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.
- All indications are that Cedar City will see a positive growth trend in the coming years. Cedar City offers low energy costs, low local taxes, a young educated workforce, population growth for the workforce of tomorrow, competitive land costs, and excellent quality of life.
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Potential Goals and Investments
The strategic economic development objectives in the previous plan include:
- (from previous plan) Foster cooperation, communication and coordination of local, county and area leaders.
- (from previous plan) Recruit quality businesses providing higher wages and benefits to employees.
- (from previous plan) Improve employment opportunities through the retention and expansion of existing businesses.
- (from previous plan) Conduct marketing research and prepare essential information regarding Cedar City and Iron County.
- (from previous plan) Provide comprehensive marketing information to increase tourism.
- (from previous plan) Maintain and improve the infrastructure of Cedar City and Iron County to accommodate business and tourism growth.
Contacts + Reference Materials
- Socioeconomic Data Infographic (2020)
- State of Cedar City, 2019
- Vision 2050 Economic Development Focus Group 2019
- Cedar City Market Analysis 2018
- Cedar City Retail Information 2016
- 2011 USU New Development in Downtown Charrette
- Downtown Pedestrian Mall Concept Report
- HyettPalma Downtown Report 2011
- SUU Strategic Plan Summary
- 2011 USU Shakespeare Festival Charrette
- Vision 2050 Arts, Entertainment, and Tourism Focus Group 2019
- Downtown Corridor and Plaza Concept
- 2011 USU Student Amenities Charrette
- Shakespearean Festival Economic Impact 2011
- Vision 2050 Expanded CRA Concept