WITS 2024 Salt Lake City: Women in Travel Summit, Part 5

After such a busy day with WITS in Park City, it was nice not to have to rush off anywhere on Sunday, April 14. We spent the whole day within a few blocks of the Marriott. 

There were workshops all morning. I was drawn to the first session because Steve and I will become empty nesters in just a few short months. Travel will likely look quite different for us with a college student living away from home than it has been with a child in public school. The session was good, but most attendees wanted to hear how to incorporate a partner or child into their business that had previously been about solo travel. I wasn't surprised; not only was it in the title, but the average age of the WITS attendees was a good 20+ years younger than me.

This session was a lot of fun. After so many years as a blogger, I don't face nearly as much rejection from brands as I used to. But rejection is normal and some of the best opportunities can come follow if you're open to them. 

There is so much that goes into Search Engine Optimization. This workshop on backlinking was packed with specific, actionable tips. 

Next up was lunch. They called it brunch, but it started at 1:00 pm and didn't include any breakfast foods. No matter the name, it was excellent with tons of great choices. 

After lunch, there was an interview with Dr. Anu Taranath, author of Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World (affiliate link). She is a captivating speaker and I look forward to reading her book . 

Finally, they revealed where WITS 2025 would be held. For days, we'd all been guessing. But not a single person I'd talked with had guessed correctly. WITS will be held in Lower Manhattan, May 16-18, 2025!

Will I be there? Probably not. Lower Manhattan is an awesome place with tons to see and do. But I've been there before - multiple times, in fact. And it is an expensive destination. I really enjoyed attending WITS 2024, but I don't know that I would get the same return on investment in New York as I did in Utah. But never say never!

After the announcement, WITS 2024 was officially over. Sort of. That's when the post-WITS events started. There were a lot of different options. I'd registered for the Downtown Food Walking Tour. It was a great choice. 

There were 17 of us on the tour, including the newly engaged couple! They're front and center (pale pink vest and grey t-shirt). 

We headed outside to meet up with Moe of Local Food Walking Tours. Right away, I knew we were in good hands. 

As we walked to our first destination, Blue Iguana, Moe shared all sorts of interesting facts about Salt Lake City. 

At Blue Iguana, we enjoyed chips and salsa and got to know each other.

Then our entrees arrived. Tamales, and they were full size. I've done a lot of food tours in various cities and you typically get a taste of each thing. I was not expecting each person to get full portions. I ate a small amount (delicious!) and then gave the rest away. With three more restaurants on the schedule, there was no way I could have eaten this whole thing and had anything else. 

Our second meal was at Himalayan Kitchen

This time, our entrees were a more reasonable size... but we each got three of them! I loved the chicken tikka and the vegetable curry. 

As travel bloggers always say, "The camera eats first." 

I was so full, but we still had two places to visit! Next up was Sonoma Grill. It smelled incredible outside... and even better inside!

Here, we ate the most incredible, juicy ribs with a side of kimchi. We shared these platters, thank goodness. There was no way I could eat more than one rib, even though they were fantastic. 

I appreciated all the Salt Lake City history and culture Moe shared with us as we walked between restaurants. 


Our final stop was at Capo Gelateria Italiana.  

I had raspberry and lemon gelato and it was incredible. 

The tour was fantastic and I highly recommend it. Plan on bringing food home with you! You definitely get your money's worth. And speaking of money's worth, our tour was scheduled for 4:00-6:30, but we didn't return to the Marriott until 8:15! Try not to schedule anything else for the evening so you can enjoy every minute and every bite. 

After absolutely beautiful weather Wednesday through Sunday, I woke up to rain on Monday, April 15. Not a big deal, particularly since our tour guides brought umbrellas for us. 

Where were we headed? The Capitol Theatre, home of Ballet West

We learned about the rich history of Ballet West and its most notable achievement: presenting America's first and longest-running version of The Nutcracker. It also has one of the largest outreach and education programs of any ballet company. Ballet West is the 9th largest ballet in the US (by budget), yet Salt Lake City is only the 117th largest city in the US (by population). Impressive!

We started with a tour of the facilities. In the many practice spaces, we saw ballet students and company members practicing to live accompanists. It was so neat. We weren't allowed to take photos of any dancers, but we did get pictures of this empty rehearsal space. We would have killed for such a glorious rehearsal space back in my dancing days!

My favorite part of our visit was touring the costume shop. It is incredible. 

The space is enormous, with a dozen or so work stations. 

Racks of costumes line the room. Many of them need minor repairs or alterations. 

Others are being prepared to send to another company elsewhere. The goal is to rent out any costumes that are not currently in use. 


The storeroom blew my mind. They keep fabrics, trims, and everything else they need on hand on shelves and in boxes. 

This fabric is for leotards and undergarments. They keep these skin tones in stock, then hand-dye the fabric to perfectly match each dancer. There's a large, separate room just for dyeing. 

See the tubs with the manilla envelopes in them? Those are the patterns for all of the costumes. 

It was absolutely fascinating to learn all that goes into creating and maintaining the costumes. We got to see some tricks of the trade that allow them to more easily alter costumes to fit different dancers. 


It was such a great tour and an outstanding way to bring my WITS experience to a close. The next time I'm in Salt Lake City, my top priority will be attending a Ballet West production

Back at the hotel, I packed up my things, checked out, and walked a block to Trax. It was sprinkling; fortunately, I don't melt. 

I had time to kill at the airport, so I stopped to take photos of this cool artwork in the looooong tunnel connecting the two terminals. 

They aren't kidding. This tunnel is LONG. 

I had a late lunch at Uinta Brewing, a Utah favorite. 

The soup really hit the spot on a rainy afternoon. 

As I boarded my plane and flew to Sacramento, I replayed in my head all the wonderful experiences I had at WITS 2024. I met some fantastic people, learned a lot, ate well, and got to experience some of the best of Utah. I'm so glad I went.

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