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Ground broken for new SLC convention hotel
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Ground broken for new SLC convention hotel

(Artist rendering)

SALT LAKE CITY – Restaurants, pools, bars and 25 floors of hotel rooms… all part of a massive convention hotel being built over the Salt Palace Convention Center.  Economic officials say it’s going to be a game-changer for the county when it opens.

(Credit: Paul Nelson)

Tourism officials say the hotels downtown are wonderful, but, even with several hotels right across the street from the convention center, the city had a hard time convincing convention planners to come to Salt Lake City because there wasn’t a convention hotel, specifically.

Visit Salt Lake Senior Vice President Mark White says, “We lost 43 major conventions [between 2018 and 2019] that would have brought a quarter-million people to our destination.”

White says a typical convention attendee spends around $1,000 when they visit Utah, which equates to roughly $250 million in lost potential revenue in the past two years.  He says planners often need suites, easy access to convention space and a lot of other things before they decide to have their event in any city.

“Housing their VIPs, housing their delegates in a hotel that’s convenient, upscale and appropriate is among the major criteria,” White says.

The Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City will have 700 rooms across 25 floors.  Along with that, it’s going to have restaurants, a bar, an outside terrace for events like weddings, a pool, a fitness center and 60 thousand square feet of meeting space.

Salt Lake County Economic Development Director Blake Thomas says once the hotel opens, the state will be able to use it to entice a lot of business into downtown.  Plus, he says Utah has another secret weapon to bring in conventions.

“Access to outdoor recreation.  That really sets us apart.  It shows how special we are in the intermountain west,” Thomas says.

The county’s goal isn’t just to bring tourists to visit Utah.  He says the conventions could convince companies to move to The Beehive State.

He says, “It allows us to welcome the world and to bring the best minds and innovators into our community.”

Construction officially begins Monday, January 13.  The hotel is scheduled to have its grand opening in October 2022.

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