Provo : Utah


What It Is Like to Retire in Provo

Provo is a growing city in central Utah of over 100,000 people.  Located 43 miles south of Salt Lake City, it is home to Brigham Young University, which definitely makes it a college town.  There is a broad and beautiful Main Street into town with nice stores, a huge LDS Temple under restoration, and stately government buildings. At Central Avenue the downtown continues with charming shops, an Art Center, and a plaza with Fresh Market.  On a recent Sunday morning the downtown was quiet and peaceful. Provo and all of Utah is wonderful for people who love the outdoors, thanks to nearby mountains and Utah Lake. Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reefs National Parks are only a few hours away. Of the 3 main cities in Utah (Salt Lake, Provo, and Ogden), Provo is widely considered the most Mormon-centered.  On forums like there is discussion that Provo is terrific but a bit quiet, and definitely has more members of the LDS church than the other cities discussed.


Where to Retire in Provo and Home Prices

There are many beautiful homes in town (mostly in the northern portion) and some developments.  The Zillow Median Home Value in early 2019 was $306,400.


What Is Special about Provo

It is a beautiful city that looks and is prosperous for the main part. Everything is clean and shiny.  There is an extensive infrastructure thanks in part to Brigham Young University.  Outdoor recreation is outstanding, although top ski areas are not as close as in neighoboring Park City or Salt Lake City.  It is near some of the nation's most popular National Parks, including Bryce Canyon. The city is also home to the Peaks Ice Arena, which served as a venue for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. Sundance Resort is located 13 miles northeast at Provo Canyon. Provo has been named "Best" in a variety of categories, including place to raise a family.


What Is Not Special about Provo

The town is pretty quiet at night and on weekends, in fact Wikipedia reports there are only 3 bars in the entire town (this might be a plus for some people). While retireees who are members of the LDS faith will probably find living in Provo a joy, non-Mormons might feel like outsiders.  People talk about winter inversions which trap air pollution here in the winter.


Who Will Like Retirement in Provo

Outdoors oriented people looking for a quiet mid-sized city with a big university will love Provo.  If you happen to Mormon you will really love it. According to Wikipedia, Provo was rated the most politcally conservative city in the U.S.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Brigham Young University is a big part of the solid local economy.


Climate and Physical Environment

Provo is located in central Utah on the western edge of the Wasatch Mountains, and just east of the huge Utah Lake.  The average January temp is in the low 30s and the average July temp in the high 70's. The elevation is 4549'. This is considered high desert.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Covey Center for the Arts, a performing arts center, is located on 425 West Center Street. It features plays, ballets, art showcases, and musical performances throughout the year.  The Provo Library is large and well-funded. Brigham Young University has various cultural activities. The American Freedom Festival is held every July and features big time entertainers. Younger residents complain that there is no nightlife and not a good restaurant selection. The first friday of every month features a gallery stroll.



The crime rate is about half the U.S. rate.


Medical Facilities

Utah Valley Regional Medical Center is the main medical facility, although there are others in nearby Salt Lake City.



Interstate 15 is on the edge of town. There is Amtrak service. The Provo Municipal Airport has limited commercial service.  Nearby Salt Lake City Airport is a main hub with great access to the rest of the world.


Valuable Links

Provo, Utah

Wikipedia page on Provo


What people are saying about Provo

Retiring In the West and Southwest
I think every article about a particular city or town in the western and southwestern parts of the country should make mention of whether there is an affordable and stable, sustainable water supply. This is a concern of mine when I read about communities in these locations. Thank you for your excellent website.
Posted by phritzg on July 16, 2014

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