Why Silicon Valley techies flee to Utah

It’s not easy to live in Silicon Valley.

The Guardian recently reported that some tech workers can’t survive on six-figure salaries because of the "Silicon Valley wealth bubble.” Even though the California companies pay some of the highest salaries in the country, rising cost of living makes life harder for techies, according to The Guardian.

“I had to borrow money to make it through the month,” said one Twitter employee, who told The Guardian he makes between $100,000 and $700,000 a year.

And when they can't make it in Silicon Valley, the techie flee elsewhere, like Portland, Denver and even the Beehive State.

Times are tough for California's tech workers. The Twitter employee told The Guardian that his "cheap" apartment goes for about $3,000 a month (and that’s only a two bedroom), The Guardian reported.

“Families are priced out of the market,” one Twitter employee told The Guardian, adding that family-friendly cafes and restaurants have slowly turned into places for millennials, too.

These high costs have affected Californians in the valley for awhile. According to The Guardian, teachers, firefighters and low-income earners have left the valley because the cost of living is too high.

And yes, now the tech enthusiasts are leaving, too.

The tough times have led to something of an exodus for tech workers, according to The Guardian.

But where does these tech workers go when they leave Silicon Valley? Tech news website Geektime recently outlined 10 different cities where Silicon Valley’s workers disappear to. And one of them is Utah, specifically the Silicon Slopes.

Here’s what Geektime said about Salt Lake City:

“Salt Lake and Utah have never gotten a fair shake, but the city is a cultural and religious epicenter,” the website explained. “It’s also a hot spot for millennials thanks its many schools, scenic beauty and reasonable prices. Nearby Provo is itself burgeoning with technology companies filled with local graduates from Brigham Young University.”

Silicon Slopes ranked No. 8 on the list ahead of Denver (No. 9) and Los Angeles (No. 10).

Portland topped the list, followed by Austin, Texas; Dallas; Phoenix; Oklahoma City; Seattle; and San Diego, according to Geektime.

Read more from the list and Salt Lake City at Geektime.

Utah’s reputation as a refuge for those fleeing Silicon Valley workers is nothing new. As the Deseret News reported last year, Silicon Slopes is often an attractive relocation spot for techies because of Utah's low cost of living, family-friendly and clean environment, and gorgeous mountain views.

“It sounds sort of loosey-goosey, but when I first went there and saw those mountains, there was something so inspiring about the physical landscape,” Kim Scott, a former Google exec who joined Qualtrics’s board this year, told Fortune. “It’s helped them attract some great talent.”

Cheaper prices often top the list of reasons people move to the Silicon Slopes. According to CNBC, Utah competes with major cities like Boston and New York, too, because of its cheap real estate and young talent pool.

And AOL co-founder Steve Case told the Deseret News that it’s something more that drives Utah’s success — the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit that lives within everyone who comes from the state.

“There is a spirit here of innovation and a spirit here of what’s happening next and how do we position ourself to be where the puck is going and not just where the puck is,” he said.

Information Technology
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Deseret News Fri, 03/17/2017 - 09:38