County Overview

Download the Iron County Prospectus.

Name & Contact

Brad Abrams, abrad@cedarcity.org

Tourism

Iron County is situated in the middle of five national parks, several national monuments, and other outdoor recreational areas. Each year millions of visitors frequent Cedar Breaks National Monument, Brian Head Ski Resort, Kolob Canyons, Frontier Homestead State Park and the Tony-Award winning Utah Shakespeare Festival. 

Transportation

Iron County is conveniently located 250 miles south of Salt Lake City and 175 miles north of Las Vegas along the I-15 corridor, which is directly accessible to 48 million people or 86.5 percent of the western metropolitan population within one day’s trucking.

Infrastructure

Iron County has access to a major freeway and state road systems, Union Pacific rail service, a fully-developed commercial service airport, and fast-tracked permitting.

Anchor Institutions

Located in the world’s best backyard, Southern Utah University is known as the University of the Parks thanks to its proximity to several outdoor recreational areas and its educational partnerships with the National Park Service. Iron County is also home to Southwest Technical College, a public technical college that focuses on certificate programs for the trades.

County Background

County History
Iron County was originally an agricultural and mining community and has since diversified their economic base in the sectors of education, tourism, and manufacturing. As home to a large public university, a thriving tourism industry, and a growing manufacturing hub, Cedar City is now a regional center for southwestern Utah.

Challenges and Opportunities
With the workforce being everyone’s top concern, Iron County’s small population base is a challenge to overcome.  However, recent growth shows a more positive picture, with Iron County’s population, projected to increase by 35 percent to over 70,000 people in the next 20 years (according to the Gardner Institute).  Because of this new growth and other factors, such as a growing student population, tech-pipeline, and strong education network, Iron County is well-positioned to meet future workforce demands.

Future Vision
Looking toward the next 20 to 30 years, Iron County resolves to encourage wise economic growth while managing its natural resources, preserving the scenic landscape, and maintaining a quality of life for its residents.

County-level Data

Description Census Data
Residents 52,775
Population change from 2010-2018 14.3%
Median Income $45,422
% of Individuals in Poverty 15.6%
% of Adults with HS Diploma 92.4%
% of Adults with Bachelor’s Degree 28.7%
Employed (2016) 12,402
%Unemployment Rate 3.2%
Projected Labor Force 2020 24,100
Projected Labor Force 2025 26,093

Sources: Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute

Census Tract One

Notable Community Aspects
This tract includes Port 15 Utah, a 540-acre, rail-served shovel-ready industrial park that is fully developed with high capacity industrial-scale power, natural gas, water, sewer, and redundant fiber.

Notable Economic Development Incentives
Cedar City and local taxing entities have created a local incentive matrix, offering a post-performance incentive program based on new property tax increment generated by the relocation or expansion of a project. At state level, the following incentives and programs are available: State Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ), Utah Rural Jobs Program (URJP), Enterprise Zone Tax Credits (EZTC), Rural Economic Development Incentive (REDI), Rural Fast Track (RFT), Rural Rapid Manufacturing

Key Takeaways
This exceptional location allows businesses access to major freeway systems, state roads, Union Pacific rail, and a fully-developed airport.

Qualified Incentives

  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
  • Qualified Census Tract (QCT)
  • New Market Tax Credit (NMTC)
  • Section 514/515
  • Section 538
Description Enterprise 360 Data
% Adults w/High School Diploma 92.92%
% of Adults w/a Bachelor’s Degree 32.03%
Unemployment Rate 4.98%
Median Household Income $55,584
% of People in Poverty 20.72%
Homeownership Rate 72.85%
Median Gross Rent $1,044
Residential Vacancy Rate 27.87%
Low-Income & Severely Cost-Burdened 14.41%
Median Owner Occupied Home Value $171,500
Total Population  871

Sources: Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute

Census Tract Two

Notable Community Aspects
Cedar City’s Historic Downtown is included in this tract which intersects with SR-14, the main access point for tourists visiting the national parks and other recreational areas. This tract is also home to Southern Utah University, the Tony-Award Winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Southern Utah Museum of Arts, all of which attract thousands of tourists annually.

Notable Economic Development Incentives
Cedar City and local taxing entities have created a local incentive matrix, offering a post-performance incentive program based on new property tax increment generated by the relocation or expansion of a project. In addition to the local incentive, the following state-level incentives and programs are available: State Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ), Utah Rural Jobs Program (URJP), Enterprise Zone Tax Credits (EZTC),Rural Economic Development Incentive (REDI), Rural Fast Track (RFT), Rural Rapid Manufacturing

Key Takeaways

  • High traffic areas positioned for development
  • Southern Utah University is uniquely located within a couple of blocks of Cedar City’s Historic Downtown
  • Highway 14 is the gateway to the national parks and other recreational areas.
  • SUU enrollment increasing with over 11,000 students
Description Enterprise 360 Data
% Adults w/High School Diploma 94.98% 
% of Adults w/a Bachelor’s Degree 30.03% 
Unemployment Rate 0.77%
Median Household Income $30,811
% of People in Poverty 35.20%
Homeownership Rate 39.63%
Median Gross Rent $647
Residential Vacancy Rate 20.95%
Low-Income & Severely Cost-Burdened 17.61%
Median Owner Occupied Home Value $163,300
Total Population 1,474

Sources: Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute

Economic Snapshot

Visit the Utah Department of Workforce Services economic snapshot here.