Huntsman World Senior Games continue legacy of strong community and economic growth in Southern Utah – St George News

ST. GEORGE- Ssince its creation in 1987, the average number of athletes participating each year and the average annual economic impact generated by the Huntsman Senior World Games have steadily increased.

Huntsman World Senior Games CEO Kyle Case speaks on the economic impact of games, St. George, Utah, January 13, 2022 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

When the games resume in October, the Huntsman World Senior Games will attract more than 11,000 athletes aged 50 and over, as well as more than $20 million in direct economic impact.

This will be the 35th anniversary edition of games created by John Morgan.

CEO Kyle Case spoke during one of the Southern Utah Economic Development Summit breakout sessions Thursday morning at the Dixie Convention Center.

He told a small group of business and civic leaders that the annual event in Greater Zion has always been a constant economic driver for the entire region.

“It’s been that way from the very beginning,” Case said. “It was a priority. This is not the only objective. But we are interested in following and also being part of the economic engine here in our community.

He added that last year’s games generated $20.489 million in direct economic impact over the event’s two-week period.

As St. George News reports, games returned last October after taking a year off due to the first wave of the pandemic.

“It’s just an incredible opportunity for us to continue to tell our story of the impact the games have on the region,” Case told St. George News after the presentation.

Case said he doesn’t think the games have to compete with other marquee events in St. George, like the St. George Marathon, the various Ironman races and an active local sports scene.

“The cake is big enough for everyone,” Case said. “And I love how our community has always and continues to work together.”

He went on to say that the games work closely with Ironman and the marathon to promote an active lifestyle.

Ruby Parkin Earl (center), granddaughter of John and Karen Huntsman, holds the torch during the opening ceremony of the Huntsman World Senior Games, St. George, Utah, October 5, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Case told the story of the games and said what he learned in his 15 years with the organization applies to the business world as well.

“It’s a team sport,” Case said. “We really need everyone to do their part. It’s a beautiful thing when it comes together. We have been blessed to have been part of this process here in this area.

Laura Keefe was there with colleagues from the State Bank of Southern Utah. Before being at State Bank, he said she worked for Daisy and John Morgan in 1984.

“The Huntsman Senior Games has had a huge impact on Washington County and has for several years,” Keefe said.

Many athletes who participate in the games speak of the strong sense of community they feel in St. George, even though they are not from here.

“It’s true,” Keefe said. “It’s sad to say that we have to have people coming to visit our community to keep our economic situation healthy. So I think that just helps in all of this.

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