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Eureka celebrates Doug Wright’s impact on community

EUREKA — Thousands of people all over Utah are preparing to bid farewell to Doug Wright’s daily talk show.  But it’s safe to say that people in one city will miss him most of all: his second home of Eureka.

Doug Wright buying a home in Eureka happened at a crucial time for the city. Mayor Nick Castleton has a theory about why it happened when it did.

“He was really interested in the railroads.  The railroads, obviously, led to mining and he came out to Eureka and it was about the time when Eureka was really on a downhill slope as population goes,” Castleton says.

The city gets a lot of tourists, largely due to it being on the historic registry.  However, when Castleton meets people taking pictures while walking up and down the street, he is always greeted by people who are visiting the town because they heard about it through Wright.

Castleton says, “Just my guess, by the number of people I talk to who say, ‘We hear about it so much on The Doug Wright Show that we had to come and see it,’ I would put the number around 40 percent of the visitors here.”

In fact, even Wright’s home has become a bit of a tourist attraction.

“One out of three of them say, ‘Where does Doug Wright live?’ He actually lives in the Salt Lake area, but he has a home out here.  So, we claim him as a part-time resident, at least.  I always direct them to the direction where his house is in Eureka,” he says.

What Castleton is really grateful for is Wright’s “Ride to Light Up Eureka” event.  The first one was designed to raise money for street lights that matched the historic look of the city.

“By the time we got all the money, we had some money left over. We were able to buy American flags to hang on all the light poles. We bought banners that advertised, ‘Welcome to Eureka,’” he adds.

Since then, money raised from the yearly event has gone a long way in updating and improving the city’s infrastructure.