I may be able to give you some input. I have lived all over the country: Illinois, Connecticut, upstate New York, Texas, Arizona and Utah. I moved here from Scottsdale, AZ and at the time could have moved anywhere. I narrowed down my choices to Denver, SLC, Portland and Seattle. I decided the weather in the pacific northwest wasn't what I wanted to deal with. I chose SLC over Denver for several reasons. Here in SLC, you are literally minutes from the mountains. I can be at Alta/Snowbird in 20 minutes, or be in the "twisties" within about 10. In Denver, you're just not that close to the mountains unless you move west of the city. The crime rate in SLC is pretty low comparatively.... Also, SLC has a better location IMHO. Via car, I can reach Yellowstone National Park in like 5 or 6 hours, Las Vegas in 5.5 hours, and Lake Tahoe in about 8. Not to mention the incredible parks in Utah such as Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion etc that are only about 3 hours away give or take. Park City is only 40 minutes away from my place. Moab is like 3.5 hours south, the 4-wheeling mecca of the US. Denver is about 8 hours east of here, depending on the route. Cobb Tuning is here, eheh. The people here are overall pretty friendly, although admittedly the whole mormon thing takes some getting used to when you're not from around here. Its no big deal, but religion is definitely on the forefront moreso than anywhere else I've ever been. Being a heathen bastard like myself though, it really has no effect on me.
On the plus side, you can go shopping on Sunday and fire a cannon thru the stores since they're so empty.
Last year I went Christmas shopping on the Sunday before Christmas and didn't even wait in line at Target. Try that anywhere else in the country.
Overall, I'm not sorry I moved here. The outdoor activities are plentiful... skiing, biking, climbing, hiking, etc. If you want to live near the mountains and take advantage of the beautiful western US, this is a great place to be located... The weather here isnt bad either. Summer temps are usually like 95ish as a high (with no humidity) and winter temps aren't that cold either... like maybe 20's at a minimum typically. Yes, it can
get colder or hotter than that, but those are just general rules. Typically in the winter in the valley it tends to be 30's - 40's. The wind is bad sometimes though. We do definitely have 4 seasons here.
Anyway, just my $.02