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Salt Lake City, often shortened to Salt Lake or SLC, is the capital and the most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Utah. With an estimated population of 190,884 in 2014, the city lies at the core of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a total population of 1,153,340 (2014 estimate). Salt Lake City is further situated within a larger metropolis known as the Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo Combined Statistical Area. This region is a corridor of contiguous urban and suburban development stretched along an approximately 120-mile (190 km) segment of the Wasatch Front, comprising a total population of 2,423,912 as of 2014. It is one of only two major urban areas in the Great Basin (the other is Reno, Nevada), and the largest in the Intermountain West.
The city was founded in 1847 by Brigham Young, Isaac Morley, George Washington Bradley and numerous other Mormon followers, who extensively irrigated and cultivated the arid valley. Due to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the city was originally named "Great Salt Lake City"—the word "great" was dropped from the official name in 1868 by the 17th Utah Territorial Legislature. Home to the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and Temple Square, Salt Lake City was historically considered a holy city by members of the LDS church; Brigham Young called it a "Kingdom of Heaven on Earth". Today, however, less than half the population of Salt Lake City proper are members of the LDS Church.
Immigration of international LDS members, mining booms, and the construction of the first transcontinental railroad initially brought economic growth, and the city was nicknamed the Crossroads of the West. It was traversed by the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway, in 1913, and presently two major cross-country freeways, I-15 and I-80, intersect in the city. Salt Lake City has since developed a strong outdoor recreation tourist industry based primarily on skiing, and hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. It is the industrial banking center of the United States.
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