Until recently most people thought of Utah as the state that was home to The Church of the Later Day Saints and saw it as a very religious area of the country. While the Mormon Church is a strong influence in the state, the population of the state is quickly increasing and changing the perception of this western state where commercial real estate in Utah is becoming a hot commodity.

The state of Utah has a population of 2,550,063 spread out across over 82,114 square miles. There are 30.06 people living in each of those square miles but that number is quickly becoming larger. The population has been rising at a rapid rate over the past two decades. Between 1990 and 2000 the population rose over 29%, and since 2000 it has risen another 10.6%. The per capita income of the residents of Utah is $27,300.

What does this mean for those who are interested in commercial property in Utah?

The state's biggest city is its capital, Salt Lake City. The economy of the city is strong, and there is a shortage of office space in the city, but that is quickly being taken care of with new development. New commercial real estate is being developed to accommodate the needs of a growing workforce, particularly retails space.

Following the trends of its capital city, Utah as a whole has a strong, growing economy. Over the past few decades, as an influx of people have come to the state, the residential real estate market flourished. The housing market has slowed quite a bit, but commercial development has more than made up for the residential slowdown. Indeed, commercial construction is now the driving engine of the Utah economy. Less populated areas such as Tooele County are actively soliciting retailers and retail developers.

Salt Lake City also has a robust tourism industry. Tourism has increased dramatically since the city was built up for the 2002 Olympics, and additional hotels and tourist services were added. It is also a popular place for conventions to be held. Indeed, Utah's tourist industry is helping prop up its sagging housing market as numbers for vacation condos and second homes remain strong. As well, ski resorts are being built in record numbers.

One concern that some people have about the state's rapid growth in residential and commercial real estate is that the west's troubled water supply will not be able to support the needs of the state, particularly in the dry south.