From August 1st through September 6th, Downtown Ogden will welcome nearly half a million visitors for the Ogden LDS Temple Open House. Given the number of visitors and money spent, this will be one of the largest events in Ogden’s history. The temple is one of the largest private re-development investments in the state, just a bit smaller than the City Creek complex in Salt Lake City.
In comparison to the Olympics, this event is immensely larger in scale; Ogden had about 150,000 visitors during the 2002 Olympics with spectators at Snowbasin and the Weber County Ice Sheet. During the temple open house, visitors will be in one primary location surrounding the LDS temple.
Ogden really stepped up its game during the 2002 Olympics, with cleanup efforts in preparation and the subsequent formulation of the GOAL Foundation to maintain the enthusiasm and volunteer basis for the greater Ogden area. The GOAL Foundation capitalized on the volunteer spirit leading up to the Olympics and is now an organization of more than 4,000 volunteers, putting on community driven events such as the Ogden Marathon, the Hurt in the Dirt series and several other events promoting the “Get Out and Live” concept. Through the combined efforts of several entities, Ogden has become a nationally recognized, world-class destination for visitors, events, athletes, and outdoor recreation.
With the temple open house driving nearly four times the number of visitors that were received for the Olympics, the city has more than quadrupled its efforts to prepare. Projects that have been in the works for a while, or were waylaid at some point, have returned to the priority list. Road construction and repairs have been underway since spring, a new cycle track is under construction, neighborhood cleanup projects have been divvied out amongst a volunteer group totaling nearly 5,000 people, city entities and community groups have banded together to form a coalition dedicated to showcasing pride in their town.
All of this has taken place under the broad banner of “One Ogden.” One Ogden is a marketing program and a series of committees and subcommittees spawned from Ogden City and the convention and visitor’s bureau, Visit Ogden, which have been working for the past several months to ensure that visitors coming for the temple open house and other summer events, can easily navigate the town and discover all that Ogden has to offer. These committees encompass nearly every entity from city government, Weber County, the colleges, non-profit groups, community organizers, business associations, UDOT and city administration. The marketing campaign plays off the complete package; 18 art galleries, 61 independent retailers, 252 miles of trail, 10,410 skiable acres, 63 national historic sites, 97 independent retailers: One Ogden. The idea is that the area is made up of so many wonderful things, each of which is appealing to a different subset of the population but they all come together as one town, one community, One Ogden.
One Ogden has provided resources and information to experience all that the greater Ogden area has to offer including a new One Ogden app and website. During the temple open house Ogden City will offer free Wi-Fi around the Ogden Temple. There will also be ambassadors to help visitors discover Ogden and answer questions during the open house, Tour of Utah, Masters Cycling and other large events this season.
And that’s just the beginning. Just as the Olympics were a catalyst for community organization and pride, the One Ogden committee and brand hopes the temple open house is merely another launching point for this town.
The temple open house is open to people of all beliefs. Tickets are free and reservations can be made online at: https://templeopenhouse.lds.org/tickets;jsessionid=2AD0BA0A984B5BFB7A88B55AA5F051D0.People interested in becoming an ambassador should visit One Ogden online at: http://www.visitogden.com/oneogden/ambassador.