Ogden, Utah

Ogden, Utah

The once bawdy past, centered along Two-bit Street, so named because you could buy most anything your heart desired for two bits, has been rechristened Historic 25th Street. (Courtesy of Mandi Coleman)

Population: 78,086 (2006 estimate)
Percentage of retirees: 10.9% in 2006
Cost of living index: Below average
Public libraries: 3
Public transportation: Utah Transit Authority operates 4 bus routes between Salt Lake City and Ogden. The FrontRunner commuter rail is currently under construction between Salt Lake City and Pleasant View, with a stop in Ogden.
Access to airports: Ogden-Hinckley Airport is located 3 miles from the city. Salt Lake City International Airport is 31 miles away.
Tax breaks: Utah taxpayers under 65: up to $4,800 in retirement benefits from pensions, annuities and Social Security is exempt, increasing to $7,500 for those 65 and older. The exemption amount is reduced (50 cents for each $1 of adjusted gross income over a certain limit) and the limits are set according to filing status: $32,000 for married taxpayers filing joint returns; $16,000 for married taxpayers filing separate returns and $25,000 for individual taxpayers.
Number of museums: 4
Number of cinemas: 8
Cultural Highlights: A growing arts community, with two well-established performing arts venues.
Access to Healthcare: Good, owing to the presence of the McKay-Dee Hospital Center.
Climate: Hot summers and cold winters, though with low humidity and plenty of sun.
Annual precipitation: 17.1 inches
Nearby Attractions: Salt Lake City, the Great Salt Lake, and the Wasatch Mountains and ski resorts all within an hour's drive; Park City, site of the annual Sundance Film Festival about an hour and a half away.
Useful links: Ogden City
In the Know:"Ogden, and 25th Street specifically, is where East and West come together through the transcontinental railroad; it was said that you couldn't go anywhere without going through Ogden. Culturally, people are sure to find everything-from ballet, symphony and opera to the 25th Street farmer's market where they can see their neighbors, pick out fresh produce and be exposed to contemporary art."
- Ginny Stout, Arts Coordinator, Ogden City Arts

From This Story

This friendly low-key Western college town has become increasingly sought-after for its affordability, livability and stunning setting on a flat plain in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains. Sports enthusiasts are attracted to skiing, mountain biking and hiking in the area, but increasingly the town has become a tempting relocation site for artists, and galleries now proliferate in the downtown.

Ogden's past as a railroad boomtown is evident in its old homes and in main street. The once-bawdy past, centered along Two-bit Street, so named because you could buy most anything your heart desired for two bits, has been rechristened Historic 25th Street, and Western-style storefronts are again bustling with commerce—only now business is centered on galleries, restaurants and boutiques. On summer Saturdays, the street is lined with vendors offering wares at the popular Farmer's and Art Market.

At the north end of Historic 25 Street, Peery's Egyptian Theater bespeaks both the past and present. A stunning 1920s Egyptian-style venue, it had fallen on hard times until the community raised the money to resurrect it about a decade ago. It's now one of the venues for the annual Sundance Film festival, centered in Park City, and it offers a year-round slate of music, drama and film. Live performances are also held in the city's outdoor amphitheater.

Weber State University adds to the cultural life. Ogden residents can take courses for a very modest fee, and the university's Browning Center for the Performing Arts features touring groups as well as regular appearances by the respected Ballet West and Utah Symphony Orchestra, both based in nearby Salt Lake City.

That metropolis will become even more accessible in November, when a commuter rail system opens, making the trip between the two cities in about a half hour.

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