Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ogden Utah Judged Retirement Paradise, Ski and Recreational Mecca

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THE NEWS

Where to Retire magazine has just anointed Ogden, Utah, "exhilarating" and a top choice as a place to retire.  This comes on the heels of Powder Magazine and National Geographic Online both judging Ogden one of the top ski and recreational towns in the country. 

It seems the favorable publicity for Ogden and the adjacent Ogden Valley is everywhere these days. There have been numerous national articles about the Summit Group's purchase of Powder Mountain, their development plans, and favorable odds for a big jump in real estate prices linked to the development and attendant publicity.  Wolf Mountain, the smallest of the three Ogden Valley ski resorts, was just purchased and a major development is rumored there.  Snowbasin, the spectacular and elegant ski resort that perches above the Ogden Valley and hosted the downhills, super-gs and the combined in the 2002 Winter Olympics, may be ready to act on the base development phase of their master planPowder Magazine recently judged Ogden one of the top two "ski towns" in the US, and there have been similar articles praising the area in a number of national publications.

And now, Where to Retire magazine's current issue pictures recent retirees to Ogden on it's cover next to the statement "Limitless Recreation in Exhilarating Ogden"  The multi-page article inside the publication was written by Jean Arthur.  The heading on the first page states "Statistics report low unemployment and a growing population in this snow-wrapped, mountainous Utah city.  The ski slopes in Ogden are Olympics-worthy, yet the area is affordable and friendly, retirees say."

Arthur interviews a number of recent retirees, among them John Durig, who recently moved to the Ogden Valley.  Durig told the author, "This is where I want to live!  Skiing brought us to Utah.  New friends and new recreational activities have kept us here."  Durig, 60, also states in the article, "Snowbasin is not crowded and it's a great mountain.  The Ogden Valley is very affordable compared to Colorado or Park City, (UT).  In addition, another ski area, Powder Mountain, is 10 miles away.  We live among what we consider two world-class resorts, both within 10 miles from home."

Jan Zehner, whom Arthur reports came to Ogden after a career in the U.S. Diplomatic corps, is also quoted.  "I learned to ski in the Alps.  My first day at Snowbasin Resort, I said I wanted to spend the rest of my life skiing here."  Arthur reports that "Jan not only skis five days a week, he snowshoes, plays pickleball and hikes.  He and his significant other explore the rugged backcountry on snowshoes by winter and hiking boots by summer."

According to the article, there are many reasons that are attracting retirees to Ogden and the Ogden Valley.  The crime rate and cost of living are both low.  Salt Lake International Airport is less than an hour away, and Weber State University, with 26,000 students, offers continuing education and cultural opportunities.  Hill Air Force Base provides military retirees significant amenities, there are numerous parks, a nature center, music festivals and concerts, numerous and affordable golf courses, Pineview Resevoir in the Ogden Valley, and proximity to Utah's 43 state parks, seven national monuments and five national parks.  The economy is vibrant, with full and part time employment opportunities.

And once again, there is the extraordinary variety of recreation.  Arthur quotes Dawn Lowery, who came to Ogden with John Durig, "We absolutely love it here.  When we're not skiing, we are biking and hiking.  A bike path runs right by the house.  The reservoir is five minutes away.  Several hiking trailheads are within a two-minute drive."  The article also includes a statement from Rich Koski, a representative of the visitor's bureau, "Many of us move to Ogden because of the limitless recreational opportunities."  He and his wife, Carol, retired and relocated from Minnesota in 2003.  They both work part-time and told Arthur they enjoy the areas exceptional skiing, hiking, kayaking and fly-fishing.

With all the Ogden area has to offer, the low housing and property prices probably won't last through too much more publicity that bestows such high praise on the available lifestyle.