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Busy Sundays at City Creek restaurants help state tax revenue


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SALT LAKE CITY -- City Creek Center may mean shopping and food for residents, but its economic impact extends into millions in tax revenues, thousands of jobs and a new draw for conventions.

The opening of City Creek Center is expected to be a boost to Utah's economy, and even on the one day a week the retail stores in the center are closed, people still milled around the center's restaurants and Harmons grocery store.

The project's biggest restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory, was packed with patrons Sunday . Since the restaurant opened, there have been at least 150 names on the two and a half hour long waiting list, according to Priscilla Urquides, a hostess at the restaurant.

The Cheesecake Factory has been full since opening Thursday, selling 1600 slices of its namesake cheesecake on opening day.

City Creek Center
projected economic impact
  • $1 million a year estimated tax revenue
  • 4,000 jobs were created since Oct. 2006
  • 2,000 positions will remain
  • 265 new jobs were created by the Cheesecake Factory
  • $1,000 is spent by the typical convention attendee
  • $5 million in economic impact per 5,000- person convention

"Very excited with it, I can't believe that we've filled the restaurant in less than an hour today," said the Cheesecake Factory Area Director of Operations Shannon Venturo. "We were wondering what was going to happen with the rest of the mall being closed. We knew we were a brand that draws people to the area, so I'm glad to see we're drawing people who know we're open for Sunday brunch."

While good for business, the profit also means an estimated $1 million a year in tax revenue for the city.

Since the project was announced in October 2006, approximately 4,000 jobs were created, mostly in the construction field. Now, with that completed, about 2,000 positions will remain. The Cheesecake Factory opening itself created 265 new jobs, for folks like Salt Lake City resident Leah Staks.

"I couldn't be happier," Staks said. I know everybody that I'm working with is really glad to be here."

City Creek Center is also expected to also help the city draw new convention business. The typical convention goer spends $1,000 when they visit, so a 5,000-person convention will generate $5 million in economic impact.

One group walking through the center traveled up from central Utah. They came to see both a Capitol Theater performance and Salt Lake's new destination.

"I think a lot of people will come here after other activities they've been participating in," said Bailey Olson, a resident of Ephraim.

Since 2010, more than three dozen new businesses have opened up in the Central Business District and by some estimates, City Creek Center is expected to draw upwards of 15 million visitors a year.

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John Daley

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