Cache County's first business crowd wore buckskins instead of button-downs, carried rifles instead of briefcases, and "cached" a huge inventory of beaver pelts underground. The mountain men who trapped in northern Utah in the early 1800s did a brisk business.
While their entrepreneurial exuberance may have trapped the beaver into near oblivion, the mountain men set a determined pace for commerce in Cache County that has yet to slow.
Situated above 4,000 feet in the fertile, green expanse of northern Utah's Cache Valley, Cache County is nestled between the snowcapped peaks of the Rocky Mountain's Bear River Range to the east and the Wellsville Mountains to the south and west. Cache Valley, at first breathtaking glance from Wellsville Canyon, looks more like a vacation spot than the thriving "micrometropolitan" area American Demographics Magazine named as one of the top 25 in the United States.
Logan, the county seat, is home to Utah State University (USU), established in 1888. Logan, 85 miles north of Salt Lake City, is the largest town in a county of over 70,000 people, not including the more than 15,000 students enrolled at the university. The presence of the university in this rural setting adds cultural diversity to the composition of the Cache County community and draws quality cultural offerings to the valley. Logan has several fine restaurants, easily accessible downtown shopping, a mall, and a variety of religious congregations. The city also serves as the economic hub for this four-season "playground."
The 19 towns that comprise Cache County are loosely connected by Highway 89-91, a straight shot off Interstate 15 through spectacular Wellsville Canyon. These nicely appointed towns share a bond--a carefully wrought, forward-thinking strategy for economic development. It is a blueprint for the future that already boasts across-the-board community support and a growing list of enviable successes.
"We were the first [area in the state] to put together a strategic plan for the county, and we followed it," said Bobbie Coray, director of Cache Economic Development. "We began the process almost six years ago and have added more than 8,000 jobs and 150 new employers in those years. We have maintained a very aggressive posture for recruiting businesses. We are particularly interested in small, technology-based companies that will hire people here and provide them with career opportunities. We also work very closely with our existing businesses to help them expand their operations."
Cache Valley's list of existing businesses is impressive. It includes Bourns Network Division, Herff Jones, Moore Business Forms, Presto Products, as well as the major food processors such as Cache Valley Cheese, Gossners, E. A...