Off the Beaten Path in Utah

[Ogden, UT, Oct 2-3, 2019]

A work trip for the professional organization I am on the board of brought me to the small town of Ogden, UT – population 85,000. It was the first permanent settlement by people of European descent in Utah and was established in 1846. Up until the 1980s, Ogden was the second-largest city in Utah after Salt Lake City and as such has many historic buildings. Right next to my hotel in downtown Ogden I stumbled upon one of them – the Egyptian theater. Built in 1924, it was inspired by the Egyptian theater in Los Angeles. It made sense – the 1920s were a time when the world was obsessed with Egypt due to the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922.

Around the same time, during Prohibition, Ogden became popular with bootleggers and was home to a whole street of speakeasies on what is now historic 25th Street. That was one street over from our hotel, and that’s where we happened to grab dinner on our first night here without even knowing the town’s history. The pub we picked, The City Club, was a unique Beatles-themed bar.

Today, Ogden is a gateway to the ski resorts in the Wasatch mountain range and is home to Weber State University, which is hosting the Higher Education Data Warehouse (HEDW) conference next year. I’ve been attending that conference for years, and I excited to get elected on the HEDW board this year. This means I get to help plan next year’s conference, which is what we’re here to do over the next few days.

The next day was our first full day in Utah. We spent the majority of it at the Eccles Conference Center, which is where the conference sessions will be held next year.

Luckily, we were not holed up there all day. In the morning, we checked out the Weber County Ice sheet, which will be the location for the conference opening reception. We’ll get to try curling and ice skating here! The five Oympic rings were everywhere, it seemed – remnants of the 2002 Winter Olympics, which Salt Lake City and cities in the vicinity hosted.

Our second outing was on the Weber State campus where we got to take some professional headshots for our website. I’ve been seeing red and yellow trees in the mountains in the distance up to now. But on campus I finally got to see some changing leaves up close!

To end the day, we went through Ogden canyon up to Wolf Creek resort, a planned community and golf course in the mountains near Ogden. We had dinner at the restaurant there, Links Bistro, which was phenomenal. The views from there were amazing! Ogden’s small town charm was starting to grow on me!

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