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Tour through Time - Part 10

Last Half of the 20th Century - and Beyond

In the decades following World War II, Utah has continued to grow. Cultural institutions like the Utah Symphony, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Opera Company, Ballet West, Utah Festival Opera (Logan), and Utah Shakespearean Festival (Cedar City) have a solid reputation both locally and nationally. Utah's research centers continue to lead in a variety of scientific and medical innovations.

Utah is a leader in information technology. It nurtured numerous high tech companies, including Iomega and Novell. Even after WordPerfect moved to Canada and Novell laid off several hundred workers, these programmers, engineers, and executives reinvested their severance money in new companies that hastened the growth of Utah's high tech industry.

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A "green Jello" pin made for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in SLC.

The announcement in 1996 that Salt Lake City would host the 2002 Winter Olympic Games spurred the construction of new sports venues and facilities.

Tourism has become a major economic factor year round, fueled by Utah's ski industry, national parks, and recreation areas such as Lake Powell and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument created in 1996.

Southwestern Utah is booming, due to its warm climate which is attractive to older people.

Another growing multimillion dollar industry in Utah is that of film and television production. Motion pictures filmed in Utah include: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Footloose (1984), Thelma and Louise (1991), Forrest Gump (1994), Independence Day (1996), and The Wild Wild West (1999).

In 1998, Scarborough Research Corp. stated that Salt Lake City had more personal computers per household than any other city in the United States.

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TRAX light rail train in Salt Lake City.

A major issue in Utah is that of transportation. An ever-growing population along the Wasatch front spurred the reconstruction of freeways and construction of commuter rail (Ogden-Salt Lake City) and the TRAX light rail system.

Utah now faces the same kinds of problems that face other states: adequate funding for all levels of education and other public needs, environmental protection, increased opportunities for women and minorities, preservation of the historic and cultural heritage, continuing economic development of rural areas, conservation of natural resources and areas of natural beauty, and urban renewal. How these and future challenges are met will fill tomorrow's history books.

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