Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Wildland Resources

Committee Chair(s)

Joanna Endter-Wada


Joanna Endter-Wada


Dale Blahna


Lori Hunter


Allen Rassmussen


Two of the biggest concerns facing communities in the Intermountain West are the dichotomies of rapid growth and development as opposed to economic decline and stagnation. Numerous strategies have been developed by social and economic scientists to help communities manage the many problems associated with these concerns. One strategy recommended by many researchers and used by numerous communities to stabilize their economies is economic diversification. For many rural communities in Utah, tourism and recreation have been used as part of that diversification effort. Recreation and tourism also play a role in the dichotomies of rapid growth and development by often serving as the antecedent to rapid growth, or serving as the antidote for economic stagnation and decline.

This thesis examined four rural communities in Utah which have diversified or are attempting to diversify their economies through incorporating tourism and recreation into their economies, which also include agriculture, ranching, and extraction of natural resources, as well as other industries such as manufacturing and services. Our purpose was to examine strategies used by these communities to make recreation and tourism compatible with other activities, as well as determining what tactics they drew upon to preserve the small town atmosphere and unique characteristics of their communities. Through understanding and sharing the problems encountered and strategies used by these four communities, we hoped to assist other communities attempting to integrate tourism and recreation into their economies and lifestyles.