UTA and downtown shops prepare for conference weekend

By Shara Park | Posted - Apr 5th, 2013 @ 8:21am

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SALT LAKE CITY — Stores and public transit are preparing for a flood of newcomers and visitors during conference weekend.

The Downtown Alliance estimates about 100,000 people come in and out of downtown in a two-day period of time, just for LDS General Conference.

The influx of thousands of people is good news for business in downtown Salt Lake City. Many stores, especially restaurants in the Creek and Temple Square areas, are preparing for lines to be out the door. Some businesses even treat conference weekend like they do the Christmas holiday.

Bart Stringham, owner of Utah Wollen Mills, said he sees a 10 to 15 percent increase in sales over conference weekend. The Disney Store at City Creek received an extra large shipment of inventory of Thursday to prepare for shopping families.

Of those who typically shop downtown, 11 percent are visiting because of a religious activity, according to the Downtown Alliance. So for business, this weekend is a chance to capitalize and cater to those visitors.

Large crowds can turn into tricky traffic. To avoid traffic and parking problems this weekend many people use TRAX and Frontrunner. For those new to the system, the City Center and Temple Square TRAX stations are closest to the LDS Conference Center.

Conference sessions begin at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday. To accommodate the large crowds, UTA will run extra trains before and after each session.

UTA conference schedule

Saturday, April 6:

  • Extra TRAX trains will run before each. Blue line trains will leave Sandy Civic Center for downtown at 8:26 a.m., 8:46 a.m., 12:26 p.m., and 12:46 p.m. Extra Blue line trains will depart Salt Lake Central after each session.
  • Trains will depart from Sandy at 4:26 p.m. and 4:46 p.m. for 6 p.m. session.
  • Green and Red line trains will run every 20 minutes. Travelers using the Red line will need to transfer to a Blue or Green line train prior to Court House Station in order to get to the City Center and Temple Square TRAX stations.
  • Saturday FrontRunner service runs every 90 minutes, with departures beginning at 8:16 a.m. from Ogden and 7:27 a.m. from Provo.
  • TRAX trains depart from Salt Lake Central Station for Temple Square every 20 minutes.

Sunday, April 7:

  • TRAX trains will begin running every 20 minutes: from Daybreak (Red line) at 7:59 a.m., from Sandy Civic Center (Blue line) at 7:56 a.m., and from West Valley Central (Green line) at 8:19 a.m.
  • Extra trains will be Blue line trains leaving Sandy Civic Center for downtown at 8:26 a.m., 8:46 a.m., 12:26 p.m., and 12:46 p.m
  • No FrontRunner service on Sundays

For more detailed information on the schedule, visit rideuta.com.

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