From the earliest days of its settlement, Utah has encouraged artistic expression and appreciation. The Utah Arts Council is distinguished as the oldest state arts council in the nation, representing more than 400 organizations and groups for the performing, visual, and literary arts. The magnificent 2,800-seat Abravanel Hall and Art Center Complex as well as the elegant 2,000-seat Capitol Theatre are just two of the outstanding venues dedicated to the performing arts.

Talented performing companies and cultural organizations guarantee a calendar of world-class entertainment. One of the largest ballet companies in the nation, Ballet West attracts elite dancers from around the globe. Other popular groups include the Repertory Dance Theatre, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Pioneer Theatre Company, Ririe Woodbury Dance Company, Utah Opera Company, and the Utah Symphony.

Utah has always been associated with breathtaking scenery, dramatically diverse terrain, spectacular rock formations, deep gorges, rushing rivers and streams, and acres of virgin forest. Low humidity and high-mountain splendor combine to offer the “Greatest Snow on Earth.” The ideal skiing conditions of fresh powder and sunny skies draw residents and visitors to the state’s world-class resorts. So outstanding are these winter-sport facilities that the International Olympic Committee selected Salt Lake City as the site of the 2002 Winter Games.

The natural wonderland of Utah boasts five national parks, six national monuments, two national recreational areas, and nine million acres of national forests for virtually unlimited outdoor adventure and exploration. Nearly 80 percent of Utah’s land is publicly owned. Considered the cycling center of the United States, the state offers alpine vistas or red-rock beauty to mountain bikers and road cyclists. Idyllic settings are available for hiking, backpacking, rock-climbing, off-roading, horseback riding, boating, water-skiing, hot air ballooning, parasailing, skiing, snowmobiling, sledding, and skating.

The percentage of homeowners in Utah is high, encouraged by affordable housing and a wide selection of attractive homes. Newcomers can choose from charming older homes surrounded by mature greenery in established neighborhoods or newer construction. Spacious tri-levels in modern developments, sprawling ranch-style houses surrounded by generous acreage, horse properties, magnificent mansions, or handsome estates are all available in Utah’s blend of urban and rural areas.

Many of the quality of life distinctions that continue to attract new business to Utah serve as magnets for residential growth as well: The comparatively low cost of living, educational excellence, superb healthcare facilities, and the kaleidoscope of recreational and cultural opportunities. Little wonder that an exclamation point often follows the state name. For climbing the career ladder or speeding down the ski slope, the place to be is Utah!

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