The old airport up on the ridge in St. George is long gone, but there will still be plenty of people flying off the ridge before too long.

They'll be using a zipline if Isaac Barlow and his partners have their way.

Tech Ridge is now the new name for the old St. George Airport, which outgrew its relatively short runways and became the larger St. George Regional Airport that we know today.

In the old airport's place is the future.

Barlow, who spent time with me on the Andy Griffin Show, said Tech Ridge will have something for everyone when it is completed some time in the next decade or so.

A paved trail along the ridge's edge, a chairlift, a fast-moving zipline, hotels, apartments, high tech businesses and a variety of restaurants are all in the near future for St. George's answer to Silicon Valley in California and Silicon Slopes in Northern Utah.

"The city of St. George came to us and said that our No. 1 export is our talented children," Barlow said. "They wanted to stop losing them, so Tech Ridge is really established to create high-paying jobs for the local community and it's working very well."

Already Tech Ridge has busybusy (Barlow's company), Zonos, Vasion, Planstin Healthcare, Intergalactic and others. But it's not just tech businesses.

"You'll have a mix of commercial, office, retail, residential and hotel," he said. "That's mixed with about 60 acres of parks, trails and open spaces, and more than half of that is the perimeter. We put a nice trail around the perimeter."

Plus on Tech Ridge is Dixie Technical College.

There's also a new road on the southeast side of the ridge and one planned for the southwest side that will feed out near the new Maverik store and be two minutes away from Exit 6 of the I-15 Freeway.

Barlow said they spent $110,000 of private money to study the traffic patterns and potential problems that will need to be solved to make the ridge easily accessible to all.

Here's a quick timeline of the evolution of Tech Ridge:

  • In 2011, the City of St. George retired the old airport.
  • In 2012 Dixie Tech acquired land on the site with 10 acres, the terminal and runway donated by the City of St. George.
  • In 2016 the City of St. George approached leading members of the local tech community about building a Tech Park.
  • In 2017 St. George City put out a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) for developing the old airport site. The City's primary objectives were: 1) Expand and Promote a Technology-focused economy; 2) Create higher-paying technology jobs; 3) Facilitate world-class healthcare and research; 4) Promote the city and area as an outdoor recreation destination; 5) Support higher learning; 6) Increase quality of life
  • In 2017 the City of St. George awarded the development of the old airport site to Tech Ridge, LLC. The primary focus was economic development, public benefit, and complimenting downtown. There was a wonderful group of visionaries that came together to help create what Tech Ridge could become.
  • In 2023, building continues on the Tech Ridge Project, with TR leadership pushing for a chairlift, zipline, luge track and an adventure park, among other amenities.
  • In 2038, Tech Ridge is expected to be fully built out

Tech Ridge in pictures

Tech Ridge in pictures

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