CEDAR CITY — Although the LDS Cedar City Utah Temple just opened for regular operations Tuesday, the new building has already had a positive economic impact on the area, local officials say.
“Our community shined as we welcomed thousands of visitors to Cedar City,” Mayor Maile Wilson said, referring to the three-week open house held in advance of the temple’s official opening.
“It was wonderful to see our local restaurants, stores and other businesses busy with the many out-of-town visitors that came to Cedar City for the various events associated with the dedication of the Cedar City Temple,” the mayor added.
More than 180,000 people, or an average of about 10,000 per day, toured the temple during the public open house, which lasted from Oct. 27 through Nov. 18, said John Yardley of Panguitch, who served as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' coordinator for the temple open house and dedicatory events. One of the busiest days was Nov. 11, which saw more than 16,700 visitors, Yardley added.
Travel and tourism officials said the temple’s open house had a positive effect, particularly in the areas of food and lodging.
“I think the temple open house certainly had an impact on our community at a time of year we typically don’t see a lot of tourism and for that we are grateful,” said Maria Twitchell, president of the Cedar City-Brian Head Tourism Bureau.
Twitchell said Cedar City area motels and lodging saw an overall increase of 9 percent in occupancy during the open house period.