Axios Salt Lake City

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It's Wednesday! We're halfway there folks.

Situational awareness: It's National Dress Day, so check out this story about Utah's own Cinderella dressmaker (with fewer mice).

Today's newsletter is 914 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Trump wins GOP presidential caucuses

Data: Associated Press; Table: Axios Visuals

Former President Donald Trump won Utah's Republican presidential caucuses, per AP projections.

By the numbers: Trump took about 58% of the vote, while former UN ambassador Nikki Haley received nearly 41%, according to the preliminary results.

The other side: President Joe Biden easily won Utah's Democratic presidential primary Tuesday, with 88% of the vote, per AP.

Context: Unlike Democrats, the Utah GOP opted to hold a presidential preference poll at caucus meetings across the state for Super Tuesday.

The big picture: Trump and Biden dominated other Super Tuesday states, marching toward their parties' respective nominations, Axios' Erin Doherty and Sophia Cai report.

The backdrop: Haley made a campaign stop in Utah last week, warning voters that Republicans would lose in November if Trump becomes the GOP nominee.

  • Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and first lady Abby Cox endorsed Haley in January.
  • Dozens of state lawmakers, including House Speaker Mike Schultz, released a letter backing Trump days before Haley's visit.

Flashback: GOP voters have demonstrated lukewarm support for Trump in Utah, a deeply religious state where many residents are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Go deeper: Joe Biden leads Utah campaign donations

2. 🍻 The rise of nonalcoholic beer in Utah

Data: NIQ; Chart: Axios Visuals

Nonalcoholic beer sales are exploding in Utah, according to consumer data obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: Like much of the country, Utahns are rethinking their relationships to alcohol.

By the numbers: Utahns' yearly consumption per capita has declined in the past three years, according to sales data analyzed by the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services.

  • January sales of nonalcoholic beer reached $303,654 in Utah this year — more than triple the sales in 2020, according to data from consumer trends analyst NIQ.

Between the lines: "Dry February" was Googled more than ever in the U.S., with search interest last month 30% higher than last February, according to Google Trends' Katie Seaton.

Zoom out: Mocktail brands have surged in popularity, with some boasting burns reminiscent of alcohol, and others claiming adaptogenic benefits.

Yes, but: Sophisticated zero-proof beverages can actually be more costly than alcoholic drinks.

  • For example, some alcohol-free wine involves the same grape fermentation process as traditional wine, plus an additional process: dealcoholization.

Case in point: Curiosity, a zero-proof bar in Salt Lake, closed its doors in July due to a business slowdown related to road construction and health problems in the owner's family.

  • The gourmet cocktails there were priced at $10 to $12 — not much less than craft cocktails containing alcohol.

The intrigue: Utah's enthusiasm for nonalcoholic beer likely is not driven by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which instructs members not to drink alcohol.

The best nonalcoholic beers

3. Fry Sauce: Savor these headlines

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

💰 Applications for Utah's new $8,000 vouchers for private school tuition have exceeded the number available ahead of the April 15 deadline. (Deseret News)

☢️ Two Canadian companies have begun drilling for uranium across the street from land that is part of Bears Ears National Monument. (Salt Lake Tribune)

✈️ Delta Airlines is raising its checked-bag fees by 17%, which will affect travelers from Salt Lake City International Airport, a Delta hub. (Associated Press)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bought the Kirtland Temple in Ohio — the faith's first temple — from the Community of Christ. (

  • Both churches originated from the teachings of Joseph Smith, who dedicated the temple in 1836. The sale also included buildings and artifacts in Nauvoo, Illinois, where Smith founded a Mormon community before his death.

4. 🚗 Electric vehicles vs. asthma

Air pollution caused by a temperature inversion in Salt Lake City in January 2022. Photo: George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Utah kids would avoid 26,100 asthma attacks by 2050 if the U.S. transitioned entirely to electric vehicles powered by renewable energy, according to new research from the American Lung Association.

Why it matters: Most Utahns live along the Wasatch Front, an area that's especially vulnerable to air pollution due to the "inversion" effect of the basin topography.

Zoom in: Children are especially vulnerable to air pollution and the effects of climate change because their bodies are still developing, and they typically spend more time outdoors than adults, per the ALA.

  • Pollution is also associated with premature birth, low birth weight and stillbirth.

How it works: Researchers used EPA and Department of Energy modeling tools to project health outcomes if all new passenger vehicles are zero-emission by 2035 and trucks by 2040.

  • It also assumes that the nation's electric grid will be powered by clean, renewable energy by 2035.

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5. 🎬 Sundance's newest film festival

The Angel of Independence monument on Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. Photo: Cesar Rodriguez/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Sundance Institute and a Mexican theater chain are launching a new film festival in Mexico City.

The big picture: This is the institute's first film festival in Mexico after expanding internationally in London and Taipei, Taiwan.

Between the lines: The 2024 festival in Park City featured multiple Latino films, including "Sujo," "Frida," and "In the Summers," which won the Grand Jury prize for dramatic film.

  • The program will include a selection of movies that were featured in January.

What they're saying: "The Sundance Institute and festival have such a rich history showcasing and supporting artists and their work from Mexico and across Latin America," said Eugene Hernandez, director of the Sundance Film Festival and public programming, in a statement.

The bottom line: Over the years, Mexican filmmakers — Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñarritu — have dominated the awards circuit, making Mexico City an ideal home for an independent film festival.

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💭 Erin has changed her mind and is now convinced that Kate Middleton and Ozzy Osbourne are the same person.

🍤 Kim prepared pineapple shrimp ceviche for dinner.

This newsletter was edited by Ross Terrell and copy edited by Natasha Smith.