37th Annual AJHA Convention
Salt Lake City | Oct. 4-6, 2018
University of Utah
Welcome to Salt Lake City---Again!
When was the first time you fell in love with AJHA? I bet you didn’t expect that question! However, it’s something I hope you’ll consider. I fell in love with AJHA in Salt Lake City 25 years ago. Everyone I met was friendly, supportive and overwhelmingly passionate about one thing -- historical research. I had found my tribe! It is with this love – and a wee bit of déjà vu -- that I welcome you to AJHA’s 37th annual destination convention in the city of the Great Salt Lake.
To say that Utah is an interesting state would be an understatement. When you think about Utah, the first thing that may come to mind is the diverse beauty of the state. It is home to some of the tallest mountain peaks in the country, a desert, five national parks, and Donny and Marie. Salt Lake City is Utah’s largest city and state capital. It is the home of the Mormon Church and the choral excellence of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the largest salt water lake in the Western hemisphere, and Utah Jazz basketball.
Salt Lake City has a rich and celebrated diversity that surprises many visitors. The city has the largest population of Tongans of any city in the U.S. and the fourth-largest Samoan community in the nation. Salt Lake also is home to about 60,000 refugees who have been resettled here with the help of two of the country's nine resettlement agencies. The Pride Festival is one of the largest in the West, and three local couples played a significant role in the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. SLC is known for its great food, culture, and historical sites.
This year, the convention will be held in the Hotel RL. The Red Lion Hotel franchise is known for its minimalist yet creative décor and contemporary cuisine. The hotel’s services include mobile express check-in/out, a business center, coffee bar, an outdoor pool and hot tub (seasonal), and bike rentals. You’ll be able to both check into the hotel and register for the AJHA conference in the hotel’s lobby. Visit the Hotel & Travel page for rates and booking information.
The Hotel RL is located in downtown SLC. It is three long blocks away from the main attractions, but you don’t have to walk to everything. The hotel shuttle will take you where and when you want to go. Also, SLC has public bus and light rail (TRAX) routes, including free travel within the downtown area.
The convention historic tour will take us on a 30-minute ride to Park City. Park City originated as an old mining town after a large vein of silver was discovered in the area. After many mines consolidated and closed in the early 1900s, the population dwindled and Park City was considered a “ghost town” during the 1950s. The city recovered and evolved into the recreational and creative mecca you know today.
Similar to our past historic tours, we will visit the Park City Museum and tour the city on our own. We’ll have two buses so those that choose to do so may return to SLC early while others stay and experience the local cuisine. Park City is known for its wide variety of food offerings and price points. The local host committee will provide more details and recommendations. We’ll leave Park City around 7 p.m. and return to SLC at approximately 7:30 p.m.
If you want to stay local and venture out on your own, our local hosts are preparing walking tours that will take you around the city. There are plenty of things to do and see. One of my favorite memories of the previous SLC convention was our visit to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir practice in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. While it’s not an actual performance, the choir’s practice session won’t disappoint. The practice is open to the public every Thursday night from 7:30-9:30 p.m. This may be a great event to attend after the Thursday evening reception.
The Saturday night gala will reflect the laid back and creative environment that SLC is known for. We’ll dine at Squatters, a local eatery known for its food, modern urban environment, wide variety of award-winning beers, and commitment to sustaining the environment.
Let's relax and celebrate the close of another successful convention! As always, there will be a cash bar.
One final note: I’d like to thank our local hosts Kim Mangun, David Vergobbi, and Glen Feighery for their help with organizing the Salt Lake City convention.
We welcome you to Salt Lake City!