. “We have a rich history combined with a forward looking future. Many times in the past we have apologized for who we really are. We celebrate these intersections and honor our diverse culture and history.

As Eskelson continues to navigate constantly changing waters, she enjoys reminding people that she can take on a challenge. Why?

“I have twins. I’m not afraid of anything.

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