Two New Top Rankings

The Provo area placed at the top of two new national rankings this past week. We are the:
  • #1 top metro area for projected percentage growth according to Pitney Bowes Software.
  • #4 city where startups are thriving according to CNNMoney.
Congratulations, Provo businesses and residents! You chose a good place to be.

Fourth Most Competitive Metro

Photo by Tosh Metzger
More good news about our area: As Jim Dalrymple pointed out on his blog and the Deseret News later reported, the Provo-Orem metro area has been named fourth in the nation for competitiveness (gaining a larger share of total job creation) by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.  Good job! Now get back to work.

Top 10 Downtowns and Vocal Point Giveaway

Photo by Tosh Metzger
I just learned that Provo made Liveability.com’s list of Top 10 Downtowns for 2012. We’re actually number eight out of the 500 cities evaluated in the country. You can read all about the ranking here.
To celebrate, I’m giving away two sets of tickets to see Vocal Point at the Covey Center for the Arts, one each for Friday and Saturday, November 16 and 17, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. To enter, you have to promise to go to a downtown Provo restaurant before the show. Leave a comment below telling me which restaurant you would go to and why. I’ll pick a random winner next week.

Update: The winners are Jody (for Friday) and Tim (for Saturday). Congratulations! I guess you’ll be enjoying Black Sheep Cafe and Banana Leaf. Call my office and give us your full names so we can have the tickets waiting for you at the box office. 801-852-6100.

Provo Recognized by the National Press for Being Recognized by the National Press

It’s not unusual for me to be contacted by media outside Utah. They generally want to know what it is that makes Provo show up on almost every major ranking dealing with quality of life. What is unusual for me is when the person making the call really takes the time to understand our “secret sauce.”
Several weeks ago I was interviewed by Stephen C. Fehr who writes for The Pew Center and former editor of the Washington Post. Stephen took the time to visit Provo, walk our streets, talk to our residents, and meet with me at some length. After all of his research what did he find? I’ve listed some highlights below. I hope you’ll take the time to read his entire article.
“The sluggish recovery is loaded with gloom and doom stories but this is not one of them. Instead, it is about a slice of the country that has outperformed other regions, lifting its state economy at the same time.
Name a “best places” list and chances are Provo and Utah are on it.
What gives Provo — and Utah — an edge over most places is a tradition of shrewd financial management, which includes holding down spending and borrowing, keeping taxes and wages low and maintaining budget reserves for emergencies.”

Another No. 1 Ranking: Giving

Timpview High School students helped me fill the truck with food for the food bank two years ago.
Within the last month, the Provo-metro area got another high ranking: first in the country for charitable giving. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, out of 366 cities, we were number one based on percentage of income given per household. On average, people in our area give 13.9% to charity. You can read more about it here.
Speaking of giving, this Saturday is the annual statewide churches’ food drive known as the “Alliance for Unity Food Drive”.
Community Action Services and Food Bank is the food bank that serves Utah County. Their food supplies and canned goods are running very low and the need is great. The demand peaks around November and December, so they need to stock up. Please watch for opportunities to donate in your neighborhood.

CORRECTION: The food drive is on Saturday, September 29.

The Young and the Not-So-Young All Love Provo


Our string of number #1 rankings keeps growing. Last week Provo was named by Mulitfamily Executive as the youngest city in America, with a median age of 23.3. Since rankings are often based on metro-areas, they probably factored in  Eagle Mountain, which has an average age of 20.3 years.
And today we were named by the Milken Institute as the number one place to age. Why? For several reasons, including our healthy, active lifestyles; access to quality care and other services; vibrant economy; and safety, security, and sense of community.
According to the study, many seniors live with their children. I bet it’s to spend more time with their grandchildren. I’m not ready to admit that I’m a senior yet, but I can relate.P.S. You can read the Daily Herald story about this new ranking here. Kudos to our Parks & Recreation staff that runs the Eldred Senior Center. The photo in the story was taken at the Eldred Senior Center the day the ranking came out.

No Surprise Here

One thing is becoming very predictable. Whenever a ranking is compiled dealing with quality of life or great places to live and raise a family, the Provo metro area seems to always be near the top of the list.
Forbes just released their list of “Best Places for Raising a Family.” Provo is ranked 3rd in the entire United States. They looked at seven areas: median income, overall cost of living, housing affordability (what percent of the market is affordable to a family at the median income), commuting delays, percentage of families owning homes, crime rate and education quality (mainly test scores).
Forbes points out that  no major metro has a lower crime rate.
PS. Although I love to take all the credit for Provo, in reality the findings are based on our metro area which includes our neighboring cities.

Number One Again

Congratulations, Provo! You consistently rank high in comparison to other cities across the country, and you’ve done it again. The Provo-Orem metro area was recently recognized for the following attributes:

Here’s a longer list of Provo’s rankings over the last few years. Even when the city goes up and down between years, it’s significant that it remains in the top 10.

  • #1 volunteering (Corporation for National and Community Service; June 2010, August 2011)
  • #1 most optimistic (Gallup-Healthways; March 2011 and 2012)
  • #1 quality of life (Bizjournals.com; March 2009)
  • #2 for business and careers (Forbes.com; April 2010)
  • #2 for starting over (Bloomberg Businessweek; June 2009)
  • #3 for business and careers (Forbes.com; June 2011)
  • #3 for most liveable city (Forbes.com; April 2010)
  • #3 for educated job seekers (Brookings Institute; September 2011)
  • #4 for wellbeing (Gallup-Healthways; February 2010 and 2011, March 2012)
  • #5 for best places to raise a family (Forbes.com; June 2010)
  • #6 fastest growing (Census Bureau; March 2010)
  • #7 fastest growing (Census Bureau; March 2012)
  • #8 for starting over (The Daily Best; November 2011)
  • #9 best performing city (The Milken Institute; December 2011)
  • #10 for best jobs (Forbes.com; May 2011)
  • # 23 for collective brainpower (Portfolio.com; December 2010)

Provo Is a Better Place to Live Than Honolulu

We all know it, but it’s nice to see the rest of the world acknowledge it. The Gallup-Healthways annual poll for the highest well-being has once again ranked the Provo-Orem area as one of the top cities for well-being. Yes, even higher than Honolulu.
 The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is the first and largest survey of its kind, with 1,000 calls a day, seven days a week. It is designed to be the Dow Jones index of health.
Two years ago I was invited by Gallup to travel to DC to tell their organization what it is about Provo that makes us so great. How do you put into words what makes this such a great place to live? I did my best, but unless you live here, I don’t think anyone can fully understand why we love this area so much.

Utah Business Magazine’s Provo List

Provo is home to:
  • The 5th largest office park in Utah (Riverwoods Business Park)
  • Two of the 25 largest banks in Utah (Central Bank and Capital Community Bank)
  • The 9th and 17th largest SBA lenders in Utah (AmBank and Central Bank)
  • The 4th largest credit union in Utah (UCCU)
  • Three of the top ten insurance companies in Utah
  • The 15th largest hotel and three of the largest 25 meeting spaces in Utah
  • The 2nd largest professional employer organization in Utah (Employer Solutions Group)
  • The 3rd largest hospital in Utah (UVRMC)
  •  The 4th largest assisted living facility in Utah (Courtyard at Jamestown)
  • The 2nd largest e-commerce company in Utah (Ancestry.com)
  • The 4th largest institution of higher education in Utah (BYU)
  • The 5th largest public relations firm in Utah (Connect Public Relations)
  • The 4th largest chamber of commerce in Utah (Utah Valley Chamber)
  • The 2nd largest web design agency in Utah (Eli Kirk)
  • Five of the top 50 largest publicly traded companies in Utah (Nu Skin, Nature’s Sunshine, Ancestry.com, Alpine Air and Raser Technologies)
  • The 6th largest privately held company in Utah and four of the top 100 (Vivint)

Past Rankings

No Surprise Here

One thing is becoming very predictable. Whenever a ranking is compiled dealing with quality of life or great places to...

Number One Again

Congratulations, Provo! You consistently rank high in comparison to other cities across the country, and you've done it again. The...

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