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plugging in to utah

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If Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt has his way, visitors to the Winter Olympics will leave with a newfound respect for a state that often feels maligned by outsiders.

Just in time for the Games, Leavitt OKed a $750,000 ad push touting the state as a leader in technology.

"Most people have no perception of this state, and if they do, it's all just mountains and Mormons," said Deborah Lindner of the Utah Department of Economic Development, which is coordinating the effort with Salt Lake City agency Euro RSCG/DSW Partners.

Using the slogan, "Utah! Where ideas connect," the ads seek to blend the state's natural beauty with its tech nological prowess. For example, one print ad has a ski-lift gondola traveling up a line connected to a computer mouse. Copy says Utah is one of the "most wired states in the nation."

In the weeks leading up to the Games, Leavitt hosted a number of receptions in the Los Angeles area, inviting media and tech types. The message was two fold: Utah has a great tech sector, but people outside the state are largely unaware of it.

"Most of the world does not know the depth of our technology community," the governor said in an invite to one event.