Blog Post

Imagine Utah’s Next 50 Years

By: Natalie Gochnour

Originally published in the Deseret News

In 1966, Utah reached the 1 million population milestone. Community leaders celebrated the achievement by greeting Utah’s newest resident — dubbed “Mr. Million” – with a 60-piece band as he stepped off the airplane. Since then Utah has added another 2 million people, and projections released last week by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute suggest another 2.5 million new residents over the next 50 years. It begs the question, what does the future portend for the Beehive State?

There are some things we know with a great deal of certainty. Baby boomers will continue to age, and Utah’s population, like that of the nation, will continue to become older. The median age is projected to increase by about nine years.

Even more revealing is the projected number of centenarians (people at least 100 years old), which is expected to increase from about 330 Utahns today to approximately 6,840 by 2065. Seniors will become a much larger and vital part of Utah.

There are other things we don’t know with certainty, but are open for speculation. This is where our purposeful actions as sentient beings take form. It’s also where the fun begins. Let’s imagine a few things.

Imagine a new ski resort in Salt Lake Valley’s Oquirrh Mountains. Rising just west of Magna from a base of 6,200 feet to 9,350 feet, this new resort would have a similar vertical drop to Park City with unbeatable access. It would b