Visitors and tourism officials happy about Temple Square reopening
Most days you can see several tourists or visitors to Temple Square walking around outside or listening to the information from the sister missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On Tuesday afternoon, Frank and Betsy Thornton were disappointed they couldn’t go inside some of the buildings, but they enjoyed watching the work on the Salt Lake Temple through the windows in the outside walls.
“It’s fascinating to watch the construction,” said Betsy.
“I was involved in construction, so it’s just fun to see. This is a big, big project,” said Frank.
They were on a motorhome trip from Colorado with around 20 other people.
The Malone family was also visiting Utah from another part of Colorado. Cassie Malone joked she came a week too early.
“It’s exciting to at least walk the grounds and see everything. It will be really nice when everything is opened up and we can go inside and enjoy the full experience again,” she said.
Her 10-year-old son Ty said the Temple and other buildings were taller than he thought.
“Plus after Covid, we can all come back and look at it and go inside,” he said.
The Salt Lake Visitors Bureau said Temple Square can draw anywhere from three to five million visitors a year from all over the world.
“Temple Square has religious significance, but it is a compelling historical and cultural attraction for our visitors,” said Mark White, the senior vice president for sales and services at Visit Salt Lake.
“For many, it is a must-see, must-do experience while they are in Salt Lake. We’ve had some disappointed folks that it has not been open for the past several months, so its reopening is a big deal,” he said on Utah’s Morning News on KSL Newsradio Wednesday morning..
The Conference Center will open first on June 14 with limited daily hours and tours to begin.
“It’s a place of worship but also a stunning architectural marvel that even the locals should stop by and visit,” said White.
Then the Assembly Hall, Tabernacle, Family History Library and Church History Library will all open to the public once again starting July 6 with limited hours.
Family History Library director David Rencher said in a statement while there are billions of records on-line, people, including professional genealogists are anxious to get back into the library. Family Search said while the library has been shut down, they’ve made some renovations, including new workstations and access to some 40,000 newly acquired books.
The Church History Museum and Beehive House will open on August 2nd.
White said all of those buildings are a draw that contributes to hundreds of millions of dollars being brought into the city by tourists and travelers.
“The average convention delegate spends close to $1,000 during their visit. That’s on hotels, restaurants, retail purchases and so on,” he said.
White also talked to KSL about the new branding for Visit Salt Lake. You can hear more about that below.
Bonneville International Corporation, the company that owns KSL NewsRadio, is a subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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