From an isolated little town in southern Utah to “Boomtown USA.” In February 2007, St. George Utah earned this title from Inc. Magazine as the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country. It’s now the largest city in southern Utah.
But what is there about St. George Utah that has generated this extraordinary growth? A number of factors have combined to make it happen. A home for year-round golf .
Close proximity to several national parks. Scenic red-rock cliffs. And world-class recreation.
And retiring baby-boomers looking for a place to enjoy all the above. With a recent growth rate of 6% per year, Washington County’s population now exceeds 160,000.
St. George is 303 miles (488 km) south of Salt Lake City . 119 miles (192 km) north of Las Vegas. And in the near future, air travel in and out of St. George Utah will become much easier as a new airport will provide scheduled jet aircraft service in and out. It’s expected to be completed in 2011.
Until then, St. George Utah offers the largest airport in southern Utah with regularly scheduled commercial flights available year-round. The airport is just a few minutes from downtown St. George. Some motels even offer shuttle service to and from the airport.
The town was established in 1861 as a cotton mission under the direction of Brigham Young. The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - the Mormons or the LDS Church - was always looking for ways to make the church as self-sufficient as possible.
While the early settlers did actually manage to grow cotton, they couldn’t do it at competitive market rates. The effort was eventually abandoned.
The LDS Church completed the St. George Temple in 1877. It is the Church’s longest continually operating temple.
Why did U.S. News and World Report name the St. George Utah area as “one of the best places to retire in the U.S.?” The baby-boomers again.
More and more baby-boomers seeking an active lifestyle for their retirement years. And St. George Utah provides that varied and active lifestyle.
The area is located on the northwest edge of the Mojave Desert. Locals and visitors enjoy a climate similar to Las Vegas and Phoenix but not quite as hot. Red-rock vistas
surround the area. St. George is the gateway to
Zion National Park .
Bryce Canyon National Park is less than an hour away. Las Vegas is less than two hours away.
Because it’s located where the Mojave Desert meets the Great Basin, you can enjoy a wide variety of recreational experiences.
Golf on one of the St. George area’s 12 golf courses. Ski on some of Utah’s world-famous powder less than an hour away.
Enjoy hiking or biking in a forest of pines. All in the same day if you want. All within an hour of each other. If you like RVing, this is the place for you.
As the Wall Street Journal stated in a May 2007 article, the St. George area is a “haven for outdoor buffs and retirees.” Travel and Golf Leisure magazine named St. George an emerging leisure mecca.
Wondering whether this growth has been too much too fast? Sure there are some inherent problems with so many people flocking to an area like this. But in 2006, Farmers Insurance rated St. George as the “Most Secure Place in the U.S. to Live” out of 379 communities it ranked nationwide!
The temperate climate of St. George Utah has resulted in the nickname "Utah's Dixie." This name probably is also linked to the original reason St. George was settled – growing cotton.
Mild winter weather makes it ideal for year-round golf. As mentioned above, 12 of Utah's best courses are located in the area! On a per capita basis,
St. George Utah offers one of the highest numbers of golf courses in the country.
The area surrounding St. George offers an alluring array of places to see and things to do.
Bryce Canyon National Park is 128 miles (205 km) away. The Tony Award-Winning Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City is less than an hour away. As they say on their site, “Let’s Play! What is life without a little play?”
Thousands of people come to St. George each year for the St. George Marathon and the Huntsman Senior Games. In fact, the St. George Marathon is currently the 13th largest marathon in the country.
St. George is a captivating oasis of greenery lying beneath picturesque red rock cliffs. Its ideal winter weather attracts many "snowbirds" from the northern part of the state.
As they say in St. George, "Utah's summer spends the winter in St. George". Brigham Young even had a winter residence here. It still exists beautifully preserved.
Other things to see nearby:
And if you like recreation of a different nature, several world-class casinos are located in Mesquite, Nevada just 30 miles (48 km) southwest. Las Vegas is only 119 miles (192 km) away.