The affable Mike Caldwell bursts into his office, a welcoming smile on his face. Wearing a Salomon vest, he looks a lot different than the portraits of a century of mayors on the wall of his Ogden City office, embodying the active, outdoor lifestyle that has become the trademark of Utah’s second largest city.
Eight years in, the third-term mayor has built a strong city by focusing on Utah’s geographical location. A century ago, Ogden’s forefathers capitalized on the Junction City’s location as a railway crossroads. Today, Caldwell has seized on its proximity to the mountains and outdoor recreation. From the 40+ outdoor brand logos with a corporate footprint in Ogden to the thousands of skiers reveling on 25th Street, Ogden truly has become one of America’s great outdoor recreation towns.
On any given day, he’ll be riding his road bike to work, taking the mountain bike up onto nearby singletrack, slipping into a climbing harness, clicking into alpine touring gear for a backcountry outing or sliding onto a chairlift for an day at nearby Snowbasin, Nordic Valley or Powder Mountain.
This week Last Chair brings you to the top floor of the elegant art deco Ogden Municipal Building, overlooking towering Mount Ogden, for a conversation with Mike Caldwell - a mayor who has eight bikes and five pairs of skis hanging in the garage. He’ll explore Ogden’s rich history and entice you up with a look at the hidden gem among Utah’s ski towns.
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