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Powder Magazine, in the issue just hitting newsstands, once again trumpets Ogden, Utah as one of the best ski towns in the United States in an extensive feature article.
This follows the magazine's selection last year of Ogden as the #2 ski town in the US. The article, written by Derek Taylor, is entitled "Tied to the Tracks", a reference to Ogden's past glory as a major railway hub of the west. Taylor's third paragraph recaps the widespread and highly favorable publicity the city, hard against the famed Wasatch Range, has been receiving. "For the last five years, this is where they've been telling you to go. Forbes rated it among the top places for business and careers, and the eighth best place to raise a family. National Geographic Adventure called it an emerging ski town and one of the nation's top 100 adventure towns. Smithsonian.com listed it among "Where to live next." Last year, Powder placed Ogden second in its ranking of ski towns (this year, Snowbasin/Powder Mountain are fourth), based on a formula that factored skiable acres, annual snowfall, and skier visits." Snowbasin and Powder Mountain are located in the Ogden Valley, just through a canyon or over a pass, and 20 to 30 minutes, from Ogden.
Taylor has written an excellent, comprehensive article that is highly informative, from both an historical and contemporary perspective. Yes, he praises the amazing skiing and riding opportunities at Snowbasin with statements such as "3,000 acres of anything you'd want to ski - steep couloirs, well-spaced glades, open bowls, backcountry, and fast groomers," and Powder Mountain, extolling "lifts servicing 2,800 acres, another 1,900 served by snowcat and bus shuttle, a 3,000-acre cat skiing zone, and another 1,000 of backcountry touring."
But through stories of folks who have moved to the Ogden area, and are thrilled with their decisions, he puts in honest plug after plug for the lifestyle the area offers. "The girl moved here from Oregon in 2007. She's part of the Portlandification of Ogden - the young, educated, health-food eating, IPA-drinking, outdoorsy type that personifies Ogden's changing demographic. When she moved here, she bought a little brick house from the 1930s in one of the town's nicer neighborhoods for around $160,000." Mike Dowse, General Manager of AmerSports, the parent company of Atomic, Salomon and Suunto that moved to Ogden in 2006, is quoted by Taylor. "The cost of doing business here was substantially less - the lease rates were 30 to 40 percent lower than where we looked in other cities. Also, the cost of living for our employees was much more affordable here. A lot of our employees bought homes for the first time." Jared Allen, a local, extreme skier, who is pictured slashing through the area's epic powder in photos that accompany the article, offers his tale of good fortune to Taylor. "I saw that Salomon moved their headquarters up here. It forced us to take a closer look. Before we knew it, we were buying houses by the dozens." Taylor relates that Allen and his wife now own about 20 rental properties in Ogden, and they have paid as little as $20,000 to $30,000, with all the properties within a half hour of skiing.
Even with the volume of recent, terrific national publicity for the Ogden area and its lifestyle, real estate prices remain low. But with all the area has to offer - that won't last.