Sandy, Utah. Salt Lake City: Our Home, Part 17

In search of a big sporting event? Look no further than Rio Tinto stadium in Sandy. Photo credit: riotintostadium.com
In search of a big sporting event? Look no further than Rio Tinto stadium in Sandy. Photo credit: riotintostadium.com

The Salt Lake valley has experienced a great deal of growth within the last several decades, and much of this has occurred within the Salt Lake City suburbs even as the city itself continues to expand its international profile. These suburbs contribute greatly to the expansion of the metro area, and one in particular has quietly grown in business, population, and importance. This would be the City of Sandy, nicknamed the “Heart of the Wasatch.”

The source of the city name is still disputed. One theory relates back to Brigham Young’s description of the area’s soil composition, as it was not great for farming. The other is related to the nickname of an immigrant who built the first railroad line to the area. While these developments did not help Sandy grow, the development of the mining industry in Little Cottonwood Canyon did, as the city became a transport hub for mining materials traveling to other points of the valley and beyond. Eventually the mines ran out, but Sandy’s residents adapted to the changing economic and continued to utilize the rail infrastructure to thrive. It changed from boomtown to peaceful suburb, and was incorporated as a city in 1893, three years prior to Utah gaining statehood.

More recently, Sandy has become home to more service-based industry and quiet residential areas, as well as serving as a skiing gateway. Alta and Snowbird, two of the world’s best ski areas, are mere minutes from the center of Sandy. In fact, it’s the closest city to both of them. Since 1939, prospective skiers have traveled through Sandy to get to Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon; Snowbird opened its doors in 1971. One could say that the city of Sandy is indeed the gateway to The Greatest Snow on Earth.

In fact, sports and Sandy go hand in hand. Besides close access for skiing, the city is also home to Rio Tinto Stadium. Visible from miles away, Rio Tinto hosts games and concerts throughout the year and is a major attraction to the city. The main events are the Major League Soccer games of Real Salt Lake, one of the dominant MLS teams in the nation. The stadium also plays host to the new professional women’s team, Utah Royals FC, beginning their inaugural season in Sandy. Soccer is already a popular sport amongst Utah youth, and the professional teams based in Sandy further its popularity across the Wasatch Front.

Some of Sandy’s best known people, and alumni of Alta High School, are Derek and Julianne Hough, the brother and sister dance duo who have appeared on Dancing with the Stars and various other media over the years. The Hough siblings reflect the dedication to the arts across Utah as well as Sandy in particular. This includes the stunning Mountain America Performing Arts Center of Hale Centre Theatre, a monument to the beauty of stage productions, which is home to family-oriented shows and entertainment portrayed by talented local actors and actresses. Additionally, Sandy is home to its own choir and orchestra, the American West Symphony and Choir, performing a wide variety of classical and contemporary repertoire for the community.

Sports and arts are just the start for the draw to Sandy. It is also home to the expansive Mountain America Expo Center, which hosts the annual Salt Lake Auto Expo and a variety of other events. The South Towne Auto Mall is a large conglomerate of car dealerships which cater to all different brands and vehicle needs. Adjacent to it are The Shops at South Town, the largest mall on the southeastern side of the Salt Lake valley, and a centerpiece of one of Sandy’s newest developments, The Cairns. Even the Larry H. Miller Group has its headquarters here.

If any of the above about the city of Sandy is of any interest, it’s easily accessible from around the rest of the area. The legacy of the aforementioned railroad continues with the installation of Utah Transit Authority (UTA)’s TRAX system, extending north and west to Salt Lake City and the neighboring suburbs. I-15 connects the area by car with the rest of the valley and beyond.

Not that residents seem to be leaving, though. Sandy is a picturesque, growing, and thriving city in Utah, and we at VIP Limousine are happy to serve the area and partake of its various offerings.

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