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Visit Salt Lake Leader Is Authentic & Personal

Visit Salt Lake’s Kaitlin Eskelson ensures the organization has a seat at the table

By Todd R. Berger

6.3.24 Kaitlin Eskelson of Visit Salt Lake
Kaitlin Eskelson of Visit Salt Lake || Photo by Cam McLeod

Growing up an only child on a 40-acre rural Wisconsin plot of land where her dad trained hunting dogs and ran a boarding kennel, Visit Salt Lake’s Kaitlin Eskelson says her major source of play was not children her age but the many hounds cavorting around her young life. 

Later, while in college at the University of Minnesota Duluth, she spent the spring semester ski instructing at Beaver Creek in Colorado, returning to school for summer and fall semesters. “And that’s how I put myself though college,” she notes.

After earning her bachelor of business administration, Eskelson again headed west, this time to Park City, Utah. “I moved out for the skiing and thought I was going to be a ski bum for a year, and then just extended my stay,” she says. “Here I am, 21 years later.”

When not skiing, she landed a job as marketing coordinator for the Park City Chamber Bureau. That led to her first stint at Visit Salt Lake as director of tourism and marketing, a position she held until 2013. After subsequent stops at the Utah Office of Tourism, Film & Global Branding, and the Utah Tourism Industry Association, Eskelson returned to take the helm of Visit Salt Lake in 2020.

Eskelson sees a lot on the horizon for Salt Lake City. “Salt Lake is going through a once-in-a-generation change right now that seems to be evolving daily,” Eskelson says. “What we’re trying to do at Visit Salt Lake is make sure we are at the table in negotiating what the community is going to look like in the next 10 years. I think there is going to be a lot of change regarding an Olympic announcement [for the 2034 Winter Games, with a decision expected this summer] and then all the development that comes with that.”

But even with such high-profile major events possible in Salt Lake City’s future, Eskelson is also laser-focused on the many meeting planners bringing their events to the city right now. She notes, “We make sure every meeting planner coming here feels like we know them personally. When meeting planners [bring their gatherings to Salt Lake City], they’re going to experience a sense of hospitality that is going to be really personal for them. I’m really excited to invite them to come to Salt Lake and work with us so we can really show them what that would look like.”