Nestled at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains in northern Utah, the city of Ogden began as a mountain trading post. But because of its location near the junction of America's two major railway routes, Ogden grew rapidly; until the 1980s it was the second-largest city in Utah after Salt Lake City. Now, although the railroad days are over, Ogden continues to attract new residents with its exciting recreational opportunities and solid business base. Ogden's approximately 80,000 residents enjoy a variety of weather conditions, with hot, dry summers, wet springs, and cool, snowy winters. As one of the principal cities that make up the Ogden-Clearfield Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes all of Weber, Morgan, and Davis counties), Ogden plays an important role in the region and shares many resources with its neighbors.
The city is roughly divided into north and south and has more than 30 designated neighborhoods, each with its own character.
Ogden's central business district hosts many important establishments, such as High Technology Center, River Project, Business Information Center (BIC), Mall Development Area and Municipal Gardens Amphitheatre.
In addition, there are 43 parks in Ogden on approximately 300 acres of land including 25 ball diamonds, 11 soccer fields, 11 basketball courts, 21 tennis courts, 24 playgrounds and 32 picnic shelters.
Once an important railroad town filled with livestock yards, canneries, flour mills, breweries, mills and hotels, Ogden became the site of several government installations during World War II. These include: the Army's Ogden Defense Depot, the Clearfield Naval Supply Center, and Hill Air Force Base, which is still in operation today, housing the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing. In recent years Ogden has grown into a diversified city with a modern business base. Nationally known companies with plants in Ogden include:
Utah is well-known for call centers, and Ogden plays its part with a Convergys customer service center. It is also home to a large Internal Revenue Service regional tax-processing center. Ogden also hosts several companies specializing in outdoor sports, such as:
Other major Ogden employers, each with more than 2,000 workers, include:
A restored historic business district, 25th Street is the heart of culture and entertainment in Ogden, offering chic shopping, fine dining, and an array of art galleries. The monthly First Friday Art Stroll is a popular attraction. Ogden hosts an array of cultural events throughout the year, including the Ogden Arts Festival, the Harvest Moon Festival, and Ogden Pioneer Days (complete with rodeo, parade, and fireworks). And for a taste of history and science, visit the following:
As for performing arts, Ogden has its own symphony, a ballet, an opera guild, and a theater company. There is plenty of media available in Ogden as well. Newspapers include the city's own publication, The Standard-Examiner, along with the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News. Add a variety of local and regional television outlets (including two public stations) and radio fare ranging from jazz to rock, sports to classical, and Ogden residents and visitors have plenty of interesting media sources for information and entertainment.
Another point of Ogden pride is Weber State University. Founded in 1889 by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the school (like the county itself and it major river) was named after John Henry Weber, an early fur trader. Today it is one of the major educational institutions in Utah, with programs that attract students from all across the United States, as well as international students.