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St. George is a city located in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Utah, and the county seat of Washington County, Utah.GR6 It is the principal city of and is included in the St. George, Utah Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is 119 miles (192 km) northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, and 303 miles (488 km) south of Salt Lake City on Interstate 15.

The Utah Population Estimates Committee stated in 2005 that 65,968 people lived in the city, while the U.S. Census Bureau has estimated that its 2005 population was 64,201. Both of these estimates place it as the 8th-largest city in Utah, up from 10th-largest in 2000. In July 2004, it surpassed Taylorsville as Utah's ninth-largest city and by July 2005 had surpassed Layton. In September 2005, St. George was declared the second fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States behind Greeley, Colorado. From 1990 to 2000, St. George beat Las Vegas by 0.6% as the fastest growing metropolitan area in the U.S. The current metropolitan population numbers 109,924 residents.

St. George is the population and commercial center of Utah's Dixie, a nickname given to the area when Mormon pioneers grew cotton in the warm climate. St. George's trademark is its geology — red bluffs make up the northern part of the city with two peaks covered in lava rock in the city's center. The northeastern edges of the Mojave Desert are visible to the south. Zion National Park can be seen to the east, and mountains are nearby to the north, southeast and west. It is also near Bryce Canyon National Park. The city is a popular retirement destination for many Utahns and is host to the largest Spring Break parties in Utah.

Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Geography
2.1 Climate
3 Economy
4 Transportation
5 Media
6 Education
7 Demographics
8 Nuclear contamination
9 Noteworthy residents
10 See also
11 Notes
12 External links


History

Brigham Young's winter home in St. George.St. George was founded as a cotton mission in the 1850s under the direction of Brigham Young, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church)— part of a greater church effort to become self-sufficient. While the early settlers did manage to grow cotton, it was never produced at competitive market rates; consequently, cotton farming was eventually abandoned.

In April 1877, the LDS Church completed construction of the St. George Utah Temple, the Church's third temple and its first temple in the Rocky Mountains.[citation needed]

St. George was the location of the 1998 United States Academic Decathlon national finals.

The city began booming in the mid-1980s, first as a retirement hotspot and tourist gateway to Utah's color country, and then as a transportation center.


Geography
St. George is located at 37°5′43″N, 113°34′41″W (37.095279, -113.578151)GR1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 168.0 km² (64.9 mi²). 166.8 km² (64.4 mi²) of it is land and 1.2 km² (0.5 mi²) of it (0.72%) is water.

St. George lies in the lowest elevation region of the state, Dixie, with most of the city lying below 3,000 feet (900 m).[citation needed] The city is surrounded by mountains and red sandstone buttes, and it lies at the very northeastern edge of the Mojave Desert. The Virgin River flows through the city.


Climate
Because of the city's low elevation and southerly location, St. George is the hottest part of the state, with maximum daily July temperatures averaging about 102°F (39°C). The hottest temperature ever recorded in Utah, 117°F (47°C), was recorded in St. George on July 5, 1985. The record high minimum temperature is 89°F (32°C), set on July 15, 1970. In winter, temperatures frequently drop below freezing overnight (due to radiational cooling resulting from low humidity), but temperatures warm into the 50s°F (low 10s°C) during the day. Both the record low temperature of -11°F (-24°C) and record low maximum temperature of 17°F (-8°C) were set on January 22, 1937.

St. George lies in a desert and averages 8.27 in (210 mm) of precipitation annually. Precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, except for late April-June. Precipitation mostly comes from the Pineapple Express during late fall, winter, and early spring. The summer monsoon from the Gulf of California can bring localized but often intense thunderstorms from mid-July through mid-September. One such storm dropped the record single day precipitation in the city, with 2.39 in (61 mm) on August 31, 1909. Snow is rare, but not unheard of, averaging 3.2 in (8.1 cm) annually. It has been recorded as early as October 29 (in 1971) and as late as April 11 (in 1927). The record single day snowfall is 10.0 in (25.4 cm), set on January 5, 1974.


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Extreme Daily Maximum °F 72 84 91 100 108 115 117 113 109 99 88 75
Average Daily Maximum °F 54 60 68 77 86 96 102 100 93 80 65 54
Average Daily Minimum °F 26 31 36 43 51 59 67 65 55 43 32 26
Extreme Daily Minimum °F -11 1 12 18 20 35 41 43 25 20 4 -4
Data is for St. George Municipal


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average Precipitation in 1.08 1.03 0.93 0.53 0.39 0.19 0.67 0.75 0.60 0.68 0.64 0.77
Average Snowfall in 1.3 0.6 0.1 T 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 T 0.2 0.9
Data is for St. George Municipal

 


Economy
Along with its increasing population, the economy of St. George and surrounding areas has boomed in recent years.

Some of St. George's larger corporations include SkyWest Airlines, which has its corporate headquarters in St. George. Wal-Mart has a large distribution center located near St. George. Intermountain Health Care opened a new $100 million hospital in 2003. The hospital, Dixie Regional Medical Center, is a 420,000 square foot, 196 bed facility.

A large part of the economy of southwestern Utah comes from tourism. St. George is in proximity to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, as well as several state parks and recreational areas. It is a little less than an hour drive from the Utah Shakespearian Festival, which won the Tony in 2000. Golf also plays a large part in the city's tourism industry. St. George offers one of the highest number of golf courses per capita in the country. Special events such as the St. George Marathon and the Huntsman Senior Games draw thousands to St. George each year. The St. George Marathon is currently the 13th largest marathon in the country.


Transportation
The city is on the I-15 corridor, just a few hours' drive from the western terminus of I-70, as well as access to the I-10 and I-40 corridors via nearby US 93. Community growth has led to planning a new regional airport, as well as a beltway through the southeastern, eastern, and northeastern portions of the urban area.

Currently, an environmental impact statement (EIS) is being completed in preparation for a new regional airport to be built just southeast of the city. The new airport will replace the current and much too small St. George Municipal Airport, which has no room for expansion and cannot accommodate larger aircraft. Plans for the new airport include a single runway capable of accommodating regional jets as well as other larger Boeing-type aircraft. The city is expected to break ground on the proposed site in 2006 with completion of the airport expected in 2010.

SunTran is St. George's public transit system. As of 2005, the system consisted of three bus routes with over sixty bus stops.


Media
St. George, and all of Southwestern Utah, is served by a daily newspaper, The Spectrum, which is located in St. George.

As St. George has only recently grown into a sizeable town, the city has little in the way of local television media. KCSG Channel 4, an America One affiliate, is based in the city and carries a local newscast. Most major network affiliates operate are Salt Lake City stations that have broadcast translators in the St. George area. There are also translators for several of the Las Vegas, Nevada stations.


Education
St. George is home to Dixie State College of Utah, a four-year institution. It is also home to three high schools, Pine View High School, Dixie High School and Snow Canyon High School, as well as a number of elementary and intermediate schools. New high schools are in the planning stages to meet the area's rapidly growing student population. Nearby Ivins is home to Utah's first charter high school, Tuacahn High School for the Performing Arts, which provides an alternative education with no tuition costs to any Utah resident. Due to the recent population explosion in St. George, several plans are being made for new schools to be constructed in the very near future, including a new high school.


Demographics

The land in and around St. George is naturally a vivid red and devoid of most plant life.As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 49,663 people, 17,367 households, and 13,042 families residing in the city. The population density was 297.7/km² (771.2/mi²). There were 21,083 housing units at an average density of 126.4/km² (327.4/mi²).

The city is growing fast. A 2004 census estimated the city population at 59,780. Furthermore, the greater St. George area has a current estimated population of around 115,000. Rapid growth is a major problem; the city of St. George alone grows at an average pace of 750 to 1,000 new residents each month. Many of these new residents are retirees who move here because of the mild winters. In September 2005, St. George was declared the second fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States.[1][2]

The racial makeup of the city was 92.27% White, 1.64% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.59% Pacific Islander, 2.87% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.72% of the population.

St. George had just 120 African Americans in the 2000 Census.

There are 17,367 households, out of which 34.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.6% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.9% were non-families. 19.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years old or older. The average household size was 2.81 individuals and the average family size was 3.21.

The city resident's ages are spread out, with 28.4% under the age of 18, 13.7% from 18 to 24, 22.0% from 25 to 44, 16.8% from 45 to 64, and 19.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,505, and the median income for a family was $41,788. Males had a median income of $31,106 versus $20,861 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,022. About 7.4% of families and 11.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.4% of those under age 18 and 4.4% of those age 65 or over.


Nuclear contamination
On May 19, 1953 the United States government detonated the 32-kiloton (130 TJ) atomic bomb (nicknamed "Harry") at the Nevada Test Site. The bomb later gained the name "Dirty Harry" because of the tremendous amount of off-site fallout generated by the bomb.[3] Winds carried fallout 135 miles (220 km) to St. George, where residents reported "an oddly metallic sort of taste in the air."[4]

St. George received the brunt of the fallout of above-ground nuclear testing in the Yucca Valley, north of Las Vegas. Winds routinely carried the fallout of these tests directly through St. George and southern Utah. Marked increases in cancer and other radiation-related illnesses were recorded throughout the mid-1950's and early 1960's.

A 1962 United States Atomic Energy Commission report found that "children living in St. George, Utah may have received doses to the thyroid of radioiodine as high as 120 to 440 rads" (1.2 to 4.4 Gy).[citation needed]


Noteworthy residents
Robin Williams has a winter residence in St. George.[citation needed]
Paul Teutul Sr., founder of Orange County Choppers and Star of TV Show American Chopper on the Discovery Channel, has a home in St. George.[citation needed]
Asia Carrera former porn star.[citation needed]
Jeffrey R. Holland — LDS religious leader. [5]
Bruce Hurst — Former Major League Baseball pitcher. [6]
Doug Jolley — NFL tight end. [7]
Dan Truman — Diamond Rio's keyboardist; raised in the mountains near St. George. [8]

See also
Dixie National Forest

Notes
^ St. George growth 2nd fastest in U.S.. Deborah Bulkeley, Deseret Morning News.
^ Colorado’s Greeley, Florida’s Palm Coast, Fastest-Growing Metro and Micro Areas. U.S. Census Bureau News.
^ Meeting Dirty Harry in 1953. Chester McQueary, CommonDreams.org.
^ Chapter 3: Bringing the Bombs Home, "KILLING OUR OWN"
^ Biography LDSCentral.org
^ Biography IMDB.com
^ Biography NFL Players Association (NFLPlayers.com)
^ Biography Peer Music

External links
Official web site of the City of St. George, Utah
St. George & Zion National Park Visitor's Guide
St. George Chamber of Commerce
St. George replacement airport information
St. George Travel Guide
Tonaquint Nature Center Nature in the heart of St George
Tuacahn Amphitheater St George Center for Performing Arts
Washington County School District St George Public Schools
St George Marathon September/October Racing Festival
Maps and aerial photos Coordinates: 37.095279° -113.578151°
Street map from Google Maps, or Yahoo! Maps, or Windows Live Local
Satellite image from Google Maps, Windows Live Local, WikiMapia
Topographic map from TopoZone
Aerial image or topographic map from TerraServer-USA
State of Utah
Topics Cities | Counties | Flag | Flower | Governors | Portal | Song

Capital Salt Lake City

Regions Cache Valley | Dixie | Great Salt Lake | Great Salt Lake Desert | Mojave Desert | Uinta Mountains | Wasatch Back | Wasatch Front | Wasatch Range

Largest
Cities American Fork | Bountiful | Clearfield | Cottonwood Heights | Draper | Layton | Lehi | Logan | Midvale | Murray | Pleasant Grove | Ogden | Orem | Provo | Riverton | Roy | Spanish Fork | Salt Lake City | St. George | Sandy | South Jordan | Taylorsville | Tooele | West Jordan | West Valley City

Counties Beaver | Box Elder | Cache | Carbon | Daggett | Davis | Duchesne | Emery | Garfield | Grand | Iron | Juab | Kane | Millard | Morgan | Piute | Rich | Salt Lake | San Juan | Sanpete | Sevier | Summit | Tooele | Uintah | Utah | Wasatch | Washington | Wayne | Weber