Local Economy

Issue Background

From its historical dependence on agriculture, Cedar City has developed into a center for tourism, healthcare, business and education. Nonagricultural employment, as a percentage of the economic base in Iron County, has continued to expand throughout the past two decades. The city has diversified its non-tourism related economic base to include a variety of manufacturing,
distribution, mining, trade, and both private and public service sector  employers. With Cedar City as the driving force, Iron County has become one of the most economically diverse counties in the State of Utah. The Hachman Index indicated that Iron County is tied 2nd out of all Utah Counties and has an index rating of 0.87. Because of its size, location, and accessibility, Cedar city is a regional center for shopping, health care, education, entertainment and financial and business services. Many communities within southwestern Utah and southeastern Nevada patronize the City and its shopping districts.

The tourism and economic benefits resulting from the growth of the  Shakespearean Festival has led to the development of other festivals to capitalize on the growing tourist industry. The arts and the “Festival City, USA” concept remain viable components in the economic structure of Cedar City. Expanding offerings in the form of new festivals and celebrations include the Neil Simon Festival, SkyFest, the Utah Summer Games, the American Family fest, the Great American Stampede, and the Cedar City Livestock and Heritage Festival, among others.

Emerging Issues

Potential Goals and Investments

The strategic economic development objectives in the previous plan include:

  1. (from previous plan) Foster cooperation, communication and coordination of local, county and area leaders.
  2. (from previous plan) Recruit quality businesses providing higher wages and benefits to employees.
  3. (from previous plan) Improve employment opportunities through the retention and expansion of existing businesses.
  4. (from previous plan) Conduct marketing research and prepare essential information regarding Cedar City and Iron County.
  5. (from previous plan) Provide comprehensive marketing information to increase tourism.
  6. (from previous plan) Maintain and improve the infrastructure of Cedar City and Iron County to accommodate business and tourism growth.