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Guides » City Guide

City Guide 2016

The source for life in Salt Lake City



Time flies. I could have sworn that the phrase originated with Benjamin Franklin, but he didn't say it. What he did say was, Lost time is never found again. I think that's pretty much the same thing—but it's not.

No matter. In either case, the City Weekly staff brilliantly captured the essence of Five-Dollar Franklin with this annual issue of City Guide (which began in 2002). Not only is this issue itself Almanack-themed—a la Ben's famous Poor Richard's Almanack of the 1700s—it's been designed to reflect all things city and urban—not the rural farmstead, as it is traditionally done. Well, sure, we have a weather forecast (thanks, Sterling Poulson), but not to show you the best times to plant your beets or crop your hay. Rather, it's to tell you the best times to get out and enjoy our city and outdoor environs the modern way—on a bike, in the hills, strolling a park, hoisting a beer, nibbling from a picnic basket, listening to your favorite band, singing along with your sweetie pie and, of course, giving you insights to the best time to swipe your eggs from your backyard chickens and the proper feeding times for your lovely ferret.

John Saltas
  • John Saltas

It's amazing anyone here even thought of an almanac-themed issue, still only a couple of us still remember that rainy day when we joined Ben for some electrifying kite flying. Quite a storyteller, that Ben. Most of the staff at our 32-year-old alternative newsweekly is younger than City Weekly itself—and while it's discouraging that I'm getting old, it's encouraging that there's a bright future not just for them but for all of you reading this now. You can count on City Weekly to continue giving you insights to all of the very best things to do in this great place we call Zion. Or Utah. Or whatever.

I hope you enjoy the 2016 edition of City Guide. With that, I leave you with a quote oft-attributed to Ben—even though the word bacterium wasn't coined until after his demise—but it pretty well sums up how we all feel as we publish this repository of city tales: "In wine, there is wisdom, in beer, there is freedom, in water, there is bacteria." 

—Richard Saunders
aka John Saltas


Feb. 29: Leap Day
More information at

March 13: Daylight Saving Time begins
Set clocks ahead one hour at 2 a.m.

March 19: Vernal Equinox
10:30 p.m. Daytime and nighttime are both about 12 hours long. The Sun rises due east and sets due west on the equinox date.

May 5: Eta Aquarids meteor shower
Peak: May 6. For more information, visit

June 20: Summer Solstice
4:34 p.m. The Sun is at its highest point in the sky around noon at about 23.5 degrees north of the celestial equator. The Sun rises its farthest north of east and sets its farthest north of west. Daytime is near its longest and nighttime near its shortest.

July 4: Aphelion
Earth's farthest distance from the Sun, at 10:24 a.m.

July 28: Delta Aquarids meteor shower
Midnight. More information here:

Aug. 12-14: Perseids meteor shower
Perseids are visible from mid-July through Aug. 24. Look for them at their peak after moonset and before dawn Aug 12-14. Visit

Sept. 22: Autumnal Equinox
8:21 a.m. Daytime and nighttime are both about 12 hours long. The Sun rises due east and sets due west on the equinox date.

Nov. 6: Daylight Saving Time ends
Set clocks back one hour at 2 a.m.

Dec. 21: Winter Solstice
3:44 a.m. The Sun is at its lowest point in the sky around noon at about 23.5 degrees south of the celestial equator. The Sun rises its farthest south of east and sets its farthest south of west. Daytime is near its shortest and nighttime near its longest.

Utah 2016 Holidays (dates observed)
(Note: Not only are city, county and state offices off for these holidays, but Utah liquor stores are closed)
New Year's Day .................................. Jan. 1
Martin Luther King Jr. Day .................. Jan. 18
Presidents Day .................................... Feb. 15
Memorial Day ..................................... May 30
Independence Day ............................... July 4
Pioneer Day (observed)........................ July 25
Labor Day ........................................... Sept. 5
Columbus Day .................................... Oct. 10
Veterans Day ...................................... Nov. 11
Thanksgiving Day ................................ Nov. 24
Christmas Day (observed).................... Dec. 26
2016 Election Days and Statehood Day
Primary Election Day ........................... Jun. 28
General Election Day ........................... Nov. 8
Utah Statehood Day ............................ Jan. 4
On Jan. 4, 1896, President Cleveland proclaimed Utah the 45th state of the Union. It only took 50 years from the time when the first Mormon pioneers settled the area. The state had to outlaw polygamy before it could achieve statehood—no small feat.

Mormon Holy Days
Sunday: For Mormons, the Sabbath is an entire day of rest and worship.
Monday evenings: Spent at home with family as part of "Family Home Evening."
Holy Days: Easter and Christmas. Also, Pioneer Day, celebrated on July 24th, honors the arrival of pioneers in 1847 into the Salt Lake Valley. Not only is it a state holiday, it has religious significance.

Other important dates for Mormons
Birthdate of Joseph Smith Jr. ...........Dec. 23, 1805
Smith was LDS Church prophet/founder/president. He died June 27, 1844, in Carthage, Ill.
Birthdate of Brigham Young .............Jun. 1, 1801
Young was the second LDS Church president and settler of the American West. He died in Salt Lake City in 1877.
Founding of the LDS Church ........................................................................................... Apr. 6, 1830

By the Numbers
Salt Lake City Latitude 40°45'0"North Salt Lake City Longitude 111°53'0"West
Elevation 4,226 feet
Salt Lake City 2014 population (estimated): 190,884 up 2.4 percent since 2010
Utah 2014 population (estimated): 2,942,902
The state's five-year growth rate ranks Utah fourth in the nation.
Salt Lake City median age: 30.9
Salt Lakers who are female: 48.7 percent
Salt Lakers (25 or older) with a bachelor's degree or higher, 2009-2013 41.2 percent
Mean travel time to work, workers age 16+, 2009-2013 19.6 minutes
Median SLC household income, 2009-2013 $45,862
Salt Lakers living below poverty level, 2009-2013 19.9 percent

Salt Lake City Ethnicity by the Numbers
White 75.1 percent
Black or African American 2.7 percent
American Indian 1.2 percent
Asian 4.4 percent
Pacific Islander 2.0 percent
Two or More Races 3.7 percent
Hispanic or Latino 22.3 percent
Foreign born persons, 2009-2013 17.2 percent
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Real Estate by the Numbers
Salt Lake City homes sold in 2015 4,711
up 12.57 percent from 2014
Median price in 2015, Salt Lake City homes $251,000
up 7.26 percent from 2014
Source: Wasatch Front Regional MLS

Average Price of Homes in 2015 by County
Salt Lake County $248,000
Utah County $222,000
Davis County $229,000
Weber County $170,000
Source: Urban Utah Homes & Estates

LGBT Salt Lake City by the numbers:
Percentage of Salt Lake City residents who self-identify as LGBT: 4.7
Salt Lake City ranks seventh in the country of the 50 largest metro cities in its LGBT population 2012-14.
Source: 2015 Gallup poll

Booze by the Numbers
Utah is one of 19 states with state-controlled liquor sales. In 2015, the average Utahn (per capita) consumed 2.76 gallons of alcohol, up slightly from 2.65 gallons in 2014.
Number of liquor stores statewide: 44
Number of Salt Lake County bars, taverns, clubs and restaurants licensed to serve alcohol, wine and beer: 857
Number of liquor manufacturers in Utah as of December 2015: 51
12 distilleries, 15 wineries and 24 breweries

Utah Loves Wine
Average consumption per capita:
Wine 1.129 gallons


Utah Favorite: Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve chardonnay

Spirits .962 gallons
Utah Favorite: Barton's Vodka

Heavy Beer .584 gallons
Utah Favorite: Squatters Hop Rising Double IPA

You're Welcome, Governor
In 2015, Utah liquor sales produced $156.9 million in profit for the state (an 8 percent rise from the previous year)—bestowing $41 million on the school-lunch program and DUI enforcement, generating $20.1 million in sales tax and giving $95.4 million back to the state.
Source: Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

By Sterling Poulson, KUTV2 meteorologist
To set the record straight, inversions are not man made. Inversions occur when cold air at the surface is trapped below a layer of warm air in the atmosphere. Normally, the air gets colder as you go higher into the air, so at the surface, it may be 90 degrees, and at 35,000 feet, it may be -20.
With an inversion, the opposite is true. Temperatures at the surface will be in the 20s, while higher up in the mountains it may be in the 40s or even 50s.

In mountainous regions of the world, valleys are the prime reason for inversions during the winter season. Cold air gets trapped at the surface, usually when high pressure builds over the area, and there is very little mixing of the atmosphere. Snow-covered areas can create even colder conditions, and before you know it, the air is stagnant and moves like molasses.

Before man showed up in Utah, inversions were basically invisible, unless fog or low stratus clouds became trapped in the inversion. Now that we have industry, automobiles, airplanes, refineries, etc., all of those pollutants get trapped in the inversion, and suddenly you can see the inversion filled with pollution. It takes winds aloft over 60 mph, or surface winds in advance of an approaching storm, to scour out the pollution in the valleys after the inversion breaks. Mountain valleys hold the inversion hostage, like a big bowl, until enough movement of the air or heating from the sun returns the air to its normal state.

Sterling Poulson's 2016 Weather Data and Forecast
Long-range predictions from the Climate Prediction Center are leaning toward a wetter than normal spring for Utah, especially the southern two-thirds of the state. We should experience near-normal or slightly-above-normal temperatures through May, and a hotter-than-normal summer could be looming as well. I agree with this trend based on the very progressive long-wave patterns we have already experienced so far this year. This very progressive wave pattern over the northern hemisphere should give us a better snowpack this spring, and begin to recharge the drought-stricken aquafers. This means that the ground-water should be recharged a bit, helping us in the dry months of summer.

Salt Lake City Weather
January average high (degrees F): 37.4
January average low: 21.6
July average high: 92.6
Average no. of 100 degree days: 3
July average low: 64.7
Average annual snowfall (inches): 56.2
Average annual precipitation (inches): 16.10
Average date of the first frost: Oct. 19
Average date of the last frost: April 23
Source: Salt Lake City, National Weather Service Forecast Office.

Salt Lake City's Sunny Days vs. Cloudy Days 66 percent possible sunshine from 64 years of data. This means that 240.6 days of the year will see sunshine.
Source: National Climatic Data Center

Salt Lake City's Average Annual Wind Speed: 8.6 mph Compared with Ogden: 10.7 mph and Milford: 10.5 mph)
Source: Western Regional Climate Center

Hour of earliest sunrise: 5:56 a.m. MDT middle of June

Hour of latest sunset: 9:03 p.m. MDT end of June
Source: U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Dept.


My No.1 tip to those new to the Utah political scene is this: Our liquor laws are really weird. But you can actually find a drink here—if you try.

To better understand state politics, my favorite resource is the legislative website (, where you can read bills, listen to committee meetings and floor time—past and present—and find out about your legislators. That, and political blogs, of course:, and

My favorite political book is specifically for women in politics: Every Day Is Election Day: A Woman's Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House by Rebecca Sive.

I'm on the board and active with Real Women Run and the Women's Leadership Institute. If you couldn't tell, I strongly believe we need more women running for political office. I found political mentors when I got started in the political scene 15 years ago. Anyone who is interested in getting involved can find mentors, too. There are lots of people in the political scene willing to help.

The Utah Legislature by the Numbers

By Holly Richardson, candidate, former state legislator and blogger
  • By Holly Richardson, candidate, former state legislator and blogger

The state Legislature convenes at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on the fourth Monday of January and ends 45 days later.
Number of state legislators: 104
29 Senators; 75 Representatives
2016 party breakdown: 87 Republicans, 17 Democrats
2016 by gender: 88 men; 16 women (6 Senators, 10 Representives)
Bills proposed at the onset of the 2016 session: 1,200-plus
Number of bills passed over the past three years:
2015: 528
2014: 486
2013: 524


A staple in Utah cuisine is a creamy, cheesy potato dish prepared casserole-style and served at potlucks and, yes, funerals, hence the name: Funeral Potatoes. City Weekly's dining critic Ted Scheffler improved on the model with this potatoes au gratin recipe:

On holidays like Memorial Day—when I'm usually tending to the barbecue or smoker—I like to serve side dishes that can be prepped in advance and that don't require space on the grill, which is usually taken up with meats, chicken and the like. This recipe for creamy, cheesy potatoes au gratin is the perfect solution. You can do all the prep work early in the day, or even the night before, and then just bake in the oven an hour before mealtime.

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced very thin
2 cups heavy cream
leaves from 4-5 thyme sprigs
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (don't skimp on the cheese and use something inferior)
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Peel and slice the potatoes almost paper thin. You could do this with a knife, but it's much quicker and easier with a mandolin or V-slicer. Place the potato slices in a large bowl.
Combine the potatoes with all the other ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and 1 tablespoon of the chives for later use. Top the potatoes with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
Remove the potatoes au gratin when the gratin is bubbly and the potatoes are tender. I usually turn on the broiler briefly at the end of the cooking time to nicely brown the potatoes and give the dish a little crust.
Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of minced chives. Serve with your favorite entree and enjoy!


Utah Jazz (NBA basketball)
Real Salt Lake (MLS soccer)
Utah Grizzlies (ECHL ice hockey
Salt Lake Bees (Triple A, PCL-League baseball)
University of Utah Utes (PAC 12 sports teams)

Living Traditions Festival May 20-22
Utah Pride Festival June 2-6
Utah Arts Festival June 23-26
Twilight Concert Series Thurs. evening
July 21-Sept. 1
City Weekly's Utah Beer Fest Aug. 27
Utah State Fair Sept. 8-18
Greek Festival Sept. 9-11