In 1965 St. George began to take off as a tourism destination with the construction of the area’s first 9-hole golf course, Dixie Red Hills, which is located behind the large red bluff at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Bluff Street. Since that time, 12 additional golf courses were built in Washington County and the area has since taken on the nick name of “The Palm Springs of Utah” largely due to the number of golf courses and vacation resort developments.
Also in the 1960’s, as more vehicles with air-conditioning were available for sale and home cooling units became more affordable, people who once considered St. George inhospitable or hostile due to its extreme summer temperatures began to plan vacations to the area and many ended up establishing a permanent residence in southwestern Utah.
Today St. George is the largest city in Washington County and the eighth-largest city in Utah. Its metropolitan area is home to nearly 160,000 residents. It has consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing areas in the nation for the last two decades, even surpassing Las Vegas in per capita growth. New residents from across the country and Canada are attracted to St. George’s scenic beauty, world class healthcare, mild climate, active lifestyle and its close proximity to unparalleled outdoor recreation, including Snow Canyon State Park, Quail Creek and Sand Hollow Reservoirs, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Lake Powell and Grand Canyon National Park.