BY TOM BUSSELBERG
LAYTON – Interest in Antelope Island is gaining traction among travel writers around the world.
That means publicity valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars that the state or local officials couldn’t afford to pay for, said Barbara Riddle, director of the Davis Area Convention & Visitors Bureau in Layton.
Two recent examples come from Britain’s “The Lonely Planet Traveller Magazine” and Australian travel writer Elopeth Callender’s “One Packed Bag 50-50 Challenge.”
A journalist from The Lonely Planet and his wife spent a weekend visiting, and an article in the magazine wass published in eight languages around the world.
For Callender, her favorite day of a week in Utah was spent on Antelope Island, she said.
“From the mainland, the island’s 28,022 acres appear barren and deserted,” wrote Callender. “But Antelope Island is home to an astonishing variety of flora and fauna native to the Great Basin.”
She compared the island to Scotland’s northern-west islands, recounting some of its past history.
Callender tried her luck at floating, finding it hard to swim, resorting to side and breaststroke, she said.
She’s not alone.
“The 600-odd bison on the island today are managed with more care, most visibly when they are rounded up in late October to be checked over and for a partial cull,” wrote Rory Goulding in “The Lonely Planet.” “The ‘antelopes’ that inspired the park’s name are actually slender, fleet-footed pronghorn,.”
Last year nearly 300,000 people visited the island, and Riddle anticipates that number will be surpassed in 2013.