Patrick “Pitt” Grewe is the director of the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation (OOR) in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). He was appointed to this position by Gov. Gary Herbert in 2020 as the third director of the nation’s first outdoor recreation office, established in 2013.
In this role, he represents the governor in outdoor recreation matters, hosts the country’s largest state-sponsored outdoor recreation summits, and manages several grant programs that support local Utah communities’ outdoor recreation initiatives.
Grewe is responsible for collaborating with local, state, and federal land managers and natural resource agencies to represent outdoor recreation interests. He works to inspire Utahns, especially the state’s youth, to engage in outdoor recreation.
He is a level-four kayak instructor and has a level two avalanche certification. Grewe is happiest when he’s outdoors and is an experienced backcountry skier, climber, whitewater paddler, surfer, fly fisher, and cyclist.
A Day in the Life
6:30 a.m. — I get out of bed and start a short workout that usually includes yoga and basic strength training. A couple of times a week, I try to recreate early in the morning by heading out for a ski tour, climb, or bike ride. No matter what I do, I have to sneak around and make sure I don’t wake anyone else up in the house, or else my name is mud.
7:30 a.m. — Parenting begins. I wake up the kids to get them ready for school. My kids are talkers, so it takes a lot of effort to keep them focused on getting ready. I drop the kids off at school and remind them of our three rules: “Have fun, be nice, safety third.” I then commute to the office and listen to news podcasts to get up to date on headlines.
8:30 a.m. — Participate in GOED team check-in meeting.
9 a.m. — Catch up on emails and priorities the OOR team is working on. We are currently accepting grant applications for our Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure grant, and my team members assist applicants in preparing their applications. Our team of four excels at this, and it’s a valuable resource to help communities get the funding they need to build recreation infrastructure.
10 a.m. — Confluence of States meeting. The Confluence of States is 14 states that all have offices of outdoor recreation. Utah was the first and helped many other states establish their offices. We meet monthly to support each other and work on a unified voice to represent recreation at a federal level.
11 a.m. — I meet with an event company looking to bring a new outdoor event to the state. I help to connect them with potential sponsors, locations, tourism, land managers, and resources to get started. These meetings allow me to brag about how great access to the outdoors is in Utah and how business-friendly the state is.
Noon — Weekly public lands meeting with DNR, PLPCO, Governor’s office, Office of Energy Development, and Tourism. We discuss issues and concerns surrounding public lands throughout the state.
1 p.m. — Grab a quick bite to eat, usually from Harmons (I love everything about Harmons), and head out of the office for a quick grant recipient site visit.
For every project receiving funding from our grant program, I get to do a site visit with the great people that make it happen. Today, I visited the Grit Mill parking lot and trail up Little Cottonwood Canyon. I get a brisk afternoon hike in and see how our grant fund makes a difference in the community.
Another recent site visit I went on was to a bike park up in Ogden. The city is renovating the old stockyards with new economic opportunities and open space to recreate. There is a whitewater park, a bike path, a trail, and fun little mountain bike features for kids to work on their skills in just a few blocks.
3 p.m. — Utah Outdoor Summit meeting. The Summit is the largest gathering of its kind and happens once a year. It’s an event that promotes and celebrates all aspects of the outdoor recreation economy in Utah. It’s a place where outdoor gear companies, land managers, nonprofits, tourism businesses, community and state leadership, and more convene.
4 p.m. — Final effort to catch up on emails and phone calls. On any given day, I get the opportunity to speak with legislators, business leaders, federal land managers, tourism leaders, educators, and more. It demonstrates how entrenched outdoor recreation is in the lives of every Utah resident and business.
I head home to rally my crew for some evening recreation. I usually listen to music on the way home to get me pumped up for family time and get out of adult mode and into kid mode.
5 p.m. — We head up to Brighton for some night skiing. Not only does it make everyone happy, I consider it part of my job to keep tabs on how skiing conditions are around the state. Plus, it’s my contribution to the Every Kid Outdoors initiative by getting my kids outside as much as possible. Skiing with my wife and three kids is a slice of heaven that usually ends with hot chocolate and french fries.
9 p.m. — For 2021, my goal is to write in a journal every day. So I knock that out and then enjoy a little TV time and then read before bed. I am not much of a fiction reader, so most things I read are outdoor adventure stories, outdoor media articles, and business-related stories.
11 p.m. — Review my calendar for the next day, set my alarm, and dream about mountains and deserts to explore in the near future.