Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, often shortened to Salt Lake or SLC, is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Utah. With a population of 189,899 as of the 2011 estimate, the city lies in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a total population of 1,145,905. Salt Lake City is further situated in a larger urban area known as the Wasatch Front, which has a population of 2,328,299. It is one of only two major urban areas in the Great Basin (the other being Reno, Nevada), and the largest in the Intermountain West.
The city was founded in 1847 by Brigham Young and his Mormon followers, who extensively irrigated and cultivated the arid valley. Due to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the city was originally named “Great Salt Lake City”—the word “great” was dropped from the official name in 1868. Although Salt Lake City is still home to the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), fewer than half the population of Salt Lake City proper are members of the LDS Church today.
Immigration of international LDS members, mining booms, and the construction of the first transcontinental railroad initially brought economic growth, and the city was nicknamed the Crossroads of the West. It was traversed by the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway, in 1913, and presently two major cross-country freeways, I-15 and I-80, intersect in the city. Salt Lake City has since developed a strong outdoor recreation tourist industry based primarily on skiing, and was host to the 2002 Winter Olympics. It is the industrial banking center of the United States.