In celebration of launching our second location in Utah County, we’re commemorating the cities and great things to do in the area. We thought we would start with the first city to the south of Salt Lake County, a place which is starting to rival Salt Lake City itself for business and living.
This is the city of Lehi, which sits at the center of Utah’s overall population. It was first settled in 1850, and became known as Lehi in 1852, named after a prophet in the Book of Mormon, one of the sacred texts used in the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose headquarters is a short drive to the north in Salt Lake. While Lehi is not the biggest city in Utah, it has experienced some of the greatest residential growth in recent memory, with the population more than doubling between 2000 and 2010, and tripling from 2000 to present day. Part of the city near the historic downtown is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and has everything from popular fairgrounds to quaint restaurants.
However, some would argue that there are two Lehi’s in one, and it’s not by class; rather, it’s by layout. The old downtown is nowadays a hidden gem and can take its time being laid-back, because most of the attention now is focused on the new, up-and-coming, booming business sector near the I-15 corridor and the Utah Transit Authority‘s FrontRunner commuter rail station. A wide array of businesses, from startups to restaurants to established corporate giants, now have their offices located in Lehi.
One panoramic look around this junction is all one needs to see a plethora of businesses: Adobe, Vivint Solar, Younique, Durham Jones & Pinegar, Kirton McConkie, and many others, all sit right around the freeway. Just up the hill is The Outlets at Traverse Mountain, a steadily-growing shopping complex with a hybrid indoor-outdoor design for its shops. Farther east are companies such as IM Flash, a joint venture between Micron and Intel. Surrounding all of them is a plethora of family- and business-friendly hotels from a variety of brands and companies, making it easy to stay.
If one has never been by this part of Utah before, it’d be safe to assume that the core of Lehi is all work and no play. However, there is plenty of play to do, and in Lehi it centers on the sprawling and beautiful campus of Thanksgiving Point. Founded in 1995 by Alan Ashton, the non-profit farm, garden, and museum complex has become a new north-central Utah treasure. Ashton is best known, originally, for being the co-founder of WordPerfect. After selling, he decided to open up the multi-purpose location by starting with a large garden, now known as Ashton Gardens.
Other prominent features at Thanksgiving Point include the Museum of Ancient Life and the Museum of Natural Curiosity. The former has one of the largest collections of mounted fossils in the world, and serves as a great learning gateway to the archaeological studies and history in Utah, while the latter is heavily oriented towards children and has a multitude of exhibits.
Thanksgiving Point is also home to the largest public golf course in Utah and was designed by Utah resident retired pro-golfer Johnny Miller. The campus is also home to special events and festivals, ranging from the annual Tulip Festival and Luminaria to corporate events, weddings, and high school prom.
Lehi has a lot to offer to the greater Salt Lake metro area as well as to Utah as a whole, what with being a part of the so-called Silicon Slopes. No longer just a bedroom community south of the “point of the mountain,” this ambitious and growing city is a great place to work, play, and live, featuring a little bit of everything for everyone.