BRYCE CANYON CITY — Over a century ago when Reuben C. Syrett (Ruby) moved his family to Southern Utah and established Ruby’s Inn, he never could have imagined how the state would progress or that his posterity would be a part of it. One hundred and one years later, Lance Syrett, Ruby’s grandson and general manager of Ruby’s Inn, is directly involved in Utah’s tourism industry and was recently appointed chairman for the Utah State Board of Tourism Development.
“I am honored to be selected to fill this position, and I hope to be an aid in the growth of Utah’s tourism industry,” Syrett said. “I don’t think my grandfather would have ever guessed that his family would play a part in developing and improving tourism in Utah, but I think he would be proud.”
Syrett was appointed chairman Aug. 11, by Gov. Gary Herbert and will serve on the board until his term expires July 1, 2019. His new role as chairman involves providing leadership and guidance for those in the tourism industry. As chairman, Syrett will run meetings and oversee the different board committees.
“Lance brings tremendous integrity, business acumen, insight and a great sense of fairness to our deliberations with the Board of Tourism Development,” said Vicki Varela, managing director at the Utah Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding. “As board chair, he is a valuable asset for helping us continue to grow Utah’s $8.4 billion tourism industry.”
In August 2011, Syrett was appointed to the Utah Office of Tourism’s advisory board. He was selected as a representative for the Utah hotel and lodging industry. During his time on the board, Syrett has been a part of Utah’s growing economy. Today, Utah has the highest funds it’s ever had at $21 million. These funds will help Utah in its continued growth.
All Tourism Development board members are appointed by the governor. The board seats are filled by either an area or industry representative. Each member represents several Utah counties or a certain element of the tourism industry, such as the lodging industry or the ski industry. The members of the board are experts in their field of tourism and all donate their time and talents to the Utah Office of Tourism.
The Utah Office of Tourism is a segment within the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. The tourism office’s main role is to encourage tourism in Utah through media relations and advertising. The Utah State Board of Tourism Development helps the Office of Tourism in many projects. One task the board assists with is determining what businesses and counties receive funding for out-of-state advertising.
“As chairman, I hope to build on the momentum from the previous years and continue to drive business to rural Utah,” Syrett said. “One project that I want to continue to grow is the winter campaign. During the 2016-2017 year, the campaign had over 61 million online impressions, and I want that number to increase.”