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  • Writer's pictureMichelle

A New Focus: Thoughts on Young Single Professionals

Yesterday, August 1, 2018, marked the day a new ordinance took effect in Provo. Under the ordinance, Provo landlords and tenants are required to sign a disclosure document. For information on specifics, contact our Community Development office at cwalls@provo.org.


I want to use today to highlight a concern that is related to, but distinct from, the ordinance.

That concern is that at least some of our young single professionals have gotten the message, through discussions leading up to the ordinance, that they are not welcome in our city.


Let me explain why such a message is dangerous for all residents of Provo.



Beyond the basic principles of acceptance and kindness towards all, there are powerful economic and quality of life reasons we should act clearly to reverse the impact of any message our young single professionals have received that they are not welcome.

If you remember the Provo of a few decades ago, you’ll remember Provo having a bit of an inferiority complex. Provo’s image was of a boring sleepy town. Even movies had fun with this idea.


Now we have a Provo brand and image and lifestyle that is unrivaled among U.S. cities. We were named number one in jobs recently, nationwide. We’re at the top of the charts for tech startups. We get approached by companies who want to come be a part of the magic of Provo.


All of this translates to benefits to almost every Provo resident. The long-timers watch their property values rise to all-time highs, while their property taxes stay relatively low. Beyond that, there is an intangible energy and vibrancy to this place that is incredible. And at or near the heart of this magic is a critical demographic: young single professionals. This is a demographic other cities clamor to attract. They tend to have expendable income, which translates to a vibrant downtown and to sales tax revenue that dampens or eliminates the need to raise property taxes. Companies want to hire this demographic. Tech startups are formed by them. They have time and energy and passion to devote to causes, charities, and civic engagement.


None of this is to say that marrieds or students or families don’t contribute as well. We all know they form a vital foundation in Provo. But if you want to see a city with a healthy student population and family demographic but without the X factor that our strong community of young single professionals helps provide in Provo, visit Logan, Utah, which to be sure is a wonderful place full of charm and beauty.


So what can we do? I call on everyone in the city to help my administration as we strive to ensure that Provo attracts and retains young single professionals. Towards this end, I’m pleased to report that we’ve been laying the groundwork for a committee whose focus will be just that. We’ll all benefit, in the pocketbook and in intangible ways, by ensuring we attract and retain this dynamic demographic.

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daniel_andelin
2018년 8월 11일

@K Utah (KBA) I can see you don't understand simple economics. So I'm not going to try to help you there. I can try to help you with geography though... Nordstrom's was in Orem. Also, if you think young professionals or students are the cause of Nordstrom going out of business you really have a lot to learn. There are thousands of brick and mortar stores all over the US closing. This is not unique to Provo or Orem. Do you need help understanding why? Ever heard of Amazon? Overstock? Or any other online retailer? Look, KBA I'm sure you're a great person and all and no hard feelings, but maybe take a couple online classes in econ. If yo…

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K Utah (KBA)
K Utah (KBA)
2018년 8월 11일

@daniel Eating out more and shopping more doesn’t necessarily mean that demographic is contributing to the economy as much as it sounds. Young singles shop a lot and eat out a lot. It’s true. Walmart is frequently packed. McDonald‘s is always busy. Shoot, even for some inexplicable reason, In-N-Out is always full. Dillard’s, on the other hand...glaringly empty and Nordstrom‘s gave up altogether. I don’t know where these 5 bedroom houses are that are restricted to only 3 people. The biggest problem for overcrowded houses is in the older post-war neighborhoods east of BYU and none of those are 5 bedroom houses. And for what it’s worth, even 5 bedroom houses are not designed for 5 or more occup…

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daniel_andelin
2018년 8월 10일

@K Utah (KBA) What you're missing is that young professionals probably eat out more than any other demographic. We probably shop a lot more than older demographics as well. We have more disposable income than most families. But if you tell me I can only have 3 people in a 5 bedroom house I won't stay in that house. I could stay in that house... but that's just simple economics, why should I pay more if I can simply move up the road. It makes much more sense for me to move to a nice town home in Orem where they do allow 4 people in a 4 bedroom house.

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K Utah (KBA)
K Utah (KBA)
2018년 8월 10일

So according to Elise, Provo has a shortage of affordable one-bedroom apartments. Good. This may sound harsh, but the last thing Provo needs is to accommodate more poor “professionals” who can’t afford one-bedroom apartments. This is the demographic that has been killing Provo’s retail business for years! They threaten to spend their money in neighboring cities if Provo doesn’t meet their demands. Well, in case you haven’t noticed, that is where all the retail has gone anyway because they can’t survive in a city like Provo that has so many students living at or below the poverty level. Provo should have been building higher end housing all along and letting these surrounding cities shoulder some of the burden that…

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daniel_andelin
2018년 8월 04일

Nice words but the message has already been sent. This was never about parking. Artificially, restrict the supply of housing and prices will go up. Unfortunately for Provo that will just cause people to leave. I'm actually moving to Orem in three weeks and I know many young professionals who are doing the same.

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