St. George

Many people believe that St. George was named after a Union Army Officer by the name of Phillip St. George Cooke who is said to have donated a good share of equipment and wagons to the Mormon settlement of “Dixie”. It was called Dixie because it was a center for growing cotton which was processed at the nearby Washington Cotton Mill, and that cotton reminded many of the settlers who originally lived in the south of Dixie.

St. George is located within the northern end of the Mojave Desert at 2,860 feet above sea level and the average annual temperature is approximately 61°. With Hot summers and extremely mild winters, St. George is also known as a winter haven for what the 45,000 locals like to call “Snow Birds” (tourists who come to St. George to warm up away from the snow). St. George is also home to the four year Dixie State College.

Visitor Information

The Mormon pioneers were sent here in 1861 to grow cotton. It is named after George A. Smith, early pioneer leader.

Most Famous For: Year-round golf weather.

Attractions: Brigham Young Home; Jacob Hamblin Home; Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, Dixie National Forest

Population: 75,000

Elevation: 2,800 ft.

Visitor Information:
• Washington County Travel & Convention Bureau, 425 S. 700 E.
• Dixie Center, 435-634-5747, 800-869-6635
• St. George Area Chamber of Commerce, 97 E. St. George Blvd., 435-628-1658

City Parks:
• Bluff Street Park, 600 N. Park St.
• Worthen Park, 300 S. 350 E.
• J.C. Snow Park, 825 S. 350 E.
• Black Hills Park, 265 Airport Rd

Medical Services:

Dixie Regional Medical Center, 544 S. 400 E., 435-634-4000

Churches: Assembly of God, Baptist, Catholic, Christian Scientist, Episcopal, LDS, Lutheran, Presbyterian

Auto Services: 24 hour service

Bus Station: Greyhound, 1235 S. Bluff St., 435-673-2933

Mileage:

Destination Mileage City Mileage
Bryce Canyon NP -126
Canyonlands NP – 414
Capitol Reef NP – 246
Cedar Breaks NM – 74
Flaming Gorge NRA – 436
Grand Canyon NP – 161
Glen Canyon (Lake Powell) NRA – 343
Zion NP – 43 Salt Lake City – 303
Cedar City – 53
Kanab – 83


History



St. George, the county seat of Washington County, is the largest of all the towns founded during the LDS Church’s Cotton Mission of 1861. Located in the southwest section of Utah at an elevation of 2,880 feet above sea level, St. George has an average annual temperature of 59.9° F with summer temperatures well into the 100s and the average maximum winter temperature around 55° F. The average annual rainfall is 8.30 inches, and the normal growing season is 196 days. All these factors made the area a suitable location for the early settlement.

Earlier Native American inhabitants of the St. George area included the Virgin River Anasazi, who left evidence of their presence in the rock art and archaeological sites that remain. The first recorded Euro-Americans to visit the area were the Dominguez-Escalante Party in 1776; they were followed by fur trappers, including Jedediah Smith, and still later by government survey parties.
By 1854 the LDS Church had established an Indian mission at Santa Clara, two miles north of the St. George Valley. In 1857 and 1858 experimental farms were set up to the east and west of where St. George was to be built. While touring the experimental desert farms in May 1861, Brigham Young predicted the settling of the area. Five months later, in October 1861, 309 families were called by church authorities to the what was called the Cotton Mission. Most of those sent had abilities that were deemed essential to establishing a successful community.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Brigham Young thought it would be necessary to raise cotton, if possible. Many of the early settlers of St. George originally came from the southern states. They came to the “Cotton Mission” to grow cotton, but they also brought with them a phrase for the area which has become widely adopted–they called the St. George area “Utah’s Dixie.”

St. George itself was named in honor of George A. Smith, who, although he did not participate in the town’s settlement, had personally selected most of the company of the pioneers of 1861. The first years in the new outpost were difficult. Great rainstorms almost destroyed the farmlands, and intense summer heat and lack of culinary water made life far from pleasant.

…In 1863 St. George became the county seat for Washington County. That same year the construction of the St. George LDS Tabernacle began. It was completed in 1875. Before the tabernacle was completed, on 9 November 1871 work commenced on the St. George LDS Temple. Construction of the temple was a cooperative effort of many communities in southern Utah. The area was suffering from a monetary depression, and a work project was needed in which employment would mean food for families. The building cost $800,000 and was dedicated on 6 April 1877. Other important area buildings from the pioneer era include the historic courthouse (1870) and the social hall and opera house (1875).

Silk was produced in the area as early as 1874 but did not add to the material prosperity of the city. Nevertheless, the mulberry trees, which were planted to feed the worms, have continued to provide shade to the city’s residents. Other early pioneer endeavors included producing molasses, dried fruit, and wine.

To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of St. George, the Dixie Academy Building was constructed in 1911. The academy was operated by the LDS Church until 1933, at which time it became a two-year college within the state higher education system. In the 1960s the new Dixie College campus was opened in the southeast corner of the city. Today enrollment at the college is approximately 2,500 students; however, the college reaches most of the community with its programs and activities.

Since the 1960s, St. George has continued to grow as a retirement location and as a haven for “snowbirds” seeking to escape from the colder winters in the rest of the state. Tourism and recreation have become primary industries for St. George. The population of the city has grown at a rapid pace during the last quarter of the twentieth century. In 1950 the population stood at 4,562; it nudged up to 5,130 in 1960, moved up to 7,097 in 1970, climbed to 13,300 in 1980, and exploded to 28,500 in 1990.

While most of the residents are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, other denominations in St. George include the Catholic Church, Dixie Assembly of God, Community Baptist Church, Christian Science Church, Episcopal Church, Lutheran Church, Presbyterian Church, New Covenant Christian Center, St. George Christian Fellowship, and First Church of Religious Science.

The community is served by six local radio stations, a local daily newspaper; The Daily Spectrum and the largest news source- Stg News, and an airport with commercial connections to Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.

Green River

Green River is just a short drive to some of the most spectacular country anywhere! Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef are about an hours drive from the center of Green River. Plus there are numerous state parks, and thousands of acres of BLM lands surrounding our town. We even have a golf course in town with a golf pro on hand to help with that back swing.

Information



Attractions: Green River State Park, San Rafael Swell

Population: 1,048

Elevation: 4,100

Visitor Information: Green River Information Center, 885 E. Main, 435-564-3526

Churches: Most major denominations

Medical Services:
• Green River Medical Clinic, 110 S. Medical Dr., 435-564-3434
• Green River Community Health Center, 44 N. Solomen, Phone: 435-564-3331

Auto Services: 10 gas stations (some 24-hour), 5 auto repair

Mileage:
Bryce Canyon NP -222
Canyonlands NP – 119
Capitol Reef NP – 92
Cedar Breaks NM – 130
Flaming Gorge NRA – 217
Grand Canyon NP – 343
Glen Canyon (Lake Powell) NRA – 123
Zion NP – 272 Salt Lake – 182
Moab -53
Price – 63
St. George – 285

Attractions


Green River, Utah is the perfect choice for exploring many of the attractions of Canyon Country and Castle Country. Always affordable, you’ll get a lot more for your hard earned vacation dollars.

Green River• John Wesley Powell River History Museum: Explore the history through the eyes of explorer John Wesley Powell.

• The River Gallery: The River Gallery is a non profit gallery located within the John Wesley Powell Museum and operating under the authority of the city of Green River, Utah. All sales through The River Gallery support the operations of the Museum and its programs.

The 1250 sq. ft. fine arts gallery represents fine artists from Utah and surrounding states in various mediums including sculpture in bronze, wood and metal, fine oil paintings, watercolor and acrylics, along with traditional Navajo pottery.

Highlighted artists include Serena Supplee, Ivan Kelley, J.P. DeBerney, Joseph Venus and Gary Prazen.

Green River• Green River State Park: Facilities include a 42-unit campground, hot showers, modern rest rooms, group-use pavilion, amphitheater for interpretive programs and boat launching ramp. A new nine-hole golf course with its meandering fairways, lakes and traps is challenging and fun for all levels of golfers.

Green River• Goblin Valley State Park: Scores of intricately eroded creatures greet visitors to Goblin Valley. Hike among intricately eroded rock formations in haunting coves in this photographers’ paradise.

Green River• Crystal Geyser: A rare cold water geyser on the banks of the Green River. It erupts every 14 to 16 hours, for about 30 minutes, with water shooting 80 to 100 feet high. From the Green River Visitor Center, drive east on Main Street cross over I-70 to an intersection and turn left (east) onto the Frontage road. Follow the Frontage road 2.7 miles, then turn right (south) and continue 4.4 miles to the geyser.

• San Rafael Swell: The San Rafael Swell is a kidney-shaped upthrust of about 900 square miles of desert, domes, steep hogback ridges, and canyons–almost entirely within Emery County. This area includes activities such as: 4×4, Horse back riding, ATV trails, Mountain Bike Riding, Ancient ruins, Pictographs and Petroglyphs, The Outlaw Trail, Mining ruins, Geologic Wonders, Fossils and Dinosaur trackways.

• Book Cliffs: Deep Canyons; River and Rafting Access; Numerous Pictographs, Petroglyphs and habitation sites; Sandy Beaches; Great camping sites.

• Canyonlands National Park

• Arches National Park

• Capitol Reef National Park


Raft the Green River, explore the remote and beautiful San Rafael Swell or enjoy the many National and State parks in the area.

The Mighty Green River is famous for its world class rafting, boating and canoeing opportunities. And there is so much more to thrill and delight you. Book a tour on the rivers through one of our top notch local River Guide Outfitters. Both white water rafting or calm floats are options on the Green and the Colorado Rivers.

Not a River Rat? Green River is surrounded by millions of acres of pristine deserts offering many recreational oppportunities. Whether your preference is Hiking, Backpacking, taking to the 4×4 trails, Numerous ATV and OHV trails, Horse back riding, Mountain Bike Trails, Hunting, Golfing and so much more await you in this Desert Treasure. Our local land tour guides are on hand to enhance your visit to these areas, offering interpretive tours to many of the treasures of our desert.

Green River
Click to enlarge detail of map.
The area is surrounded by the Book Cliffs and the San Rafael Swell. Here you will find red cliffs, deep canyons, panoramic views, fantastic sunsets, a cold water geyser, petroglyphs and pictographs, a sandy beach, a river of rapids and calm floats, dinosaur tracks, old mining ruins, the outlaw trail used by Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch, and so much more. We also have a great 9 hole golf course at the Green River State Park which is being expanded to 18 holes in the near future.

Green River has over 600 motel rooms, 300 camping spots at our 4 campgrounds, as well as numerous restaurants, taverns and a private club to accomodate your needs. You will save a bundle on your accomodations and meals when you choose to make Green River your South Eastern Utah Destination over Moab. Lodging rates in Green River run anywhere from $25-$150 per night with an average of $50.

We are easily accessed by Amtrak, chartered air service, Greyhound Bus Lines, and Interstate 70. Shuttle Services are available to pick you up and drop you off at either the Bus or Train Station

History



Green River, located in Emery County, is a commercial and farming and ranching community situated in a valley where the Green River flows between low banks for several miles between Gray and Labyrinth canyons. The site was important long before the settlement era since it was the most accessible crossing point on the Green River south of the Uinta Basin. The Spanish Trail, a trade route between Santa Fe and Los Angeles in active use during the 1830s and 1840s, forded the river about three miles upstream from the present town, as did the 1853 railroad survey under the direction of Captain John W. Gunnison. The site’s accessibility also made it a natural staging and supply point for travel on the river.

Settlement began in the late 1870s in the form of Blake Station on the overland mail route between Salina, Utah, and Ouray, Colorado. The first permanent settlers of European stock were the families of Thomas Farrer and Matthew Hartman. The Farrers played a leading role in the community for several decades, operating a general store, a bank, and a ferry service.

The completion of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railway in 1883 made Green River a shipping point for livestock and mining equipment and supplies. The railroad built an engine house, switching yards, and a three-story hotel called the Palmer House. The influx of railroad workers gave the town 375 residents by 1890, in addition to a fluctuating population of cowboys, sheepherders, and prospectors from the Book Cliffs and the San Rafael Desert. The town’s location on the “outlaw trail” between Robbers Roost and Browns Park also contributed to its “wild west” reputation during that period.

In the early 1890s, the railroad moved much of its divisional operations to Helper, cutting the Green River population by more than half. This boom-and-bust cycle was to be repeated several times in the twentieth century. An oil boom in 1901 brought a rush to locate claims and some drilling activity but no commercial production. In 1906 a land developer named E.T. Merritt began promoting Green River as a fruit-growing area comparable to the Grand Valley of Colorado. Several hundred acres of peach trees were planted on both sides of the river, but problems with the irrigation system and harsh winter temperatures killed most of the trees before they could come into production. The southeastern Utah uranium boom of the 1950s provided a temporary economic stimulus. More important was the establishment of the Utah Launch Complex of the White Sands Missile Base in 1964, which brought the town’s population to a high point of almost 2,000 before the closing of the complex in the 1970s led to yet another economic downturn.

Each of these boom cycles had some lasting impact upon the community. The “Farrer Subdivision” that makes up the southeastern portion of the town was a product of the railroad era. The “upper town” to the north and west was developed during the peach boom, a period that also saw the incorporation of the town in 1906 and the building of a high school in 1910. The Community Presbyterian Church was also established during this period. A Latter-day Saint ward was organized in 1904, disbanded in 1915, and reestablished in 1923. During the uranium boom, Jim Hurst developed an innovative flying service to carry workers and supplies to remote mining locations. The successors to Hurst’s operation now carry on an active business flying river running parties. The “missile base” era brought new schools and civic services and saw the Community Church become the Green River Bible Church. Catholic and Baptist worship services were also instituted during this period.

Agriculture and ranching have been important to the Green River economy from the beginning. While the climate proved unsuitable for peaches, the relatively long frost-free season and hot summer temperatures of Green River’s 4,000-foot elevation are ideal for growing melons. J.H. “Melon” Brown was experimenting with the crop as early as 1900, and the industry reached its peak in the 1920s when the Green River “winter melon,” a hard-skinned variety that would keep until Christmas, was well known in Midwestern and Eastern markets. The largest agricultural operation was the Wilson Produce Company, whose properties were later acquired by Thayn Brothers. Melons are still an important crop, and the annual Melon Days celebration is a highlight of the local social year.

Green River’s location is still its most important asset. Early attempts to establish commercial riverboat operations between Green River and Moab ended in failure, but pioneer “river rats” like Bert Loper laid the foundation for a recreational boating industry. The town’s river heritage is celebrated in the John Wesley Powell River History Museum, opened in 1990. The historic Green River crossing is now the route of Interstate 70. The 105 miles from Salina to Green River represent the longest stretch without services on the entire Interstate highway system, so traveler service industries are quite naturally the town’s economic mainstay today. The population of Green River in 1990 was 744 in Emery County plus an additional 122 across the river in Grand County.

Cedar City

Cedar City Utah Home to the world- renowned Utah Shakespearean Festival, the Utah Summer Games and the American Folk Ballet, Cedar City is truly a “Festival City.” These events and dozens more like them throughout the year offer a metropolitan lifestyle in this small town setting.

Attractions

There are plenty of attractions to keep your family busy while in Cedar City. Many of the attractions are family-oriented.


How Many Miles from Cedar City to…

CITIES
Phoenix, AZ. – 398
Los Angeles, CA. – 466
San Francisco, CA. – 780
San Diego, CA. – 502
Las Vegas, NV. – 180
Reno, NV. – 524
Denver, CO. – 575
Salt Lake City, UT. – 253
Albuquerque, NM. – 614
Jackson, WY. -515

ATTRACTIONS

Brian Head Resort – 32
Bryce Canyon – 78
Cedar Breaks – 21
Grand Canyon – 157
Kolob Canyon – 19
Bullfrog – 294
Wahweap – 120
Elk Meadows – 68
Snow Canyon – 60
Zion – 56

CLIMATE:
Avg. Annual Temperature 50.4o
Avg. January Temperature 41.5o
Avg. July Temperature 89.9o
Avg. Annual Precipitation 10.6″
Avg. Annual Snowfall 45.4″
POPULATION: 20,000
ELEVATION:  5,800 ft.

Cedar City was named by early settlers because of the abundance of cedar (juniper) trees in the area. It was originally called Little Muddy, then Coal Creek, from the creek where the town was first established.
Pioneers arrived on Nov. 11, 1851 and soon set up the first iron refinery west of the Mississippi, using ore from the hills to the west and coal from nearby Cedar Canyon. From its mining and farming roots Cedar City has grown to one of Utah’s most exciting cities. Home to the world-renowned Utah Shakespearean Festival, the Utah Summer Games and the American Folk Ballet, Cedar City is truly a “Festival City.” These events and dozens more like them throughout the year offer a metropolitan lifestyle in this small town setting. Paired with Southern Utah University, the community provides guests and residents alike with a huge variety of cultural and recreational offerings, including top-notch theater, NCAA Division 1 Sports, concert and lecture series, and more.
History and traditional also play a strong part in local culture with small town-style holiday celebrations on July 4th and 24th (Utah’s Pioneer Day), and during the Christmas season, with parades and other activities. The Iron Mission State Park is the ideal place to learn of the area’s rich history and to see Native American artifacts, pioneer antiques, and the largest horse-drawn wagon collection in the west. Other Cedar City landmarks include the “Old Main” building on the SUU campus, the beautiful Rock Church, and the Old Union Pacific Depot. Each of these buildings have a fascinating history that adds to the character of Cedar City. Old Main, for instance, was built in the bitter winter of 1898 amid hardship to ensure that the city would be home to a state school of higher education.
Today, Cedar City is experiencing a growth spurt unequaled in the town’s history. But as the population continues to increase, residents here still maintain the small town atmosphere that gives it such appeal.

History



Cedar City, with a population of 13,500, is the largest community in Iron County and is located at the mouth of Coal Creek in south-central Utah. Its elevation is 5,800 feet above sea level, and it lies in a semi-arid part of the state with 10,000-foot mountains to the east and a vast desert area to the west.

Settlement began on 11 November 1851 with the arrival of a group of thirty-five men from Parowan, twenty miles northward, to establish an iron works. They were organized and traveled in two militia companies–a foot company and a cavalry company–under the direction of Major Matthew Carruthers and Captains Henry Lunt and Peter M. Fife. Captain Lunt was acting commander as Major Carruthers was temporarily detained in Parowan. The actual settlement site on the north bank of Coal Creek had been selected a week earlier by George A. Smith and a committee consisting of Matthew Carruthers, Henry Lunt, William C. Mitchell, John L. Smith, and Elisha H. Groves.

Small cottonwood log houses were built fort-style at the western base of the hill, the crest of which now supports the microwave television and other electronic communications equipment serving the Cedar City area. The settlement was given the name of Fort Cedar because of the abundance of trees which were called “cedar” trees, although technically they are junipers.

Cedar City Utah – Cedar TreesThe boxes from the wagons were removed and used for temporary shelters while small log homes were constructed from the trunks and large limbs of cottonwood trees as well as float material found along the creek bottoms several miles to the west. As the log houses were completed, families were brought from Parowan. In the meantime, the wagon boxes served as a temporary fort. Later, a site for the fort was selected nearer the proposed blast furnace, at the present city park, which was to have been a “company town” but was not developed.

When Indian difficulties threatened, the location of the fort was questioned as the nearby hill gave the Indians a decided tactical advantage. Also, as more and more iron workers arrived, the fort became too small. A new and larger site was selected on the south bank of the stream adjoining the old site to the southwest. This was partially occupied in the early months of 1853 by those who wanted to move and by new arrivals. With the outbreak of hostilities with the Indians in July 1853 (the Walker Indian War), a forced evacuation of the entire fort was made in two days to the new site.

The northeast part of the new area, which was a half-mile square, was enclosed within a wall, leaving some of the lots on the west and south outside the wall. It was completed in January 1854. Interstate Highway 15 now bisects this old town site.

Two years later (June 1855), another site, closer to the blast furnace and out of the flood plain of Coal Creek, was surveyed and occupied at the suggestion of Brigham Young. This is the present site of Cedar City.

Beginning with the demise of the iron works in 1858, the town’s economy became agrarian in nature although iron mining continued strongly through World War II and into the 1980s. The coming of the railroad to Cedar City in 1923 exposed Utah’s national parks to the world of tourism, and Cedar City was promoted as the “Gateway to the Parks.” The railroad also provided an outlet for the products of the iron mines. Presently the city’s economy is based on tourism, agriculture, some mining activities, some industrial and space-age complexes, and Southern Utah State University with an enrollment of 4,500 students. The college was founded in 1897 as a branch of the State Normal School (University of Utah). In 1913 it became a branch of the Utah State Agricultural College of Logan. In 1968 the state legislature transformed it into a four-year college of liberal arts and sciences with elementary and secondary teacher education programs. On 1 January 1991 it attained university status.

Southern Utah University is the home of the Utah Shakespearean Festival, which provides an important economic and cultural infusion to the area. Cedar City has thus also become known as the “Festival City.” The professional quality of the plays produced each summer, employing talented professionals from all over the United States, is becoming known around the world.

Moab

Moab is located in Southeastern Utah by the Rocky Mountain range. Moab is one of the most diverse and beautiful places in Utah with Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and Dead Horse Point State Park all located near Moab.
Some of the activities in Moab include; biking, hiking, camping, river running and much more!

Demographics

Location (miles from Moab)

Destination Mileage
Bryce Canyon NP -270
Canyonlands NP – 66
Capitol Reef NP – 145
Cedar Breaks NM – 285
Flaming Gorge NRA – 273
Grand Canyon NP – 399
Glen Canyon (Lake Powell) NRA – 168
Zion NP – 328

City Mileage

Salt Lake City – 248
Green River – 53
St. George – 341
Grand Junction, CO – 110
Albuquerque, NM – 336
Denver, CO – 360
Phoenix, AZ – 468
Los Angeles, CA – 762
Las Vegas, NV – 480

For Recreation (miles from Moab)

Colorado River- 2
Arches National Park- 4
Dead Horse Point State Park- 33
Canyonlands – Island in the Sky District- 45
Canyonlands Nat’l Park – Needles District- 68
La Sal National Forest- 18
Mesa Verde National Park- 150
Monument Valley- 150
Lake Powell (Hite Marina)- 162

Per Capita Income (1998)

Grand County $15,500

Utah State $19,600

   

FAQ’s



AREA CODES

The area code for Salt Lake City and surrounding area is (801).
The rest of the state including Park City is (435)

TIME ZONE
Salt Lake City is in the Mountain Time Zone and follows Daylight Savings Time.

TRANSPORTATION
Highways: Interstate-15 slices through Utah, north to south, from Idaho to Arizona. Interstate-80 crosses the northern part of the state from Wyoming, running west into Nevada. Interstate-84 runs northwest toward Idaho from Echo Junction near the Wyoming border. US-6 / US-191 is the major route through the eastern and southeastern portions of the state. Interstate-70 runs west from Colorado to a junction with I-15 in central Utah. US-666 enters Utah’s southeastern corner from southern Colorado and joins US-191.
I-15 Freeway Reconstruction: Reconstruction of Interstate 15 (I-15) will be going on until July of 2001. Daily updates of ramp closures are available by calling toll free 1-888-463-6415.
Airports: The major airport is Salt Lake City International Airport, which was ranked ninth best in the U.S. By “Conde Nast Traveler” magazine. For more information contact the Salt Lake International Airport. 801-575-2400
Bus Service: Greyhound Bus Lines access several Utah cities and towns. In northern Utah, buses make regular stops in Provo, Salt Lake City, Ogden, Birgham and Logan. In eastern Utah, Greyhound runs to Vernal and Price. Heading to southwestern Utah on I-15, the bus line makes stops in Beaver, Parowan, Cedar City and St. George. Contact: 800-231-2222
Light Rail: A light rail system designed for commuter travel provides access to Salt Lake City and vicinity. Much of the project will be functional in early 2000, with total completion by 2002. Fares are $1.00 within the valley. For more info call 801-287-4636
Railroad: In Northern Utah, Amtrak makes daily stops in Salt Lake City. The line also has service to Ogden, north of Salt Lake, and Provo, to the south. In eastern and southeastern Utah, there is service to Helper and Thompson Springs. Amtrak trains also stop in Milford in southwestern Utah. Amtrak phone: 800-872-7245.

HELPFUL PHONE NUMBERS:

Highway Conditions
511 within Utah and
866-511-8824 elsewhere

Airport Information 801-575-2400
I-15 Freeway Reconstruction 888-463-6415
Public Transportation 801-287-4636

POPULATION:
Salt Lake City Metro: 170,000
Salt Lake Area: 830,000
Wasatch Front: 1.5 million

ELEVATION:
Salt Lake City: 4330 feet / 1320 meters

ACCOMMODATIONS, DINING, NIGHTLIFE: Visitors to Salt Lake have their choice of 17,000 hotel rooms and 7,000 rooms in nearby communities. More accommodations are being built for the 2002 Winter Olympics. There are more than 300 restaurants in the Salt Lake area. Seventy-five restaurants and numerous nightclubs are within walking distance of the Salt Palace Convention Center, the Delta Center Arena and downtown hotels. Alcoholic beverages may be served with meals in restaurants and hotels. Drinks are also available in non-exclusive clubs where visitors are welcome to purchase temporary memberships at a nominal fee. Liquor can be purchased in state liquor stores located in the Salt Lake area. Click here for a complete list of Salt Lake Hotels – Motels and restaurants.

SALT LAKE CITY SKI RESORTS:

Alta: 33 miles from SL airport
Brighton:35 miles from SL airport
Snowbird:31 miles from SL airport
Solitude: 33 miles from SL airport

PARK CITY SKI RESORTS:

The Canyons:33 miles from SL airport
Deer Valley:39 miles from SL airport
Park City: 37 miles from SL airport

History



The settlement of Salt Lake City was not typical in many ways of the westward movement of settlers and pioneers in the United States. The people who founded the city in 1847 were Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They did not come as individuals acting on their own, but as a well-organized, centrally directed group; and they came for a religious purpose, to establish a religious utopia in the wilderness, which they called the Kingdom of God on Earth. Like the Puritan founders of Massachusetts more than 200 years earlier, Mormons considered themselves on a mission from God, having been sent into the wilderness to establish a model society.

In many ways the history of Salt Lake is the story of that effort: its initial success; its movement away from the original ideas in the face of intense political, economic, and social pressure from the outside; and its increasing, but never complete, assimilation into the mainstream of American life. Its history has been the story of many peoples and of unsteady progress, and it was formed from a process of conflict–a conflict of ideas and values, of economic and political systems, of peoples with different cultural backgrounds, needs, and ambitions.

For about a generation after its founding, Salt Lake City was very much the kind of society its founders intended. A grand experiment in centralized planning and cooperative imagination, it was a relatively self-sufficient, egalitarian, and homogeneous society based mainly on irrigation agriculture and village industry. Religion infused almost every impulse, making it difficult to draw a line between religious and secular activities. A counterculture that differed in fundamental ways from its contemporary American society, it was close-knit, cohesive, and unified, a closely-woven fabric with only a few broken threads. The hand of the Mormon Church was ever present and ever active.

The extent of early Mormon pioneer unity can be, and often is, overstated. Even so, for the first few years of settlement, it was Salt Lake’s most striking feature. Gradually at first, however, and then more rapidly, the city began to change. The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 and the subsequent spread of a network of rails throughout the territory ended the area’s geographic isolation. Its economy became more diversified and integrated into the national picture. Mining and smelting became leading industries. A business district, for which there was no provision in the original city plan, began to emerge in Salt Lake City. A working-class ghetto took shape in the area near and west of the railroad tracks. Urban services developed in much the same time and manner as in other cities in the United States, and by the beginning of the twentieth century Salt Lake was for its time a modern city. Main Street was a maze of wires and poles; an electric streetcar system served 10,000 people a day. There were full-time police and fire departments, four daily newspapers, ten cigar factories, and a well-established red-light district in the central business district. The population became increasingly diverse. In 1870 more than 90 percent of Salt Lake’s 12,000 residents were Mormons. In the next twenty years the non-Mormon population grew two to three times as rapidly as did the Mormon population. By 1890 half of the city’s 45,000 residents were non-Mormons; and there was also increasing variety among them, as a portion of the flood of twenty million immigrants who came to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries found its way to Utah.

As Salt Lake changed, and in particular as the population became increasingly diverse, conflict developed between Mormons and non-Mormons. During its second generation, that was the city’s most striking feature, just as earlier the degree of unity was most conspicuous; Salt Lake became a battleground between those who were part of the new and embraced it and those who were part of the old and sought to hold on to that. Local politics featured neither of the national political parties and few national issues. Instead, there were local parties–the Mormon Church’s People’s party, and an anti-Mormon Liberal party–and during elections people essentially voted for or against the Mormon Church. Separate Mormon and Gentile (non-Mormon) residential neighborhoods developed. While many Mormons engaged in agricultural pursuits, few Gentiles owned farms. Two school systems operated: a predominantly Mormon public one and a mainly non-Mormon private one. Fraternal and commercial organizations did not cross religious lines. Sometimes Mormons and non-Mormons even celebrated national holidays like the Fourth of July separately.

Conflict began to moderate after 1890 when, as a result of intense pressure from the federal government, particularly in the form of the Edmunds Act of 1882 and the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887, Mormon leaders decided to begin a process of accommodation to the larger society and endeavor to conform to national economic, political, and social norms. In 1890 Mormon Church President Wilford Woodruff issued the Manifesto, which proclaimed an end to the further performance of plural marriages. A year later, the church dissolved its People’s party and divided the Mormon people between the Democratic and Republican parties. Following that, non-Mormons disbanded their Liberal party. During the next several years, the church abandoned its efforts to establish a self-sufficient, communitarian economy. It sold most church-owned businesses to private individuals and operated those it kept as income-producing ventures rather than as shared community enterprises.

These actions simply accelerated developments of the previous twenty years, and the next two or three decades were a watershed in Salt Lake’s history. The balance shifted during those years. By the 1920s, as Dale Morgan says, the city no longer offered the alternative to Babylon it once had, and the modern city had essentially emerged. The process has continued to the present, with Salt Lake City increasingly reflecting national patterns.

Since Utah became urbanized at about the same rate as the United States as a whole, Salt Lake faced the problems of urbanization and industrialization at the same time they were surfacing elsewhere, and it responded in similar ways. During the Progressive Era, for example, it established a regulated vice district on the west side, undertook a city beautification program, adopted the commission form of government in 1911, and that same year elected a socialist, Henry Lawrence, as city commissioner. The city languished through the 1920s, as the depressed conditions of mining and agriculture affected its prosperity. The Great Depression of the 1930s hit harder in Utah than it did in the nation as a whole. Salt Lake correspondingly suffered, making clear its close relationship with the world around it and its vulnerability to the fluctuations of the national economy; and New Deal programs were correspondingly important in both city and state.

World War II brought local prosperity as war industries proliferated along the Wasatch Front. In the post-war period defense industries remained important, and by the early 1960s Utah had the most defense-oriented economy in the nation. It has remained in the top ten ever since. During the 1950s a number of important capital improvement projects were undertaken, including a new airport terminal, improved parks and recreational facilities, upgraded storm sewers, and construction of the city’s first water-treatment plants. As a move to the suburbs began, the city’s population grew slowly, increasing by only 4 percent through the 1950s. Racial discrimination was still one of Salt Lake’s most serious problems. The real power in the city lay with a group of three men (though it is difficult to get specific information detailing their activities): David O. McKay, president of the Mormon church; Gus Backman, executive secretary of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce; and John Fitzpatrick (and after his death in 1960, his successor, John H. Gallivan), publisher of the Salt Lake Tribune–representing, respectively, the city’s Mormon, inactive Mormon, and non-Mormon communities. The triumvirate continued to function through the 1960s.

Features of the period since 1960 include further enhancement of the city as the communications, financial, and industrial center of the Intermountain West; a declining population within the actual city boundaries (down fourteen percent between 1960 and 1980); the movement of both people and businesses to the suburbs as the valley population continues to increase; some decaying residential neighborhoods and a deteriorating downtown business district and the effort to deal with those conditions; the development of a post-industrial economy; and the rise to national prominence the Utah Jazz professional basketball team and of such cultural organizations as the Utah Symphony and Ballet West. The city’s population in 1990 was 159,936.

Salt Lake CityYet through all of this, Salt Lake has never become a typical American city; it remains unique. The Mormon Church is a dominant force, Mormonism is still its most conspicuous feature, and deep division between Mormons and non-Mormons continues, particularly on the social and cultural levels. There is still much to Nels Anderson’s observation in 1927 that Salt Lake is “a city of two selves,” a city with a “double personality.” As Dale Morgan observed more than forty years ago, Salt Lake is a “a strange town,” a place “with an obstinant character all its own.” That continues to be true.

John S. McCormick

Information



The Salt Lake Valley was settled in 1847 by Mormon pioneers (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). The area offered a haven to practice their religion free from persecution. After an arduous trip by covered wagon through rough terrain, their leader, Brigham Young, spotted the valley and uttered the now-famous words, “This is the right place!” Little did he realize it would be the place for business, culture, fine dining, city adventures and a candidate for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games!

Statistics. Utah’s population is 1.8 million and 765,000 people live in the Salt Lake area. Utah has:
• One of the 10 lowest violent crime rates
• The youngest population
• One of the highest birth rates and the second lowest death rate
• The healthiest population
• The highest literacy rate
• The highest percentage of high school graduates
• The highest number of people with college education’s

Business & Employment. Utah has:
• The second largest concentration of computer software firms (Provo/Orem)
• One of the four largest concentrations of biomedical firms (Salt Lake)
• 450 high technology firms employing 13,000 workers.

Tourism, trade, government and manufacturing are Utah’s top four areas of employment. In 1994, CFO Magazine ranked Salt Lake as one of the best environments for business. In October 1993, Salt Lake tied with Indianapolis, Indiana as the eighth best place to live in North America.

Salt Lake CityTransportation. Interstate Highways 15 and 80 intersect in Salt Lake. “Conde Nast Traveler” magazine ranked Salt Lake City International Airport the ninth best in the U.S. The airport’s new International Building has customs and a duty free shop. Salt Lake International City Airport is closer to the heart of the city it serves (a ten minute drive) than nearly any other US airport. Nine major airlines and two regional carriers serve Salt Lake, offering a total of 624 arriving and departing flights daily, with 75,000 passenger seats. As the “Crossroads of the West” at least half of America’s population is located within a 2 12 hour flight from Salt Lake.

Hotels – Motels, Restaurants & Nightlife. Visitors to Salt Lake have their choice of 11,000 hotel rooms and 7,000 rooms in nearby communities. There are more than 300 restaurants in the Salt Lake area. Seventy-five restaurants and numerous nightclubs are within walking distance of the Salt Palace Convention Center, the Delta Center Arena and downtown hotels. Alcoholic beverages may be served with meals in restaurants and hotels. Drinks are also available in non-exclusive clubs where visitors are welcome to purchase temporary memberships at a nominal fee. Liquor can be purchased in state liquor stores located in the Salt Lake area.

Tourism. Seven million people visit the Salt Lake area each year. Sixty percent of the skiers at Salt Lake ski resorts are out-of-state and international visitors. In 1995, Life Magazine ranked Salt Lake as one of the top vacation getaways.

Sports & Recreation. Nine major ski resorts, three cross country ski areas and the nation’s only recreational ski jumping complex are less than an hour’s drive from downtown. During warmer seasons, Salt Lake canyons are filled with hikers, cyclists, rock climbers and picnickers. Utah is the home of the US Ski Team. Salt Lake’s low humidity (normally 15% or less) makes outdoor recreation more comfortable in both summer and winter. Sports fans enjoy two professional teams: The Utah Jazz – NBA basketball The Utah Grizzlies- IHL Hockey The Salt Lake Buzz – Triple A baseball

The Arts. Salt Lake is the perfect destination for patrons of the performing arts with:
• Ballet West
• The Utah Opera Company
• Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company
• Repertory Dance Theatre
• The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
• Numerous theater groups
• The Utah Symphony (12th largest in the US)
• Fifteen art galleries are within minutes of downtown hotels. Five more are only a short drive.

Museums of note in Salt Lake include:
• The Museum of Natural History
• The Utah State Historical Society
• The Utah Museum of the Fine Arts

Attractions. Eleven national parks are less than a day’s drive from Salt Lake. Five of those are located in Utah.

Top attractions for Salt Lake Visitors include: Historic Temple Square, The Beehive House, The Bingham Copper Mine (world’s largest open pit mine), Great Salt Lake, Antelope Island, This is the Place Monument and State Park, The Utah State Capitol Building.

Within walking distance of Salt Lake’s Delta Center Arena and downtown hotels, visitors can explore the ZCMI Center Mall and Crossroads Plaza, two of the largest indoor shopping malls in the country. Many of the shops are open every day and stay open late on weekdays.

Trolley Square, a restored historic trolley station turned shopping mall, is a few blocks from downtown Salt Lake.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City reflects a combination of history, culture, attractions and recreation. Salt Lake City boasts seven ski resorts within an hour’s drive of the international airports, Alta, Brighton, The Canyons, Deer Valley, Park City, Snowbird, and Solitude. Other important attractions in Salt Lake include the Mormon Temple Square which attracts over seven million visitors each year, and the Great Salt Lake which is the largest body of water in Utah. Salt Lake City also has the honor of hosting the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Be sure to get a Salt Lake City Travel Packet! Salt Lake Lodging.

Attractions

There are plenty of attractions to keep your family busy while in Salt Lake City. Many of the attractions are family-oriented. Children will love Lagoon amusement park, the Hogle Zoo, or Hansen Planetarium. Adults will enjoy shopping at historic Trolley Square or finding information on an ancestor at the LDS Family History Center.

Draper Historic Theatre

12366 South 900 East, East Draper
(801) 572-4144
• DHT is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to providing quality family entertainment as well as positive, character building theatrical experience for our participants. DHT produces 6 exciting shows per year – two of them in our signature Broadway Kidz format which allows many young people an opportunity to participate.
• The theater was built in 1938 and converted for live performances in 1988. Now run by it’s volunteer non-profit board the stage is set for many improvements in the years to come.
• Has 180 seats on a sloped theater floor
• Ticket prices are $6 – $10. $2 off coupons available at the website

Temple Square
50 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City
800-537-9703, 801-250-2534
• More than 7 million visitors each year
• Free guided tours available every 10 minutes in the summer, and every 15 minutes in winter
• Beautiful garden in the summer, and more than 300,000 lights adorn the grounds in the winter
• Several important buildings to the Mormon culture are located on the square, including the Salt Lake Temple, the Tabernacle building with its magnificent pipe organ, and the Assembly Hall where concerts are held throughout the year.

Salt Lake Temple
50 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City
• Stands on Temple Square, a 10-acre block in downtown Salt Lake City
• Construction began in 1853 and was completed and dedicated 40 years later in 1893
• Granite hauled from Little Cottonwood Canyon, 20 miles southeast of Salt Lake City
• Walls stand 16 feet thick at base and 8 feet thick at top

7 year round ski and summer resorts:

All within one hours driving time from the international airport include; Alta, Brighton, The Canyons, Deer Valley, Park City, Snowbird, and Solitude

The Great Salt Lake
• The largest body of water between the Great Lakes and the Pacific Ocean
• 70 miles long and 30 miles wide
• The lake is eight times saltier than the ocean.
• Only brine shrimp live in the waters

Antique – Classic Automobile Museum
355 West 700 South
• Over 100 classic automobiles on display and for sale.
• Classics include 1906 Cadillac, Packards, Pierce Arrows, V-12s and V16s.
• Celebrity cars are also on display.
• All displays are indoors.

The Delta Center
301 W. South Temple
• Features many sporting events, concerts, and conventions
• The future site of the Figure skating and Short Track Speed Skating events for the 2002 Olympics

Trolley Square
602 E. 500 S. Salt Lake City
801-521-9877
• More than 144 trolleys served the Valley from this location in 1914
• Service was discontinued in 1945
• Two floors of shopping and dining with over 90 shops and 20 restaurants
• Theater complex with four screens

University of Utah
210 S. President’s Circle, Salt Lake City
801-581-7200
• 26,000 students
• Among the top 50 public research universities in the nation
• 68 undergraduate programs and 50 teaching major and minors are offered

Family History Library
35 N. West Temple, Salt Lake City
801-240-2331
• 250 microfilm camera operators record birth, marriage, death, probate, immigration, military and other records in 53 countries
• 2 million rolls of microfilmed records with more than 2 billion names, 400,000 microfiche and 250,000 books
• Records date from the mid-1500s to 1920
• Hours are Monday 7:30 am to 6 pm, and Tuesday – Saturday until 10 PM

Kennecott Utah Copper Bingham Mine
Copperton.
Phone: 801-252-3234
• World’s largest open-pit copper mines
• 1/2 a mile deep
• 2 1/2 miles across
• Open to visitors from April to October 8th
• Admission is $3.00 per car and $2.00 per motorcycle

Lagoon Amusement Park
375 N. Lagoon Dr., Farmington
801-451-8000 or (800) 748-5246
• 35 rides
• Entire day passports are $25.95 for people 51 inches high to 59 years of age. (Prices are subject to change.)
• Children 4 years old to 50 inches tall get in for $19.95. Toddlers younger than 3 and adults older than 60 can stay at the park for $12.50. (Prices are subject to change.)

Lagoona Beach
375 N. Lagoon Dr., Farmington
801-451-8000 or (800) 748-5246
• 2 activity pools
• Tropical Oasis
• Water Slides
• Tube Slides

Hansen Planetarium
15 S. State St., Salt Lake City
801-538-2104 or (800) UTAH-NET
• Two floors of exhibits including a moon rock
• Domed theater features star shows and laser/music shows
• Hours are Monday through Thursday 9:30 am to 9:00 PM, and until Midnight on Friday and Saturday
• Admission for Star and Science shows is $3.50 for children and seniors and $4.50 for teens and adults.
• Admission for the Laser shows is $5.00 for children 12 and under and $6.00 for teens and adults. (*Prices are subject to change)

Catholic Cathedral of the Madeleine
331 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City
801-328-8941
• Dedicated in 1909
• Beautiful stain glass windows
• Carved angels above the confessionals
• Open to public 8 am to 9 PM

Children’s Museum of Utah

840 N. 300 W., Salt Lake City
801-322-5268
• Museum focuses on teaching kids while they play
• Museum includes a miniature town – grocery store, gas station, and ATM machine
• Children can freeze their shadow on the wall
• Art project area
• Magicians, clowns, artists perform at specific times
• Monday-Thursday and Saturday, Hours are from 9:30 am to 5 PM
• $3.00 for children and adults, children under 2 are free
• Museum is open until 8 PM on Friday, and everyone older than 2 gets in for $1.50
• A child younger than 14 must have an adult accompanying them.

Gallivan Utah Center Plaza
36 E. 200 S., Salt Lake City
801-532-0459
• Outdoor chessboard with 2-foot-tall pieces
• Wildlife Wall
• Story Wall

Gardner Historic Village
1095 W. 7080 S., West Jordan
801-566-8903
• Water powered saw mill
• Archibald’s Restaurant
• Admission is free

Hill Aerospace Museum
7961 Wardleigh Dr., Roy
801-777-6868
• More than 57 airplanes
• Open 7 days a week, except holidays
• Hours are from 9 am to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday and until 5:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday.
• Admission is free

Hogle Zoo
2600 E. Sunnyside Ave. (800 S.),
Salt Lake City 801-584-1750
• More than 900 amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles from across the world, on 42 acres of land at the mouth of Emigration Canyon.
• Hogle Zoo’s newest exhibit, Asian Highland, features over 15,000 square feet of outdoor habitat, with five species of felines.
• Steam engine tour around Desert Canyon at the Zoo
• Hours are 9 am to 5 pm March 1 through October 31; 9 am to 4 pm November 1 through February 28
• Hogle Zoo is closed only on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
• Admission is $8.00 for adults and senior citizens and children ages 3 to 12 $6.00. Children 2 years of age and under are free (*Prices are subject to change)

Peppermint Palace
155 E. 200 N. Alpine
801-756-7400
• Chocolates, nut brittle, licorice, candy sticks
• Watch candy being made on the observation deck
• Open 10 am to 2 PM

Pioneer Village at Lagoon
375 N. Lagoon Dr., Farmington
801-451-8000 or (800) 748-5246
• Old time Jailhouse
• Carriage rides
• Log flume ride
• Firearms museum

Raging Waters
1200 W. 1700 S., Salt Lake City
801-972-3300
• 30 Water slides
• World’s only water roller coaster
• Admission is around $17.00 to $21.00 dollars.
• Hours are 10:30 am to 7: 30 PM & Sunday 12pm to 7:30 PM
• Evening Special 4 PM to 7:30 PM

Red Butte Garden and Arboretum
300 Wakara Way, University of Utah
Research Park 801-581-IRIS
• Flower Gardens
• Sego Lily Fountain
• Nature hike
• Ponds and Waterfalls
• $3.00 for adults, and $2.00 for children, students and seniors (*Prices are subject to change)
• Hours are 9 am to Dusk (May through September)
• Hours are 10 am to 5 PM (October to April
• Open 7 days a week

The Sports Park
8695 S. Sandy Pkwy, Sandy
801-562-4444
• 7 batting cages
• 5 go-cart tracks
• 18-hole miniature golf course
• Video Arcade

Tracy Aviary at Liberty Park
589 E. 1300 S., Salt Lake City
801-322-BIRD
• Over 1,000 birds
• Summer hours are from 9 am to 6 PM, Monday-Friday, and until 4 PM on Sundays and holidays.
• Winter hours are from 9 am to 4:30 PM

Utah Fun Dome
4998 S. 360 W., Murray
801-265-3866
• Indoor roller coaster
• Bungee jump
• Laser Tag
• 2 miniature golf courses
• 30-lane bowling alley
• Roller skating Rink
• Arcade
• Bumper car
• No entrance fee, all attractions are individually priced

Utah Museum of Natural History
250 S. 1300 E., University of Utah
801-581-6927 or 801-581-4887 for the summer field adventure
• Help excavate Mastodon Bones
• 30 different Jurassic dinosaur skeletons
• Admission is $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for children

Wheeler Historic Farm
6351 S. 900 E., Salt Lake City
801-264-2212 or 801-264-2241 for camp information
• Interactive Farm
• Hay Rides
• Pet animals
• Admission is $2.00 for children ages 3 to 11 and senior citizens
• Admission is $3.00 for adults 12 and over (*Prices are subject to change)
• Admission includes a tour of the farmhouse, and a wagon ride around the property

FAQ’s



AREA CODES

The area code for Salt Lake City and surrounding area is (801).
The rest of the state including Park City is (435)

TIME ZONE
Salt Lake City is in the Mountain Time Zone and follows Daylight Savings Time.

TRANSPORTATION
Highways: Interstate-15 slices through Utah, north to south, from Idaho to Arizona. Interstate-80 crosses the northern part of the state from Wyoming, running west into Nevada. Interstate-84 runs northwest toward Idaho from Echo Junction near the Wyoming border. US-6 / US-191 is the major route through the eastern and southeastern portions of the state. Interstate-70 runs west from Colorado to a junction with I-15 in central Utah. US-666 enters Utah’s southeastern corner from southern Colorado and joins US-191.
I-15 Freeway Reconstruction: Reconstruction of Interstate 15 (I-15) will be going on until July of 2001. Daily updates of ramp closures are available by calling toll free 1-888-463-6415.
Airports: The major airport is Salt Lake City International Airport, which was ranked ninth best in the U.S. By “Conde Nast Traveler” magazine. For more information contact the Salt Lake International Airport. 801-575-2400
Bus Service: Greyhound Bus Lines access several Utah cities and towns. In northern Utah, buses make regular stops in Provo, Salt Lake City, Ogden, Birgham and Logan. In eastern Utah, Greyhound runs to Vernal and Price. Heading to southwestern Utah on I-15, the bus line makes stops in Beaver, Parowan, Cedar City and St. George. Contact: 800-231-2222
Light Rail: A light rail system designed for commuter travel provides access to Salt Lake City and vicinity. Much of the project will be functional in early 2000, with total completion by 2002. Fares are $1.00 within the valley. For more info call 801-287-4636
Railroad: In Northern Utah, Amtrak makes daily stops in Salt Lake City. The line also has service to Ogden, north of Salt Lake, and Provo, to the south. In eastern and southeastern Utah, there is service to Helper and Thompson Springs. Amtrak trains also stop in Milford in southwestern Utah. Amtrak phone: 800-872-7245.

HELPFUL PHONE NUMBERS:

Highway Conditions
511 within Utah and
866-511-8824 elsewhere

Airport Information 801-575-2400
I-15 Freeway Reconstruction 888-463-6415
Public Transportation 801-287-4636

POPULATION:
Salt Lake City Metro: 170,000
Salt Lake Area: 830,000
Wasatch Front: 1.5 million

ELEVATION:
Salt Lake City: 4330 feet / 1320 meters

ACCOMMODATIONS, DINING, NIGHTLIFE: Visitors to Salt Lake have their choice of 17,000 hotel rooms and 7,000 rooms in nearby communities. More accommodations are being built for the 2002 Winter Olympics. There are more than 300 restaurants in the Salt Lake area. Seventy-five restaurants and numerous nightclubs are within walking distance of the Salt Palace Convention Center, the Delta Center Arena and downtown hotels. Alcoholic beverages may be served with meals in restaurants and hotels. Drinks are also available in non-exclusive clubs where visitors are welcome to purchase temporary memberships at a nominal fee. Liquor can be purchased in state liquor stores located in the Salt Lake area. Click here for a complete list of Salt Lake Hotels – Motels and restaurants.

SALT LAKE CITY SKI RESORTS:

Alta: 33 miles from SL airport
Brighton:35 miles from SL airport
Snowbird:31 miles from SL airport
Solitude: 33 miles from SL airport

PARK CITY SKI RESORTS:

The Canyons:33 miles from SL airport
Deer Valley:39 miles from SL airport
Park City: 37 miles from SL airport

History



The settlement of Salt Lake City was not typical in many ways of the westward movement of settlers and pioneers in the United States. The people who founded the city in 1847 were Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They did not come as individuals acting on their own, but as a well-organized, centrally directed group; and they came for a religious purpose, to establish a religious utopia in the wilderness, which they called the Kingdom of God on Earth. Like the Puritan founders of Massachusetts more than 200 years earlier, Mormons considered themselves on a mission from God, having been sent into the wilderness to establish a model society.

In many ways the history of Salt Lake is the story of that effort: its initial success; its movement away from the original ideas in the face of intense political, economic, and social pressure from the outside; and its increasing, but never complete, assimilation into the mainstream of American life. Its history has been the story of many peoples and of unsteady progress, and it was formed from a process of conflict–a conflict of ideas and values, of economic and political systems, of peoples with different cultural backgrounds, needs, and ambitions.

For about a generation after its founding, Salt Lake City was very much the kind of society its founders intended. A grand experiment in centralized planning and cooperative imagination, it was a relatively self-sufficient, egalitarian, and homogeneous society based mainly on irrigation agriculture and village industry. Religion infused almost every impulse, making it difficult to draw a line between religious and secular activities. A counterculture that differed in fundamental ways from its contemporary American society, it was close-knit, cohesive, and unified, a closely-woven fabric with only a few broken threads. The hand of the Mormon Church was ever present and ever active.

The extent of early Mormon pioneer unity can be, and often is, overstated. Even so, for the first few years of settlement, it was Salt Lake’s most striking feature. Gradually at first, however, and then more rapidly, the city began to change. The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 and the subsequent spread of a network of rails throughout the territory ended the area’s geographic isolation. Its economy became more diversified and integrated into the national picture. Mining and smelting became leading industries. A business district, for which there was no provision in the original city plan, began to emerge in Salt Lake City. A working-class ghetto took shape in the area near and west of the railroad tracks. Urban services developed in much the same time and manner as in other cities in the United States, and by the beginning of the twentieth century Salt Lake was for its time a modern city. Main Street was a maze of wires and poles; an electric streetcar system served 10,000 people a day. There were full-time police and fire departments, four daily newspapers, ten cigar factories, and a well-established red-light district in the central business district. The population became increasingly diverse. In 1870 more than 90 percent of Salt Lake’s 12,000 residents were Mormons. In the next twenty years the non-Mormon population grew two to three times as rapidly as did the Mormon population. By 1890 half of the city’s 45,000 residents were non-Mormons; and there was also increasing variety among them, as a portion of the flood of twenty million immigrants who came to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries found its way to Utah.

As Salt Lake changed, and in particular as the population became increasingly diverse, conflict developed between Mormons and non-Mormons. During its second generation, that was the city’s most striking feature, just as earlier the degree of unity was most conspicuous; Salt Lake became a battleground between those who were part of the new and embraced it and those who were part of the old and sought to hold on to that. Local politics featured neither of the national political parties and few national issues. Instead, there were local parties–the Mormon Church’s People’s party, and an anti-Mormon Liberal party–and during elections people essentially voted for or against the Mormon Church. Separate Mormon and Gentile (non-Mormon) residential neighborhoods developed. While many Mormons engaged in agricultural pursuits, few Gentiles owned farms. Two school systems operated: a predominantly Mormon public one and a mainly non-Mormon private one. Fraternal and commercial organizations did not cross religious lines. Sometimes Mormons and non-Mormons even celebrated national holidays like the Fourth of July separately.

Conflict began to moderate after 1890 when, as a result of intense pressure from the federal government, particularly in the form of the Edmunds Act of 1882 and the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887, Mormon leaders decided to begin a process of accommodation to the larger society and endeavor to conform to national economic, political, and social norms. In 1890 Mormon Church President Wilford Woodruff issued the Manifesto, which proclaimed an end to the further performance of plural marriages. A year later, the church dissolved its People’s party and divided the Mormon people between the Democratic and Republican parties. Following that, non-Mormons disbanded their Liberal party. During the next several years, the church abandoned its efforts to establish a self-sufficient, communitarian economy. It sold most church-owned businesses to private individuals and operated those it kept as income-producing ventures rather than as shared community enterprises.

These actions simply accelerated developments of the previous twenty years, and the next two or three decades were a watershed in Salt Lake’s history. The balance shifted during those years. By the 1920s, as Dale Morgan says, the city no longer offered the alternative to Babylon it once had, and the modern city had essentially emerged. The process has continued to the present, with Salt Lake City increasingly reflecting national patterns.

Since Utah became urbanized at about the same rate as the United States as a whole, Salt Lake faced the problems of urbanization and industrialization at the same time they were surfacing elsewhere, and it responded in similar ways. During the Progressive Era, for example, it established a regulated vice district on the west side, undertook a city beautification program, adopted the commission form of government in 1911, and that same year elected a socialist, Henry Lawrence, as city commissioner. The city languished through the 1920s, as the depressed conditions of mining and agriculture affected its prosperity. The Great Depression of the 1930s hit harder in Utah than it did in the nation as a whole. Salt Lake correspondingly suffered, making clear its close relationship with the world around it and its vulnerability to the fluctuations of the national economy; and New Deal programs were correspondingly important in both city and state.

World War II brought local prosperity as war industries proliferated along the Wasatch Front. In the post-war period defense industries remained important, and by the early 1960s Utah had the most defense-oriented economy in the nation. It has remained in the top ten ever since. During the 1950s a number of important capital improvement projects were undertaken, including a new airport terminal, improved parks and recreational facilities, upgraded storm sewers, and construction of the city’s first water-treatment plants. As a move to the suburbs began, the city’s population grew slowly, increasing by only 4 percent through the 1950s. Racial discrimination was still one of Salt Lake’s most serious problems. The real power in the city lay with a group of three men (though it is difficult to get specific information detailing their activities): David O. McKay, president of the Mormon church; Gus Backman, executive secretary of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce; and John Fitzpatrick (and after his death in 1960, his successor, John H. Gallivan), publisher of the Salt Lake Tribune–representing, respectively, the city’s Mormon, inactive Mormon, and non-Mormon communities. The triumvirate continued to function through the 1960s.

Features of the period since 1960 include further enhancement of the city as the communications, financial, and industrial center of the Intermountain West; a declining population within the actual city boundaries (down fourteen percent between 1960 and 1980); the movement of both people and businesses to the suburbs as the valley population continues to increase; some decaying residential neighborhoods and a deteriorating downtown business district and the effort to deal with those conditions; the development of a post-industrial economy; and the rise to national prominence the Utah Jazz professional basketball team and of such cultural organizations as the Utah Symphony and Ballet West. The city’s population in 1990 was 159,936.

Salt Lake CityYet through all of this, Salt Lake has never become a typical American city; it remains unique. The Mormon Church is a dominant force, Mormonism is still its most conspicuous feature, and deep division between Mormons and non-Mormons continues, particularly on the social and cultural levels. There is still much to Nels Anderson’s observation in 1927 that Salt Lake is “a city of two selves,” a city with a “double personality.” As Dale Morgan observed more than forty years ago, Salt Lake is a “a strange town,” a place “with an obstinant character all its own.” That continues to be true.

John S. McCormick

Information



The Salt Lake Valley was settled in 1847 by Mormon pioneers (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). The area offered a haven to practice their religion free from persecution. After an arduous trip by covered wagon through rough terrain, their leader, Brigham Young, spotted the valley and uttered the now-famous words, “This is the right place!” Little did he realize it would be the place for business, culture, fine dining, city adventures and a candidate for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games!

Statistics. Utah’s population is 1.8 million and 765,000 people live in the Salt Lake area. Utah has:
• One of the 10 lowest violent crime rates
• The youngest population
• One of the highest birth rates and the second lowest death rate
• The healthiest population
• The highest literacy rate
• The highest percentage of high school graduates
• The highest number of people with college education’s

Business & Employment. Utah has:
• The second largest concentration of computer software firms (Provo/Orem)
• One of the four largest concentrations of biomedical firms (Salt Lake)
• 450 high technology firms employing 13,000 workers.

Tourism, trade, government and manufacturing are Utah’s top four areas of employment. In 1994, CFO Magazine ranked Salt Lake as one of the best environments for business. In October 1993, Salt Lake tied with Indianapolis, Indiana as the eighth best place to live in North America.

Salt Lake CityTransportation. Interstate Highways 15 and 80 intersect in Salt Lake. “Conde Nast Traveler” magazine ranked Salt Lake City International Airport the ninth best in the U.S. The airport’s new International Building has customs and a duty free shop. Salt Lake International City Airport is closer to the heart of the city it serves (a ten minute drive) than nearly any other US airport. Nine major airlines and two regional carriers serve Salt Lake, offering a total of 624 arriving and departing flights daily, with 75,000 passenger seats. As the “Crossroads of the West” at least half of America’s population is located within a 2 1\2 hour flight from Salt Lake.

Hotels – Motels, Restaurants & Nightlife. Visitors to Salt Lake have their choice of 11,000 hotel rooms and 7,000 rooms in nearby communities. There are more than 300 restaurants in the Salt Lake area. Seventy-five restaurants and numerous nightclubs are within walking distance of the Salt Palace Convention Center, the Delta Center Arena and downtown hotels. Alcoholic beverages may be served with meals in restaurants and hotels. Drinks are also available in non-exclusive clubs where visitors are welcome to purchase temporary memberships at a nominal fee. Liquor can be purchased in state liquor stores located in the Salt Lake area.

Tourism. Seven million people visit the Salt Lake area each year. Sixty percent of the skiers at Salt Lake ski resorts are out-of-state and international visitors. In 1995, Life Magazine ranked Salt Lake as one of the top vacation getaways.

Sports & Recreation. Nine major ski resorts, three cross country ski areas and the nation’s only recreational ski jumping complex are less than an hour’s drive from downtown. During warmer seasons, Salt Lake canyons are filled with hikers, cyclists, rock climbers and picnickers. Utah is the home of the US Ski Team. Salt Lake’s low humidity (normally 15% or less) makes outdoor recreation more comfortable in both summer and winter. Sports fans enjoy two professional teams: The Utah Jazz – NBA basketball The Utah Grizzlies- IHL Hockey The Salt Lake Buzz – Triple A baseball

The Arts. Salt Lake is the perfect destination for patrons of the performing arts with:
• Ballet West
• The Utah Opera Company
• Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company
• Repertory Dance Theatre
• The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
• Numerous theater groups
• The Utah Symphony (12th largest in the US)
• Fifteen art galleries are within minutes of downtown hotels. Five more are only a short drive.

Museums of note in Salt Lake include:
• The Museum of Natural History
• The Utah State Historical Society
• The Utah Museum of the Fine Arts

Attractions. Eleven national parks are less than a day’s drive from Salt Lake. Five of those are located in Utah.

Top attractions for Salt Lake Visitors include: Historic Temple Square, The Beehive House, The Bingham Copper Mine (world’s largest open pit mine), Great Salt Lake, Antelope Island, This is the Place Monument and State Park, The Utah State Capitol Building.

Within walking distance of Salt Lake’s Delta Center Arena and downtown hotels, visitors can explore the ZCMI Center Mall and Crossroads Plaza, two of the largest indoor shopping malls in the country. Many of the shops are open every day and stay open late on weekdays.

Trolley Square, a restored historic trolley station turned shopping mall, is a few blocks from downtown Salt Lake.

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