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Keith McCord ReportingIt's not done yet, but the latest Salt Palace expansion project hit a significant milestone today. Phase One of the project is completed, at a cost of 15-million dollars. That was cause for some celebration!
A year from now, the Salt Palace Expansion will have brought 217-thousand additional square feet of exhibit and meeting space. Today it looks like a huge concrete slab, which sits atop a 400 space parking garage. This slab will ultimately become the exhibit hall floor. Construction began last December, and since that time 275 workers have moved 7,000 dump trucks full of dirt and put in nearly 2-million tons of steel.
Peter Corroon, Mayor of Salt Lake County: "And since then we've poured 16,184 cubic yards of concrete, and if you wanted to lay a side walk with all of that, it would be about 62 miles of sidewalk."
And the work got done on time, despite 33 days of rain.
The construction on the expansion project will now take a break to make way for the summer outdoor retailer show. When the show is done, construction will resume.
The Outdoor Retailer Show is the main reason for this expansion. The show needed more space, and unless it was provided, show producers considered looking elsewhere. But they will now stay. Other groups have also booked Salt Lake simply because of this project.
Mayor Corroon: "And we have already secured future conventions, large conventions that would not have come here had it not been for this expansion."
In fact, studies show that this expansion could generate an additional 40-million dollars in convention business every year.
Kelly Mathews, Board Chmn., Conventions & Visitors Bureau: "We're confident that we can continue to provide the opportunities for people to come and enjoy this beautiful valley, bring their conventions to a terrific physical facility."
The summer Outdoor Retailers Show takes place August 11 thru the 14th. On the 15th Phase Two of the expansion project will begin.
Attracting people to Salt Lake is what the convention center will certainly do, and articles in national magazines certainly don't hurt either. The cover story on this month's Outside Magazine lists Salt Lake City as one of the "18 Perfect Towns that Have It All". The magazine loves our easy access to outdoor recreation spots, and also mentions this is a great place for "dog lovers, vegetarians and bookstore browsers." They like TRAX too. Other cities mentioned in the article include: Chicago, Pasadena, Ft. Collins, Colorado and Portland (both Oregon and Maine).