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Provo, Utah
—  City  —
Provo courthouse garden, spring 2008

Nickname(s): P-town
Provo, Utah is located in Utah
Provo, Utah
Location within the state of Utah
Coordinates: 40°14′40″N 111°39′39″W / 40.24444°N 111.66083°W / 40.24444; -111.66083
Country United States
State Utah
County Utah
Founded 1849
Incorporated April 1850
Named for Étienne Provost
 - Type Strong Mayor Municpal Format
 - Mayor John R. Curtis
 - Council Chair Midge Johnson
 - City 41.8 sq mi (108.2 km2)
 - Land 39.6 sq mi (102.7 km2)
 - Water 2.1 sq mi (5.6 km2)
Elevation 4,551 ft (1,387 m)
Population (2000)[1]
 - City 118,581
 Density 2,653.2/sq mi (1,024.4/km2)
 Metro 493,306
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 - Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP codes 84601-84606
Area code(s) 385, 801
FIPS code 49-62470[2]
GNIS feature ID 1444661[3]

Provo (pronounced /ˈproʊvoʊ/) is a city located within the US state of Utah. Currently estimated at 118,581 people, [1] it is the third largest city in Utah and is located about 43 miles (69 km) south of Salt Lake City along the Wasatch Front. Provo is the county seat of Utah County and lies between the cities of Orem to the north and Springville to the south. Provo is also the principal city in the Provo-Orem metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 540,820 residents.[4] It is the second largest metro area in the state behind Salt Lake City.

The city is home to Brigham Young University, one of the largest private higher education institutions in the United States, which is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Provo is also home to the largest Missionary Training Center for the church. The city is a key operational center for Novell and has been a focus area for technology development in Utah. The city is also home to the Peaks Ice Arena, which served as a venue for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002.

In 2009 Provo was listed in "Where to Retire" magazine as an "enticing city for new careers". Provo was also listed in National Geographic Adventure Magazine's "where to live and play" as a cultural hub. [5]



Provo was originally called Fort Utah when it was settled in 1849 by 33 Mormon families from Salt Lake City, but was renamed Provo in 1850 for Étienne Provost, an early French-Canadian trapper who arrived in the region in 1825. Father Silvestre Velez de Escalante, a Spanish Franciscan missionary-explorer, is considered the first European explorer to have visited the area, in 1776. Escalante chronicled this first European exploration across the Great Basin desert.


Rock Canyon in Provo

Provo is located at 40°14′40″N 111°39′39″W / 40.24444°N 111.66083°W / 40.24444; -111.66083[6]. It lies in the Utah Valley at an elevation of 4,549 feet (1,387 m). According to the Telecom Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.8 square miles (108.2 km²), of which, 39.6 square miles (102.7 km²) of it is land and 2.2 square miles (5.6 km²) of it (5.14%) is water.

The Wasatch Range contains many peaks within Utah County along the east side of the Wasatch Front. One of these peaks, known as Y Mountain, towers over the city. There is a large "Y" made of whitewashed concrete half-way up the steep mountain, built in the early part of the 20th century to commemorate Brigham Young University (original plans included construction of all three letters: BYU). Wild deer (and less frequently, cougars and moose) still roam the mountains (and occasionally the city streets). The scenery is generally considered enjoyable and allows for hiking, skiing, fishing and other outdoor activities.


According to a study released by the Bay Area Center for Voting Research, Provo is the most conservative city in the United States with a population over 100,000.[7][8] Local discussion of national politics tends to fall within the spectrum of moderately conservative to arch-conservative thought. Utah's 3rd Congressional District, of which Provo is a part, elected Democrat Bill Orton to three consecutive terms during the 1990s, however.

Federally, Provo is part of Utah's 3rd congressional district, represented by Republican Jason Chaffetz, elected in 2008.

The state's senior member of the United States Senate is Republican Orrin Hatch, elected in 1976. The state's junior member of the United States Senate is Republican Bob Bennett, elected in 1992. The Governor of Utah is Republican Gary Herbert, who took office in 2009 following the resignation of Republican Jon Huntsman to be US Ambassador to China; the next gubernatorial election will take place in 2012.

City administration

Provo city is administered by a council of seven and a single mayor. Five of the council seats are elected by individual districts of the city while two of the seats are elected by the city as a whole. These elected officials serve a term of four years.

The current Mayor of Provo is John Curtis. Mayor Curtis was voted in as the new Mayor of Provo on November 3, 2009 and sworn in on January 5, 2010.[9] In addition, Laura Cabanilla, Rick Healey, and Sterling Beck were elected to the council. [10]

Mayor John Curtis was a partner and the COO of Action Target, a Provo based company which provides firearm training and products to police departments and military bases throughout the United States. His previous employers include OC Tanner and the Citizen Watch Company. He has also served on a number of community and advisory boards including the Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce (now Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce), the Mountain Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Utah National Parks Council of the Boys Scouts of America, and the Utah Valley Healthcare Foundation.

The immediate past Mayor of Provo is Lewis K. Billings, a lifelong Provo resident who served three terms as mayor. Billings was originally elected Provo City mayor in November 1997, after completing three years as chief administrative officer and director of community and government relations for the city of Provo.

The current police chief of Provo is J. Craig Geslison, a 31-year veteran of the Provo Police Department. He was hired in April 1978. Chief Geslison served four years as a patrolman and then spent two years as the Provo Police Department's first full-time Crime Prevention and Community Relations officer. Chief Geslison was promoted to sergeant in 1984 where he served in the detective, patrol and dispatch divisions. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1988, where he served as a watch commander, and was appointed a captain in 1994. Geslison became Provo's first assistant chief of police in 1997 and was directly responsible for Support Services and the Patrol Division and had oversight of the Police Department's budget.



Provo Utah LDS Temple

The Provo Utah Temple is located at the base of Rock Canyon in Provo. Due to its proximity to Brigham Young University and the Missionary Training Center (MTC), just across the street, this temple is among the busiest the LDS Church operates.[11]

Brigham Young University

Provo iv.jpg

Provo is home to Brigham Young University, a private university operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. BYU (occasionally referred to as "BYU-Provo" after Ricks College became BYU-Idaho in 2001) is the second largest private university in the country, with more than 34,000 students. It is the flagship of the Church Educational System of higher education. The large population of students makes Provo a "college town." Provo's ambiance differs from other college towns, however, since the majority of its students are LDS - the church bans the consumption of alcohol at BYU, so BYU is consistently rated the No. 1 "stone-cold sober" university in the United States, by The Princeton Review.[12] The campus also is home to the Spencer W. Kimball Tower, the tallest building in Provo.[13][14]

Most BYU students live near BYU's campus. BYU requires that single students live in approved, non-coed housing, with BYU-approved standards that include the prohibition of smoking, alcohol, pre-marital sex, and other regulations as well. New rules keep apartments from being "BYU-approved" if they are more than two miles (3 km) from the eastern corner of campus. There are currently more student housing apartments under re-construction.

LDS Missionary Training Center

Provo is also home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' largest Missionary Training Center (MTC). Each week some 475 LDS missionaries enter for 3-12 weeks of training before they depart for the mission field, becoming part of more than 52,000 in more than 120 countries. Currently, about 1,100 instructors (many returned missionaries) teach 62 languages. The center in Provo began construction in July 1974 and completed in July 1976. The MTC was expanded in the early 1990s, becoming the largest of 17 such centers in the world.[15][16]


Climate data for Provo, Utah, USA
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 60
Average high °F (°C) 36
Daily mean °F (°C) 27
Average low °F (°C) 18
Record low °F (°C) -22
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.3
Avg. rainy days 3.4 3.2 4 4.5 3.7 2.3 1.6 2.3 1.8 2.5 2.6 3.1 35
Source: [17] March 18, 2010


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 2,501
1870 2,384 −4.7%
1880 3,432 44.0%
1890 5,159 50.3%
1900 6,185 19.9%
1910 8,925 44.3%
1920 10,303 15.4%
1930 14,766 43.3%
1940 18,071 22.4%
1950 28,937 60.1%
1960 36,047 24.6%
1970 53,131 47.4%
1980 74,108 39.5%
1990 86,835 17.2%
2000 105,166 21.1%
Est. 2008 118,581 12.8%

As of the 2000 census[2], 105,166 people, 29,192 households, and 19,938 families resided in the city. The population density was 2,653.2 people per square mile (1,024.3/km²). There were 30,374 housing units at an average density of 766.3/sq mi (295.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.52% White, 0.46% Black or African American, 0.80% American Indian, 1.83% Asian, 0.84% Pacific Islander, 5.10% from other races, and 2.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.47% of the population.

There were 29,192 households out of which 33.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.0% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 11.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.34 and the average family size was 3.40.

22.3% of residents are under the age of 18, 40.2% from 18 to 24, 23.2% from 25 to 44, 8.6% from 45 to 64, and 5.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,313, and the median income for a family was $36,393. Males had a median income of $32,010 versus $20,928 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,207. About 12.5% of families and 26.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.4% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.

The residents of Provo are predominately members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or LDS. According to data taken in 2000 by the ARDA, 88% of the overall population, and 98% of religious adherents in the Provo-Orem area are LDS.[18]


Interstate 15 runs along the west edge of Provo, connecting it with the rest of the Wasatch Front and much of Utah. US-89 runs northwest to southeast through the city as State Street, while US-189 connects US-89 with I-15, BYU, and Orem to the north. At the north edge of the city, US-189 heads northeast into Provo Canyon, where it connects with Heber. Amtrak the national passenger rail system, provides service to Provo station, operating its California Zephyr daily in both directions between Chicago, Illinois and Emeryville, California, across the bay from San Francisco. Provo also can be accessed by Greyhound Bus Lines and the extensive Utah Transit Authority (UTA) bus system. UTA's commuter rail service, FrontRunner, is expected to be extended to Provo from Salt Lake City by 2012.[19]

The Provo Municipal Airport is Utah's second busiest airport in terms of the number of aircraft take-offs and landings. Salt Lake City International Airport is the closest airport with commercial airline service.

Companies in Provo

Local companies

Provo is home to more than three dozen[20] restaurants, and a couple of shopping centers. The Provo Towne Centre, a shopping mall, operates in Provo. Within the past two years, a number of small shops, music venues, and boutiques have popped up in downtown, along Center Street and University Avenue. Downtown has also begun regularly hosting "gallery strolls," held every first Friday of the month, featuring local artists.

Five Provo companies are listed on's Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the United States. The largest, DieCuts With a View, is ranked number 1403 and has revenues of $26.2 million.[21] Other companies on the list are Atlas Marketing Group (ranked 1035, with $19.6 million of revenue),[22] VitalSmarts (ranked 1501, with $17.9 million in revenue),[23] Heritage Web Solutions (ranked 22, with $8.2 million in revenue),[24] and Connect Public Relations (ranked 3694, with $6.1 million in revenue).[25]

MediaWorks Inc., one of Utah's premiere film and video production companies, was founded in Provo in 1998 and continues to provide production services to companies throughout the United States.

International companies

NuSkin building
  • Action Target, a shooting range manufacturer.
  • is a genealogy and family networking company.
  • APX Alarm Security Solutions is a full-service residential security company with customers throughout the United States and Canada. The company is an active sponsor of many local establishments and provides jobs to thousands of Provo residents.
  • Nature's Sunshine Products, a direct-selling company, manufactures and markets tablets and encapsulated herbal products, high-quality natural vitamins, food supplements, and skin care and other complementary products. The company has operations in the United States, South Korea, Mexico, Venezuela, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, the United Kingdom, Israel and Chile. The company also exports its products to several other countries, including Argentina, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, and the Russian Federation.
  • Novell is a software corporation specializing in network operating systems such as Novell NetWare and SUSE Linux, secure identity management products, and application integration and collaboration solutions. Together with WordPerfect, Novell was instrumental in making Utah Valley a focus for high-technology software development. Today this area has many small companies whose employees have previously worked at Novell. Novell continues to operate and employ around 2,000 people at its Provo facility.
  • Nu Skin Enterprises, a multilevel marketing firm for skin care products, was founded in 1984. In 2005, some 82 percent of revenues for the $1B USD company were generated through markets in Asia.
  • Tahitian Noni International is a health and skin care manufacturer whose products are based on the Tahitian fruit called noni.

Special events

Every July, Provo hosts America's Freedom Festival at Provo which includes the Stadium of Fire at BYU. It is held in LaVell Edwards Stadium, home to Brigham Young University's NCAA football team. The Independence Day festivities are quite popular among local residents and have featured such notable figures as Bob Hope, David Hasselhoff, Reba McEntire, Mandy Moore, Huey Lewis and the News, Toby Keith, Sean Hannity, Fred Willard, Taylor Hicks[26] In 2008 the Blue Man Group, Glenn Beck and Miley Cyrus performed. The Jonas Brothers and Glenn Beck appeared in 2009. [27]

Provo is also home to two other large festivals each fall. Festival Latinoamericano is an annual family oriented Labor Day weekend event in downtown Provo that offers the community a taste of the region's Hispanic culture through ethnic food, vendors, and performances.[28] The Sego Festival, highlights musicians, artists, and filmmakers based in Utah County.

Notable residents

Points of interest


  1. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau 2008 Population Estimates
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008 (CBSA-EST2008-01)" (CSV). 2008 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  5. ^ "Provo is No. 1 in a lot of things. Does it matter?". The Daily Herald. 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "Top 10 Conservative Cities". bNet. 2006-05-01. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  8. ^ The Bay Area Center for Voting Research (2005-08-11). "The Most Conservative and Liberal Cities in the United States". Retrieved 2007-03-27. 
  9. ^ "Meet Mayor Curtis". Provo City. 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  10. ^ "Curtis wins Provo mayoral election". The Daily Herald. 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  11. ^ "Utah Valley/Provo Area Mormon History Sites". Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  12. ^ "End Of Top Party School’s Ranking?". CBS News. 2002-08-27. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  13. ^ Emporis. [Unknown last update]. Kimball Tower. Retrieved April 07, 2007, from
  14. ^ Brigham Young University. [Unknown last update]. Campus Information. Retrieved April 07, 2007, from
  15. ^ Robb Hicken (2005-12-01). "BYU helps push language learning for missionaries". BYU NewsNet. Retrieved 2006-11-09. 
  16. ^ LDS Newsroom - Statistics of LDS Church
  17. ^ "Historical Weather for Provo, Utah, United States of America". Weatherbase. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  18. ^ Religious adherents in Provo-Orem, Utah
  19. ^ "UTA sets tentative 2012 date for Provo-Salt Lake commuter rail"
  20. ^ Provo Dining Guide
  21. ^ "DieCuts With a View". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  22. ^ "Atlas Marketing Group". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  23. ^ "VitalSmarts". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  24. ^ "Heritage Web Solutions – IT Services, inc5000 Article - Inc. Article". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  25. ^ "Connect Public Relations". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  26. ^ Taylor Hicks at Stadium of Fire 2006
  27. ^ Daily Herald - Miley Cyrus coming to Stadium of Fire
  28. ^ Festival Latinoamericano Official Website
  29. ^ Jones, Del (2004-11-09). "Covey takes a lesson from himself, releases '8th Habit'". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  30. ^ "Meet the Writers: Stephen R. Covey". Barnes and Noble. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  31. ^ "The Osmonds (The Osmond Family) Biography". Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  32. ^
  33. ^ Robinson, Doug (2006-11-22). "The unique sounds of Ryan Shupe". Deseret Morning News.,5143,650209372,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  34. ^ "Class Acts". 2005. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  35. ^ "Steve Young". College Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  36. ^ Robinson, Doug (2006-08-13). "Steve Young: A new chapter". Deseret Morning News.,1249,645192483,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 

External links

Coordinates: 40°14′40″N 111°39′39″W / 40.244421°N 111.660804°W / 40.244421; -111.660804

Simple English

Provo, Utah
View from the BYU campus
File:Flag of Provo,
Coordinates: 40°14′40″N 111°39′39″W / 40.24444°N 111.66083°W / 40.24444; -111.66083
Country United States
State Utah
County Utah County
Settled 1849
 - Mayor Lewis K. Billings
Elevation Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "," m (4,549 ft)
Population (2000)
 - City 105,166
 Metro 474,180
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 - Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
Zip code 84601 - 84606
Provo is an American city in the state of Utah. It is located in Utah County on the Utah Lake. It is home to Brigham Young University. The city is the third largest city in the state. It has a population of 105,166 people.


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