OGDEN — Weber County officials want to make the Ogden Valley a bit more tourist-friendly.
To that end, they’re planning to install decorative wayfinding signage meant to help direct visitors to some of the key tourist destinations in the zone, including the county’s three ski resorts. It parallels a similar initiative in the city of Ogden, meant to make it easier for visitors to get to some of the key tourist draws in the city.
“It helps provide a sense of place through kiosk and gateway signage, it provides a sense of security by reinforcing you are headed in the right direction and it lets people know what else there is to do,” said Sara Toliver, president of Visit Ogden. As head of the convention and visitors bureau, she backs the Ogden and Weber County initiatives, saying such signage serves both locals and outside visitors.
Weber County Commissioner Scott Jenkins said he hopes the county initiative “classes up” the roadways in the Ogden Valley. “You want us to look as good as we can,” he said.
The county has set aside $200,000 for materials and labor, according to Commissioner Jim Harvey, and the project would be completed in phases. “The money we spend on this signage will come back to us seven-fold in the form of economic development and tourism dollars,” Harvey said in a statement.
Weber County officials have come up with two design concepts and launched a social media campaign to generate feedback from the public. But Jenkins said officials have yet to decide on one.
“For years, we’ve been hearing input from the community for support of this project. Now, we’d love everyone’s input on the design concepts,” Harvey said.
Significantly, officials still have to sort out details about placement of the signs with Utah Department of Transportation representatives. UDOT posts brown-colored signs that offer guidance to tourist attractions, and county leaders were hoping to replace those signs with the new signage. UDOT, however, has indicated that they would probably leave their signs in place, per UDOT regulations.
“We’re going to have double the signage. We don’t want that,” Jenkins said. Accordingly, county officials plan to meet with UDOT representatives to sort through the situation, see if there are alternative solutions. As with Ogden officials, county leaders hope to have the signage in place by May, in time for the 150th anniversary celebrations of completion of the transcontinental railroad in Northern Utah.
One of the concepts for Ogden Valley signage calls for use of wooden posts, for a rustic look. The other is more abstract, featuring wood and metal elements.