The first week of March saw the opening of the 27th annual international Taiwan Cycle Show, with 1,500 exhibitors, 10,000 buyers, and three other sporting goods shows occurring concurrently. Being the largest sporting goods and cycling expo in Asia, the show attracted buyers and exhibitors from more than 36 countries, including a group of people from Ogden, Utah.
With Utah’s, and more specifically, Ogden’s cycling future as their top priority, five officials—including Ogden’s mayor, Mike Caldwell—traveled to Taiwan and walked the halls within the expo in hopes of attracting more than a dozen cycling businesses to the Utah area.
Mr. Caldwell has been to the expo twice, and he and Steve Fishburn (Ogden’s business development director) plan to finish up their trip with a cycling tour of Taiwan that is being sponsored by KindShock.
Mr. Caldwell said, “We’re still working on this and there’s a phenomenal interest in Utah.” His involvement in Ogden’s economic future has shown that Ogden is already a growing city for cycling and outdoor companies due to the scenic countryside and the modest cost of living available in Utah. Caldell’s efforts have put Ogden in a very marketable position; a position which was commented on by Bicycleretailer.com, saying:
Ogden, an old railroad town built on the edge of the Wasatch Mountains, is unique in its pursuit of new business focused on the bicycle industry. TRP, for example, moved there last year from California. Enve Composites has a factory there and Scott USA recently opened offices in the Salt Lake area. QBP also operates a warehouse in Ogden.
Most cyclists and cycling companies have heard of the mountain biking culture of southern Utah and so they are initially attracted there. However, a lot of the people who travel to southern Utah to ride are living in northern Utah. On top of this, the road biking culture that has taken life along the Wasatch mountain front has helped outside businesses to see Utah as a state that is worth investing in for cycling companies.
Just last September, officials from the city of Ogden hosted 25 Taiwanese executives from companies such as Topeak, VP Components, KMC, Prowheel, KindShock, and several others on a tour of some of Utah’s greatest national parks, state parks, and scenic routes. The tour lasted several days and ended at Interbike’s Outdoor Demo.
This year, Ogden city officials and several other state agencies are looking to recreate their success by planning a similar tour this year that will begin right after Interbike’s 2014 expo.
The group that traveled to Taiwan also includes: Joel Racker, chairman of the Utah Board of Tourism Development and President of the Utah Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau; Brad Petersen, director of Utah’s Office of Outdoor Recreation; and Todd Brightwell, CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah.
All of us at Christensen & Hymas thank these men for their efforts to help cycling grow in Utah while boosting Utah’s economy. We hope that the current trend of cycling and mountain biking will continue to grow and to attract tourists to Utah to enjoy all of the beautiful sites that Utah has to offer.
Original Articles and Group Photo from BicycleRetailer.com
Ogden Photo from Wikimedia.org