The IFly wind tunnel is another new concept in adventure sports. It is only the 10th built in the United States, with the next closest being in Denver.
"And," said Nielsen, "it is the only wind tunnel in the U.S. sharing indoor space with a surfing wave."
Fliers, in jumpsuits, helmets, soft-sole shoes, goggles and gloves, step into a circular chamber with a prevailing up-draft ranging from 60 mph to as much as 170 mph.
The tunnel is the next best thing to weightlessness while free-falling during a sky dive adventure or getting sent into space. On first flight, an instructor helps fliers become suspended, then helps them maintain a position as they float.
More experienced fliers go with a higher wind speed and can ascend a couple of stories instantly and descend just as quickly. They can also sit, stand, spin and roll, all of which take time to master.
Also in the center area there is a state-of-the-art bowling center, video arcade and snack centers.
Outside the center, within a few minutes drive, there is a man-made lake that, in the summer, is suitable for a world-class water-skiing competition. The lake covers 70 acres and will someday include a half-mile-long slalom course that Godfrey said could be the site of the 2011 Water Ski Championships, "if all goes well."
Not far away are the two kayak courses, one on the Weber River and the second on Ogden River that attract everyone from beginners to world-class experts. Kayakers can negotiate both slow and fast water, skirt boulders and pools, and perform stunts ranging from simple spins to doing cartwheels, bow stalls, flat-water loops and stern stalls, with an occasional roll tossed in.
Along the foothills of Ogden there is a range of large boulders and steep cliffs that have become popular with climbers. What is especially attractive, like everything else, is that the rocks and walls are close to the city center and are easily accessible.
There are also plans to build a tower of ice suspended from steel cables this winter that will allow people to try ice climbing. The building of the tower is being headed by Jeff Lowe, a world-class climber. The tower, to be located across from the municipal park, will be 65-feet high and have three climbing surfaces a sheer wall, a 70-degree wall for beginners and a combine ice and rock wall. The ice tower will be open year-round.
"Imagine, people will be able to go skiing and then come to Ogden and try something they've probably never tried before or will ever have another chance to try, like indoor surfing or flying in the wind tunnel or ice climbing," said Godfrey.
On the outskirts of town is another adventure few people will ever get to experience elsewhere Fort Buenaventura. Once a state park, the fort is now owned and operated by the City of Ogden. It was the first permanent Anglo settlement in the Great Basin. It was built in the 1840s. On site is a lake for canoeing and fishing, a camping area and a stockade on the old fort site. Inside the fort year-round is a trader's store selling hand-made items of that period.
In the summer there are rendezvous with people in authentic dress participating in crafts and competition such as blackpowder shoots and hatchet throwing.
Other activities in the Ogden area include cross country skiing, mountain biking and hiking.
"We see ourselves catering more to the middle-income vacationer," said Godfrey. "They can come and stay in Ogden, get a very reasonable rate and be only 20 minutes from skiing and the mountains, and only minutes from all of these other activities."
All of this adventure and recreational opportunity has not gone unnoticed by the adventure and recreational community. There have been at least a dozen international companies move headquarters into or near Ogden, including Descente, Scott, Salomon and Goode Ski Technologies.All of which will, of course, as has happened in Boulder, Colo., lead to more companies and more activities of an extreme nature coming to Ogden.