To SLC or not to SLC?????


Original Post
Outdrgear · · Purcellville, VA · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 0

Hello All,

Not to beat a dead horse or anything (I know there have been many forum chains about this), but I am going to pose the question one more time. Should my wife and I move to SLC????

Backstory: My wife and I are in our earlyish 30s and are avid climbers first and foremost, and fill the rest of our time with road biking, skiing, and trail running. We lived in Boulder from 2011-2015, then moved to the Virginia after getting married to be closer to my family last year, then remembered how terrible it is here and have decided to move back out west. We would love to go back to Boulder because we have many friends there and lots of work option for myself (I work in the outdoor industry), but the Google and the tech industry has kind of F*CKED the housing market up for all us not rich outdoorsy types. We just don't know if we can stand to pay $350-$400K for a cracker box in Westminster. I also feel like the secret is out on how cool Colorado is and it feels crowded. I-70 on the weekend is practically a no go anymore and I heard they are going to put parking meters and 2 hour parking limits in Boulder Canyon (at least it feel like I'm trying to park at a shopping mall on black Friday now a days.)

So now we are looking into SLC. I have heard many positive and negative things about SLC and now I'm looking for first hand current experience there. I have read lots of older forums, but lots can change in a city in 5 or 3 or even a year so I'm curious what the vibe feels like now. FYI we are a non-LDS couple. Please fell free to chime in with your thoughts on inversion, weather in general, being a non-LDS couple, night life or lack there of (by night life I mean fun restaurants and breweries, not clubs, cant remember the last time I was up past 11:30), climbing community, traffic (this is a big one), bike commuting, best neighborhoods, crowds at crags, crime, and anything you think is valuable.

Thanks in advance on your thoughts!!

Creed A · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 680

You can't climb in the winter due to heavy snows. The inversion is nasty. The religion is oppressive. You can't get a drink anywhere. Crime is bad (my friend just got her car stolen.) The gyms are crowded. Traffic on I-15 is a nightmare.

I suggest Boulder, CO.

Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 5
C. Archibald wrote:You can't climb in the winter due to heavy snows. The inversion is nasty. The religion is oppressive. You can't get a drink anywhere. Crime is bad (my friend just got her car stolen.) The gyms are crowded. Traffic on I-15 is a nightmare. I suggest Boulder, CO.
I see what you did there :)
Outdrgear · · Purcellville, VA · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 0

I will take that as a thumbs up for SLC

Creed A · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 680

Damn. I guess I was too heavy-handed. ;)

Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 5
C. Archibald wrote:Damn. I guess I was too heavy-handed. ;)
You were OK up to the point where you suggested Boulder. HA!
Roy Suggett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 6,245

Maybe not Park City due to $, but the surrounding "suburbs" eg. Peoa, Oakley, etc.

You get out of the smog, traffic, crime, and good shopping. You get into good air, nearby crags (not posted yet), ski, mt. biking, car/moose impacts.

Only down side is the stuff you need to drive down the hill for. Oh, yes, it is a conservative majority up there. I have not, however, found that to be much of an issue.

Outdrgear · · Purcellville, VA · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 0

Yeah you should have said something like "the climbing's close and that's kind of nice" haha
But on a serious note, and I know you don't want anymore climbers takinging up routes, do you have any insight that might be helpful?

Cassidy Thomas · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 30

I'm a non-lds college student living near Westminster College in the Sugarhouse area. Salt Lake, particularly the sugarhouse area, could be described as a liberal bubble in a very conservative state. Personally, I don't feel affected by the prevalent religion or conservatism in the state, at least in the particular area I live. The outdoors are awesome, more climbing than you could do in a lifetime around here and the mountain biking in Park City is great. My only gripe is that I have to drive 30-45 minutes to access mountain biking I enjoy, but I grew up in Boise where I could ride off my porch and be on hundreds of miles of trails in 5 minutes, which isn't necessarily typical. In the Sugarhouse area there's a decent amount of breweries, bars, and pubs. Two of the most popular Wasatch Brewery and Sugarhouse Pub.

Klimbien · · St.George Orem Denver Vegas · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 140

SLC is the worst, don't do it!!!

zoso · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 425

I'm LDS and all I can say is we Mormon's are terrible terrible people. We hate everyone but our own little niche group of zealots. Also, rock climbing is generally considered evil so it's a sin for me to even be on this site and I refuse to associate with anyone who would drop the f-bomb. Cause that's skeery. And evil.

I suppose I'm a bit tainted though as I too live in the Sugarhouse area and frankly, religion doesn't seem an issue to me at all. Provo/Orem however, that place is really weird. People camped out for the opening of the first Krispy Kreme. Bunch of sheep over there, I don't get it. That said, Provo/Orem is great for back country skiing and ice climbing on Sunday since no one goes then.

As far as climbing, there's only one rock type and 2 routes. Then there's the gym. It's smelly.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 0

Please look at the other forums on this. SLC is a cool place. I ski every sat and sun because I live 20 minutes from snowbird. I climb after work in the summer because I live 20 minutes away. I went to moab/indian creek about once a month this year for weekend trips.

Mormons are chill. My neighbor mows my lawn and picks up my packages for me. They wont include you in their activities but you probably dont want to anyways.

Inversion...only notice it one-two weekends a year.

Lived in fort collins for 5 years. Developed a strong hate for the front range big time. Sick of so many people shitting on my home state.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 0

One more thing. I bought a 4 bedroom home on 1/3 acre. I live by myself with a mortgage around 1300 : P

Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,430

Everything is great in SLC for your stated criteria except for the air quality, which ranges from good to terrible and is generally bad in the winter except when it is snowing. The last few years haven't been too bad, but 4-5 years back there were several multiple week inversions that made slc look like the set for a nuclear holocaust movie. On the bright side, you just have to go up a thousand feet or so and you are out of it, and you'll be doing this all the time anyway to go skiing.

If walkability and urbanish living is important to you, you'll want to be north of I80 and east of I15. If living in a quieter neighborhood is ok look, at Millcreek, Holladay, Cottonwood Heights, parts of Murray, and Sandy. Pretty much everywhere else is suburban wasteland and farther away from the mountains, but if you are on a budget some parts of west valley city are ok and that is where all the best ethnic food in town is. Lots depends on your job - there are widely separated clusters of concentrated businesses/offices. Traffic is mostly a nonissue aside from I-15 during rush hour(and even that isn't as bad as I-25 in Colorado). Try to make your commute east-west and not north-south as much as possible.

Dylan Pike · · SLC, UT · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5

I moved to SLC a year ago and I love it. I can't imagine living in any other large city. The only thing better than salt lake would be moving to a small climbing town.

SM Ryan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,090

Moving to SLC is a decision you can reverse if you don't like it here. As mentioned above, the air quality is a huge negative and the one that makes me want to move after living here for 17 years.

Do you have employment opportunities here? Having a job you enjoy at a good company is a huge plus no matter the city you live in.

Are you considering buying a house here? Real estate in the neighborhoods, climbers or outdoor folks like is not exactly cheap. However, I would move and rent for a few months before pulling the trigger on buying a house.

Crime - no worse than a city of comparable size
Commute - all depends
Climbing - has not changed. Still awesome, relatively close, 3 gyms (Momentum - Millcreek, Sandy and the Front)

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Outdrgear wrote:I have read lots of older forums, but lots can change in a city in 5 or 3 or even a year so I'm curious what the vibe feels like now.
Frankly, not a lot has changed, so those threads from 1-3 years ago are still perfectly valid, so don't discount them. One change is that if anything, the restaurant scene is even more vibrant and diverse.

My capsule profile:
Born, raised, schooled in NJ.
Learned to climb in the Gunks and was a regular there from 73 - 2000.
After graduation from the Ag school at Rutgers and a year road trip, stayed in NJ for my first job for another 1.5 yrs.
Moved CT and lived there for 22 years.
Moved to SLC 16 years ago. Have never regretted it and would never consider living east of Denver ever again.
We're non-LDS, no kids, used to go to clubs (Toads Place in New Haven CT esp) but that has decreased (but not eliminated) now that we're in our 60's. None of that has ever been an issue.
Absolutely love it here. Have a 3 BR 3950 sq ft home (1640 sq ft is unfinished basement) with a 3-car garage on 0.47 acres on the east bench in Sandy near the Draper line. Current market value is around $475K. Taxes are ~$3500/yr.

PS: if you do want to see a particular band, never, ever go to In The Venue - worst club I've ever been to.
Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Andrew Gram wrote:Everything is great in SLC for your stated criteria except for the air quality, which ranges from good to terrible and is generally bad in the winter except when it is snowing. The last few years haven't been too bad, but 4-5 years back there were several multiple week inversions that made slc look like the set for a nuclear holocaust movie. On the bright side, you just have to go up a thousand feet or so and you are out of it, and you'll be doing this all the time anyway to go skiing. If walkability and urbanish living is important to you, you'll want to be north of I80 and east of I15. If living in a quieter neighborhood is ok look, at Millcreek, Holladay, Cottonwood Heights, parts of Murray, and Sandy. Pretty much everywhere else is suburban wasteland and farther away from the mountains, but if you are on a budget some parts of west valley city are ok and that is where all the best ethnic food in town is. Lots depends on your job - there are widely separated clusters of concentrated businesses/offices. Traffic is mostly a nonissue aside from I-15 during rush hour(and even that isn't as bad as I-25 in Colorado). Try to make your commute east-west and not north-south as much as possible.
+1 except for the east-west commute comments: it all depends where. The problem is that while we have multiple major north/south arteries, east/west really suffers. Sure, if you can use I-80, esp against the traffic, not a big deal. If you're trying to get to WVC from Millcreek on 45th South, that can take 50 minutes at rush hour.
Arthur · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 103

Definitely go to CO. It's super bad here. I myself was murdered just the other day.

Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,430
Marc801 wrote: +1 except for the east-west commute comments: it all depends where. The problem is that while we have multiple major north/south arteries, east/west really suffers. Sure, if you can use I-80, esp against the traffic, not a big deal. If you're trying to get to WVC from Millcreek on 45th South, that can take 50 minutes at rush hour.
That has not been my experience, and I frequently go to WVC from Millcreek at rush hour. I80 and 201 don't get jammed the way I15, I215, and bangerter do. If 45th is jammed, I just hop over to 39th, 33rd, 27th, etc. Rarely are they all clogged except the few blocks between I15 and state street. WVC is a bit of a mess now because of the construction on I215W, but hopefully that won't last too long. I80 never has traffic problems - my normal commute is from 1300E in millcreek to 5400 west by the airport, and the only times i am slowed down to anything like the speed limit is the short section on I15.

Agreed that In the Venue is horrible - I went to see Gogol Bordello there a few months ago, and i'm not sorry i did, but it has to be a band that i am really thrilled about before i'd even consider it. It isn't great once you are inside, but parking in and walking through the rio grande neighborhood is a horror show because of SLC's disgraceful homeless shelter problems. Hopefully the new shelters will help fix that, but it is a terrible problem in that part of town.
Ryan202 · · West Jordan, UT · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 10

I live in West Jordan.

East-West travel sucks on 6200 South. Taking the major arterials is much better (4500 S, 5400 S, 7800 S, 9000 S....).

Bought my house out there because it's cheaper for a bigger, newer home compared to Sugarhouse. My home was $190K built in '91. Sugarhouse is generally a minimum of $250K for a 1, maybe 2 bedroom home from the '70s that has much older appliances and walls. I'd be paying $350-$450K for a home like mine in Sugarhouse.

I am certainly willing to compromise on home items.
I am waiting to move to Sugarhouse, Holladay, Cottonwood Heights, somewhere over there. I really want to get on the east side; it's closer to everything that I do, and much easier on driving. I just have some major expenses coming up, otherwise I'd be gearing up to sell and buy a home.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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