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(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Mike Elliott, center, chats with friends including Sam Demastrie, left, at Beer Bar, 161 E. 200 South, one recent Thursday evening. Elliott, 24, studied in Seattle after graduating from the University of Utah but returned to the heart of his native city to work and live.
‘Up-and-coming’ Salt Lake becoming a ‘pretty cool place’
First Published Aug 31 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Sep 01 2014 11:30 am

A few years ago, Mike Elliott and his friends might have sought out a private house party for their weekend fun. Now, the 24-year-old Web developer says there’s plenty to do in downtown Salt Lake City.

Elliot and his girlfriend rent an apartment on the southern edge of the urban core, and he commutes to suburban Sandy for work.

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"I like the idea of an up-and-coming city," he says. "There’re just more options."

Elliot says he can feel the city’s night life gaining momentum. The University of Utah graduate frequents the Ninth and Ninth district, uses the nonprofit bike-share program and is a fan of Thursdays’ Twilight Concert Series. Among his favorite hangouts: the newly opened Beer Bar, at 161 E. 200 South, adjacent to an emerging art district being referred to as the Edison Quarter.

"It’s been a pretty cool place to meet everyone," Elliott says.

He has a car and finds TRAX too expensive to use on a daily basis. And though he’s contemplating buying a home, the Salt Lake City native, whose father hails from England and mother is Utah-born, has other financial priorities and prefers the freedom that renting brings. It leaves more time for his pastimes: rock climbing, snowboarding, video gaming and archery-bow making.

"I’d have all the added responsibilities, which I’m just not into at the moment," Elliot says of taking on a home mortgage and maintenance. "I’ve got other things to worry about right now."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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