Top 10 Reasons to Live and Work in Utah
Once you're out on your own, newly graduated from college and ready to face the world, there are a spade of glamorous locations you could go to build your career—New York, LA, Silicon Valley, and Utah. That's right, Utah is one of the best places in the country to live and work, not only for its great economic opportunities but also for its great weather, outdoor destinations, and culture. Why should you live and work in Utah? Here are your top 10 reasons.
1. Strong Economy
You could rent a studio apartment in San Diego for $2000/month and eat Ramen for the rest of your life or you could just as easily own your own modest Utah home and raise a family. Utah has a much lower cost of living than other big cities and a strong economy that continues to grow. Even though Utah was hit like the rest of the country by the recent economic slow down, Utah is recovering fast and has a much lower foreclosure rate than other western states, like California, Nevada, and Arizona. In fact, Utah is doing such a good job at economic recovery that the Christian Science Monitor, rated Utah #4 for job growth nationally.
2. Great for Business
The Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States List rates Utah #2 in the nation for business, based on a number of factors that take into account low taxes, human resources, energy costs, economic incentives, and more. And Utah continues to prove it is a big player in the national and international business scene as it attracts some of the largest tech companies in the world to settle in its blossoming desert. eBay, Adobe, Novell, Omiture, EA Sports, and more have already created corporate headquarters along the Wasatch Front, and Twitter is poised to build a data center in Salt Lake City in the near future. Slowly becoming known as "Little Silicon Valley," Utah offers a great environment for anyone interested in great companies and getting involved in the burgeoning tech industry.
3. Family Friendly
Most of the great American glamour spots like New York and LA are great for young professionals, but are not ideal places to raise a family. Not only does Utah have great schools, but if you live anywhere from Ogden to Provo, you won't be far from a host of family activities, including water parks, a fantastic zoo, hiking, recreation areas, and a myriad of public parks. Salt Lake City is even home to the Discovery Children's Center as well as a handful of art museums and great festivals that run all year long.
4. National Parks
Utah is the national park capital of the US. Housing five national parks and gateways to five others, Utah is a state that encourages you to explore the outdoors. Because Utah has such a unique topography, it is an international destination for mountain climbers, hiking enthusiasts, photographers, mountain bikers, and skiers from all corners of the earth. And living in Utah, you have quick access to some of the most beautiful national park land in the US. You may have seen Utah's Utah's landscape in movies like 127 Hours, Back to the Future 3, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Indiana Jones, as well as host of old John Wayne and John Ford movies.
5. Four Seasons
Utah is a great place to live if you enjoy every experiencing the seasons. Summers are hot without being scorching and dry without being parched. The falls are lovely for watching the leaves turn and noticing the ways the mountains change color with each the seasons, and springs are full of moisture and blooming flowers. But Utah has some especially great winters. Temperatures in the valley rarely go much lower than the teens. And you can expect lots of winter sun as you glide down the mountains of Utah's world-class ski resorts, located within minutes of downtown Salt Lake City.
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If you've already graduated from college, are looking to start, or want to go back to school for your advanced degree, Utah is a great place to get your education. BYU is one of the most revered schools in the west and the University of Utah is located just up the mountain from Salt Lake City, with great opportunities for the arts and a fantastic teaching hospital. Even if you just want to take a few classes on the side, Utah is home to Salt Lake Community College, the second largest community college system in the US.
7. Growing Infrastructure
Utah is growing fast. New housing developments are popping up all over the valley and the local government is keeping pace with the growth. Just a few years ago, the state installed a high-speed rail system that ran north of Salt Lake, and they are continually expanding their tracks systems within the city and to destinations south and west in order to improve traffic flow and offer more environmentally friendly options to commuters. Better, more-efficient transportation systems are needed for the 21st century, and Utah is already ahead of the curve.
8. Fantastic Burgers
Travel + Leisure Magazine recently ranked Salt Lake City as the second best city for burgers in the US, just behind Houston, TX. Anywhere along the Wasatch Front, you're only a hop skip and a jump from a great burger joint. ACME Burger, Crown Burger, Best Burger, Chadders, JCW's, In-n-Out, Five Guys, and more are the best places to get your burger fix this side of the Rio Grande.
9. Unique Social Environment
Utah has a unique social environment that you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the US. Mormons populated Utah back when it was part of the Mexico Territory, and the church is still headquartered in Salt Lake City, so Utah has a long history of religious conservatism. But at the same time, Utah is heavily populated with liberal adventurers who have come here to take advantage of the great national parks and outdoor recreation. Throw in cowboys and an artistic community thriving in Park City, that's quite a mix of people and cultures. Although once known as a close-knit and close-minded religious community, Utah has evolved into a progressive state that welcomes adventurers, conservatives, and entrepreneurs alike.
10. Fry Sauce
Saving the best for last. Utah is the only place in the US where you can regularly and consistently get fry sauce. Most of the country may think that ketchup is ideal for dipping your fries, but they have been egregiously misled by the American Tomato Council. This creamy orange-tinted sauce hints at a mixture between ketchup and mayonnaise, with maybe a hint of barbeque sauce, but we will never know—for it remains a mystery tightly held by an underground cabal of restaurant owners housed between St. George and Brigham City. A delicacy only found in Utah (and I'm told some parts of Canada originally settled by Mormon Pioneers in the late 19th century), fry sauce is all the reason you need to come live and work in Utah.