The city of Provo is located a little more than 40 miles south of Salt Lake City. The city rests along the Wasatch Mountains, a mountain range that stretches from central Utah to the Idaho border. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, in 2006 the population of Provo was approximately 114,000. Provo is the third-largest city in Utah, and is only slightly smaller than the second-largest city, West Valley City.
Provo is the home to Brigham Young University--and a giant painted "Y" decorates a hill overlooking the town.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Provo enjoys a diverse economy. The area hosts the second-largest concentration of software technology companies in the United States, and has the third-highest number of high-tech companies. The city enjoys low unemployment rates, favorable tax laws, and a young, well-educated workforce. The largest employers in Provo represent several industries, including health care, education, and technology:
- Brigham Young University
- Alpine School District
- IHC Health Care Services
- Provo School District
- Nestle USA Food Group
While the city of Provo is best known as the home of Brigham Young University, the second-largest private university in the nation, Provo offers several other options for higher education:
- Utah Valley State College
- Provo College
- Stevens-Henager College
- Ameritech College
Provo is also home of the Missionary Training Center, the largest Latter-Day Saints missionary training center. Each week, hundreds of students enter the center for training before departing to become missionaries all over the world. Instructors at the training center teach more than 60 different languages to prepare missionaries for the field.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
- Riverwoods: This is a largely residential neighborhood with some retail and fast-food restaurants.
- Westbridge: Westbridge is a middle- to upper-middle-class neighborhood with many single-family homes, retailers, and restaurants.
- Central Provo: Many of the residential homes in Central Provo are beautifully restored houses that demonstrate architectural details typical of Craftsman-style bungalows. Other homes showcase Victorian-era styles, while some of the old commercial buildings have been renovated into lofts and luxury condos. Central Provo is rapidly becoming the trendy neighborhood within the city.
Residents and visitors alike have plenty to choose from when shopping in Provo. From specialty stores to locally-owned boutiques, art galleries to national chains, there are plenty of retail opportunities for everyone. Malls in Provo include Provo Towne Centre and University Mall.
- Wasatch Range: The Wasatch mountain range represents the western edge of the Rocky Mountains and the eastern edge of the Great Basin region. The Wasatch Range is approximately 160 miles in length.
- Provo Utah Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: This temple is located close to Brigham Young University and is therefore one of the busiest temples associated with the LDS church.
- Bridal Veil Falls: Located in the Cullasaja Gorge, this is a waterfall that passes over a trail, allowing visitors to drive their vehicles directly underneath the waterfall.
- Hines Mansion: Designed by Karl August Kletting, the architect who designed the Utah State Capitol Building, this Victorian mansion was built in 1895 for Russell Spencer Hines. Hines, one of the area's first-generation gentry, acquired his fortune through mining and real estate ventures. Since the mid-1990s, the mansion has served as an upscale bed-and-breakfast.
- Utah County Courthouse: This Classical Revival structure is listed as a Utah historic site, and is also on the National Register of Historic Places. The building continues to function as the county courthouse.
- Peaks Ice Arena: This is the arena where the hockey games were played during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
- Reed O. Smoot House: Reed Smoot was a well-known U.S. senator who worked tirelessly for protectionism and was largely responsible for the Hawley-Smoot Tariff. The home where he resided from 1892 until his death in 1941 was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. The home is considered to be Victorian Eclectic, meaning it's a simple square block home that was embellished with Victorian flourishes.
- Maeser Elementary School: One of Provo's most beloved landmarks, this building was designed in 1898 by one of the most prolific Utah architects, Richard Watkins. It is no longer being used as a school.
- Ambrose P. Merrill House: Known for its unusual architecture, this bungalow has been the residence of several of Provo's prominent citizens, notable among them William Hornibrook, who served as an ambassador under President Woodrow Wilson.
- Regional Dance America Festival: This dance competition is held in May each year, and is designed to showcase many different styles of dance through performance and workshops.
- America's Freedom Festival at Provo: This annual event is part of Provo's Independence Day celebrations. The festival includes a Stadium of Fire held at BYU's LaVell Edwards Stadium.
- Blue Sky Concert Series: Held weekly throughout June and July, this concert series promotes local musicians with free shows held in Pioneer Park.
- Sego Music, Art, and Film Festival: Typically held in September, this festival celebrates creative artists working in various media. Visitors can expect to find live concerts and fantastic food.
- Christmas Cruise: This cruise invites visitors to climb aboard a riverboat for a ride down the lower Provo River. The cruise takes place each December, and is known for its holiday lights, music, and food.