West Valley City's Entertainment Venues Expand

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Sammy Linebaugh ReportingJust in time for 4th of July celebrations West Valley's newest entertainment attraction is opening its gates. The USANA amphitheatre was officially unveiled this afternoon.

With each summer concert expected to draw 20-thousand people, city officials are already looking forward to the economic boost.

Consider the E Center built in 1997. With its construction came a flurry of other commercial activity, gas stations, restaurants, even hotels.

City managers hope the new outdoor amphitheatre will have a similar impact. With a stage built for big time production, seating for seven thousand and lawn space for nearly twice that many, West Valley's new outdoor concert venue is the latest landmark in the city's ongoing bid to become the entertainment capital of Utah.

The 10 million dollar USANA Amphitheatre built by United Concerts joins a solid list of West Valley entertainment facilities either constructed or in the works. Besides the E Center, home to Olympic hockey events; the Hale Center Theater, for performing arts; and Centennial Park, which hosts community celebrations like West Fest; the city is nearing completion of a 60 acre arts and cultural center anchored by an event hall with outdoor space and utility infrastructure for vendors, exhibits, festivals, and its own outdoor theatre.

Down the road, city managers see this area as a sort of international marketplace where people can buy and sell food and commodities from all different cultures.

Paul Isaac, Acting West Valley City Manager: "This is a place where people can come and live and work and enjoy every cultural amenity there is to offer in this entire valley."

Acting city manager Paul Isaac says it isn't just amusement that's enticing developers, either. The Newspaper Agency Corporation is expected to move production of the state's two largest papers -- including about 800 employees -- from downtown to a site in West Valley as soon a proposed 80-million dollar facility can be completed. It’s a move, Isaac hopes, will have a snowball effect.

Paul Isaac: "It really enhances our overall ability to attract not only commercial development but other manufacturing developments."

Something else to consider, Hogle Zoo could also end up there if it leaves its current location. West Valley has a spot already picked out along the Jordan River for its relocation.

That's at least months away. As for the new USANA amphitheatre, the Beach Boys will inaugurate the stage this Thursday night, July 3rd with 25 other concerts scheduled through the summer.

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