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For the Beach Boys song, see Salt Lake City (song).
Salt Lake City is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Utah. The name of the city is often shortened to Salt Lake, or its initials, S.L.C. It was originally known as Great Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City has a population of 178,858 as of 2008. The Salt Lake City metropolitan area spans Salt Lake, Summit and Tooele counties, and has a total estimated population of 1,018,826. Salt Lake City is further situated in a larger urban area known as the Wasatch Front, and until 2003 the Ogden-Clearfield metro area within it was considered part of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. The total estimated population of the Wasatch Front is approximately 2,150,000.
The city was founded in 1847 by a group of Mormon pioneers led by their prophet, Brigham Young, who fled hostility and violence in the midwest. The headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the L.D.S. or Mormon Church) is located in the city — and, indeed, "Salt Lake City" is a metonym for this denomination's headquarters.
Mining booms and the construction of the first transcontinental railroad initially brought economic growth, and the city became nicknamed the Crossroads of the West. In the 21st century the city has developed a strong outdoor recreation tourism industry (skiing and biking), become the industrial banking center of the U.S, and served as host to the 2002 Winter Olympics.