Anyone who lived in Ogden 20 years ago can remember the state of the City at that point, the scarcity of jobs, the low income median, the doubt that plagued the corners of any conversations about the future of the city. Our chamber of commerce knew that we had issues, they thought of ways to turn things back from where they looked the bleakest, and wondered what could be done to bolster the lives of the people who chose to still live in the area, even when many were packing bags and heading elsewhere.
And the turning point came during the Salt Lake City hosted Winter Olympics. We knew that even without the means of attractive jobs, or high income normalcy, one thing that Ogden had in spades, was natural beauty. There’s a reason why it was chosen as a railway stop over 200 years ago, and a reason why even in the worst of times, there were still people here choosing to remain, we has a beautiful city. And anyone who steps within the borders of Ogden can attest, when it comes to natural scenery surrounding a place, Ogden is truly rich.
Yet, our council had to find a way to capitalize on that, and it came in the form of hosting a downhill ski event. It brought many people to the area, to finally see what it was about Ogden that made it so beautiful, and caught the eyes of business owners, which is exactly what the council was hoping for. Stage two of that plan was that once the eyes were set, to move in with the approach of bringing more business to the area. Much like a carefully laid mousetrap, we used the beauty of the area to draw in the right attention.
Since that point there have been many business discussions, many incentives put into place to make the Ogden area as attractive as possible to incoming businesses, and so far, it has worked like a charm. We have had the ability to land small, but well-paying roles within the city, raising our median income, and bringing more attraction to those looking to make decent money while living in a beautiful place. We have been in Forbes lists on places to raise a family, and more accolades seem to be coming every year, all on the back of our beautiful backdrop.
We feel that this is symbolic to Ogden, to feel like being at a point of having nothing, but then looking around and finding opportunity everywhere. We turned to the natural beauty of our city to round the bend on the state that we were in, yet even if we didn’t have those mountains to fall back on, you could be sure that there would be another means. We fortunately have savvy people who care about our city in charge, and each step is a measured on that works to benefit everyone within the city, if there’s a better example to lead by, we’re not sure what it is.