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Blue Lady in the Red Land

Best Ways to Work, Stay and Play in Utah

USA | Sunday, 28 August 2011 | Views [349]

view of Salt Lake City Utah from Red Butte Botanic Gardens

view of Salt Lake City Utah from Red Butte Botanic Gardens

I'm assuming that you are not already a professional outdoor guide of some kind, that canyoneering is not your profession, neither is mountain biking nor white water travel. I'm assuming you are not a winter sports professional of some kind. If you are a person like this, you already know where you intend to live, work and play.If you intend to work for The Church in some way, you also don't need my advice.

For everyone else, I just have one thing to say .... Salt Lake City.

If you are interested in moving to Utah, in my opinion the best place to find a job, find a place to live and have access to whatever kind of play you want is to have SLC as your home.

We have opportunities for work in all the major sectors of the economy. We have a comparitivly low unemployment rate and businesses are hiring. I keep hearing that our culture, including the government, is favorable to business. I have heard many times that Utah is a great place to start a new business, and that we are lousy with entrepeneurs. If you work in the outdoor industry in any way, you probably already have Utah on your list. But consider it if you are in health care, finance, education, you know, all the rest of the economy.

SLC has any kind of housing you might want, and prices are moderate. Houses are a bit higher inside the city compared to many of the farther out suburbs, but if you factor in things like less driving needed by living in the city, a lot of those differences vanish. 

I suggest that if you are one of The Rest of Us, you may prefer living in or just outside of the city proper. Even though it is the absolute physical center of The Church, the city is the most diverse place in the whole state. Most of the Rest of Us live in the city. I've been told that many Church members really think that Provo, home of BYU, is the actual center of The Church these days. Provo has about 99+% of the population as Church members. It's a lot less in SLC, maybe only 50%. In SLC you'll be able to easily find the places where all the other faith traditions meet. You can have any kind of spiritual practice you want, or none at all.

In SLC proper you can have a backyard small flock of chickens, keep bees, have a nice garden or find a community plot not far away. You can home brew beer or make wine and find all the supplies and expert help you need. You'll find plenty of young urban hippies living here.

In SLC we have a lot of community arts events. There are races and sporting events constantly. There are tons of activities for children. Children are very popular in Utah. So are dogs. 

Out west people work hard, but they also take vacations and play hard. You will not find people getting on your case at work because you took off to go canyoneering in Zion for a week. Chances are your supervisor took off for a week's mountain biking in Moab. It's also perfectly normal to plan your work day for skiing (snowboarding, etc) before or after work or both. Everybody goes away to someplace for weekends all the time, all year round. 

From SLC you can get to all parts of the state in a few hours. Most people won't go to Moab and back in one day, but you could if you needed to. Moab for a weekend is do-able. You can also get to Idaho, western Wyoming (Jackson), western Colorado or Nevada without much trouble. Some people make regular trips to Vegas from SLC without a lot of thought.

Except for true current fashion, you can find just about anything you might want or need in SLC. We have the only IKEA in a really big region. You can get all your gear for any sport. We have Whole Foods, Sunflower Market, several farmer's markets and some great local stores for good food. You can get alcohol here, and in the city we have a marvelous state wine store. 

(If up to date fashion is a priority for you, don't plan to live here. You'll just find yourself averting your eyes and going home with the vapors.) 

If you do have your heart set on living in a smaller town, you could try Park City. You will need a lot more money to find housing there, and you may end up commuting up and down the mountain for your job. Lots of people do that and don't think twice about it. 

If you don't like winter, you might like St. George. It's the same climate and geography as Las Vegas ... true desert. St. George has all the national chain busineses (Target, Barnes & Nobel, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, etc.) and plenty of golf. It's popular with retirees, and is very close to Zion. It's also down the road apiece from Kanab where you will find the world famous animal sanctuary, Best Friends. The Church has a very pervasive presence in St. George. I find I am more aware of The Church when I'm in St. George than I am in SLC. If you decide to live in St. George, get ready to live with fine, soft red dust that will get into everything. It will stain fabrics, so abandon any love you may have for white carpet or upholstery.

Please do consider coming to Utah and to Salt Lake City. We all welcome you here.

Tags: #blogyourbackyard, salt lake city, usa, utah

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