Axios Salt Lake City

Newsletter branding image

Happy Monday, and welcome to the first day of April.

🎧 Sounds like: "Blackbiird" by Beyoncé

Today's newsletter is 922 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Empty nesters are holding on to their homes

Share of ownership of large homes by generation and market
Data: Redfin; Chart: Axios Visuals

Empty nesters own about 22% of Salt Lake City's family-sized homes, while millennials with children own a smaller share, per a recent Redfin report.

By the numbers: Salt Lake City is among the metros — including Austin, Texas, Houston, Riverside and San Jose, California, — where empty nesters own the smallest share of homes with at least three bedrooms in the U.S., according to Redfin.

The other side: Millennials with kids own about 16% of family-sized homes in the Salt Lake metro, which is higher than the national average of 14%.

  • Nationally, 28% of empty nesters own large homes.

The big picture: Utah's high housing costs have deterred many young people from buying.

  • The median sale price of a Utah home in February was $542,100, an 8% year-over-year increase.

What they're saying: "We're not the fastest-growing state in the country anymore, and that is because of the cost of living," Gov. Spencer Cox told reporters last month, per "Either you don't have a job, or you have a job, but you can't buy a house. Both of those make you leave."

State of play: The problem for many younger families is Baby Boomers don't have much motivation to sell, according to Redfin senior economist Sheharyar Bokhari.

  • Boomers typically have low housing costs, and most of them "are only in their 60s, still young enough that they can take care of themselves and their home without help," Bokhari said in the report.

Reality check: Seniors are still downsizing, sometimes to luxury apartments.

  • Of 1,020 Boomers nationwide who plan to sell their home, 85% said they intend to do so in the next three years according to an Opendoor survey.

Between the lines: Housing affordability got worse last year. For many millennials in the U.S., the only way to buy a house was with family help.

What's next

2. 🎶 Killer Mike, Diplo to headline Ogden Twilight

Killer Mike performs during EA Sports' The Madden Bowl at the House of Blues Las Vegas inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on February 09, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Grammy award-winning artists Killer Mike, Diplo and St. Vincent are among the musical acts slated to headline the Ogden Twilight concert series.

State of play: Rock band Phoenix will kick off the musical festival on May 16 at the Ogden Amphitheater. Electronic music star Tycho will perform the last show on Sept. 13.

  • Other headliners include Cannons, Ben Böhmer, Thievery Corporation and Broken Social Scene.

How to go: Tickets are now on sale, starting at $15 to $20 per concert or $150 for the season pass.

  • Your ticket will also act as a UTA pass on the night of the concerts, with free access to the FrontRunner, TRAX or bus.

Share this story

3. Old News: The legendary hole in the Great Salt Lake

A phony headline in The Salt Lake Democrat, April 1, 1885. Image via Utah Digital Newspapers, University of Utah

It's April Fools' Day, so let's revisit when a Salt Lake newspaper convinced the world that an underground river flowed from the Great Salt Lake, swallowing man and horse alike.

This is Old News, our weekly voyage down the currents of Utah history.

Catch up quick: There have been legends of a "subterranean outlet" flowing from the lake to the Pacific Ocean since the 1800s. How else could lake levels remain stable while being filled with river water?

Reality check: The lake is salty precisely because it's terminal, the Utah Geological Survey explains.

  • Rivers deposit salt and other minerals into the lake, and they can't escape as the water evaporates.

Flashback: In 1870, some boatmen from Corinne, in Box Elder County, claimed their ship was almost sucked into an "immense maelstrom" in a report the Deseret Evening News wisely headlined: "IS IT A CANARD?"

  • The New York Times showed no such caution, reprinting a Utah Reporter story that described a Charybdian scene of "surging frothy foam … like the boiling of a mammoth cauldron."

Driving the news: The staff of the Salt Lake Democrat hoped to rekindle the fever dream on April Fools' Day 1885, when they printed a hoax story claiming that the earth suddenly gave way under a farmer's son and his horse as they herded cattle.

Winners & losers: In the following days, other Utah newspapers picked up the hoax story — and the Democrat proudly cited each one as a dupe in its April Fools' prank.

Full story

4. Fry Sauce: Nothing but crumbs

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

📱 Text messages exchanged between some Salt Lake City Council members reveal their initial frustrations over legislation to fund a future Major League Baseball stadium on the west side. (Salt Lake Tribune)

A man was struck by a car and killed after walking on I-15 in West Valley City on Sunday. (KUTV)

🎥 After expanding in Mexico City, the Sundance Institute is launching a new film festival in Chicago this summer. (Axios)

5. 🐈 Yes, it's really called a "catio"

Enola and Dijon in their "catio." Photo: Erin Alberty/Axios

You might remember how my cat ate three of Axios' computers.

The latest: Now the other is trying to destroy my piano, couch, dresser, dining table, liquor cabinet and houseplants.

  • The vet says they're probably bored. So my house has turned into an animal-enrichment reformatory.
  • We now have "foraging" puzzles for their food, toy mice strewn everywhere and finally, the height of Crazy Cat Lady accouterments: a catio.

How it works: It's an outdoor kennel with window access so cats can laze around in a slightly different location before coming inside to scratch up more furniture.

The result: They love it. They chatter at birds and growl at pedestrians for hours.

  • They just aren't behaving any better indoors.

Tell us: Have you ever owned a destructive cat? Did anything work, other than focusing on how cute they are and ignoring the rest?

1 riddle to go: April showers, bring May flowers, but what do May flowers bring?

🎧 Kim is loving Beyoncé's "Cowboy Carter."

Erin had a great Park City staycation.

This newsletter was edited by Ross Terrell and copy edited by Natasha Danielle Smith and Yasmeen Altaji.

Answer: Pilgrims! 🥁