Founded in 1847, Salt Lake City, often referred to as Salt Lake or SLC, is the capital of the state of Utah. Its metropolitan area counts approximately 1.2 million residents. Over the years it has developed a strong outdoor recreation tourism industry, ranging from mountain biking and wild water rafting in the summers to skiing in the winters.
In 2002, the University of Utah and Salt Lake City were the center of the world as the host of the 19th Olympic Winter Games. Rice Eccles Stadium, home of the Utes, was the host of the opening and closing ceremonies. While the newly built dorms housed the olympic athletes.
SLC is also the home of the NBA team the Utah Jazz and 2009 MLS Cup Champion Real Salt Lake. While the Salt Lake Bees compete in the Pacific Coast Triple A Baseball League as an affiliate of the MLB Anaheim Angels.
Salt Lake City International Airport, located only 4 miles from downtown, connects Salt Lake with the world and the rest of the United States. As Delta Airlines’ largest hub in the western United States, it has over 100 non-stop flights in the US, as well as many international destination that include Mexico, Canada, Paris (France) and Tokyo (Japan).
According to the 2007 State New Economy Index, Utah is ranked the top state in the nation for Economic Dynamism and in October 2010, Forbes ranked Utah #1 on their list of Best States for Business. As of 2008 Utah is the fastest growing state in the United States, mainly due to its solid economy, rapid growth, safe and clean environment and Salt Lake’s development into a modern metropolis.
But, Utah is mainly known for its natural diversity. It is the 3rd ranked state in the US with 5 national parks (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyon Lands and Capitol Reef) and furthermore hosts 6 national forests, 7 national monuments and well over 40 state parks.