Don’t come to Ogden expecting a typical mountain town. This is the place that al Capone said was too wild for his taste in the 1920s. And while we’ve replaced bootlegging, prostitution and gambling with events like the Olympic Winter Games, the Zions Bank Ogden Marathon, the Winter Dew Tour, the Xterra National Championships and Hurt in the Dirt, Ogden’s soul will always be a bit rowdy.
During the Zions Bank Ogden Marathon, you’ll see many of the reasons we’re so passionate about this area. Three major ski resorts lie within minutes of the marathon course. You’ll be running through and gazing at just a few of the 170,000 acres of National Forest that is adjacent to the course. Over 230 miles of US Forest Service maintained mountain biking, hiking and equestrian trails run through that forest.
From the mountain valley and rugged canyon course, you’ll descend into one of the most notoriously charming historical downtown areas around. For those unfamiliar with the Ogden area, the following provides a brief history. Additional information is available at visitogden.com where visitors can request a 100-page High Adventure Guidebook.
The first transcontinental railroad in the United States was ceremoniously completed on May 10, 1869. Ogden’s Union Station was the heart of a successful bid to become the primary junction for the railway. Union Station welcomed the world into Ogden for over 50 years, and Historic 25th Street rolled out before it like a red carpet.
Many travelers entered to do business, dine, catch up on local and national news and enjoy upscale shopping. Others came to frequent the houses of ill repute, gamble, trade off ill-gotten gains, drink and brawl at the lively saloons.
Conservative, devout and God-fearing Mormon pioneers originally settled most Utah communities. Our area traces its beginnings to fur trader Miles Goodyear, who established the trading post, Fort Buenaventura, in 1844. The town settled down for a bit following purchase of the fort by Mormon pioneers in 1847. Then, completion of the railroad in 1869 initiated long-standing political battles, invited successful and failed capital ventures and charged the city with on-going controversy. For a time, Ogden was a rough city, and 25th Street was the roughest part of all.
Ogden’s Renaissance began in the 1950s when Mayor Lorin Farr initiated efforts for a citywide cleanup. In the 1980s, economic reinvestment in the downtown area revitalized the fierce, independent, entrepreneurial heart of Ogden. Visionary and progressive business owners reopened shops along Historic 25th Street. Land developers built residences. Historic 25th Street has once again emerged as a vital economic and cultural center with a promising future.
Ogden is one of the “Best Places to Live 2010” says Men’s Journal. “Unpretentious and adrenalized” says Outside Magazine and listed in the top three towns in “Where to Live Now: The 20 Best Towns in America.” National Geographic Adventure, Rock and Ice, SKI and Sunset magazines have all also recently featured Ogden for its outdoor adventure opportunities. Forbes puts it in its top 25 places for business and careers. The New York Times travel section has featured Ogden multiple times in the last year. Global companies like Salomon, Atomic, Suunto and Scott have recognized what we have to offer and have relocated their companies and employees here.
For stories of bustling commerce, economic development and society highlights visit one of our many local historical attractions. For stories of underground tunnels, brawls and rowdy adventures visit with Historic 25th Street shopkeepers, examine suspect alleyways or stop in for a haircut from Willie at Moore’s Barbershop.
Our history is who we are, yet you can’t escape the outdoors indoors in Ogden. Visit the new Salomon Center at the Junction for indoor skydiving, surfing, and climbing. After working up an appetite, visit one of the great restaurants here to appease your hunger. This is our home and it is our sincere desire that you feel welcome here.
In closing, we welcome you to our community and are certain that you will love this event and want to participate every year! We look forward to seeing you at the Fun & Fitness Expo. An information booth will be located at the expo and we will be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.