Downtown is buzzing with excitement about the recent opening of Harmons on February 15 and City Creek Center on March 22. Both are amazing additions to downtown and will benefit the entire region. We’re excited to see our city center transformed through these projects, along with openings of the Leonardo, Gallivan Plaza, 222 Main, OC Tanner, the public safety building and a new federal courthouse. We look forward to a future that includes a performing art center, convention center hotel, public market, streetcar system and bike share system. It’s a great time to be downtown!
Over the past few weeks, many people have asked about the impact of City Creek Center on other shops and stores. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this and talking to retailers. In a nutshell the long-term picture is very bright. It is vital that The Gateway and City Creek Center continue to thrive, along with all the independent merchants on Main Street, Broadway, 100 South and all points in-between.
We know that a handful of retailers will move from The Gateway to City Creek Center and some others will keep shop in both centers for a while. This natural transition is not severe and has been anticipated for many years. The people who own and manage The Gateway are very smart and have known about plans for City Creek Center for several years. They’ve already made great efforts to bring even more new retailers to the Utah market in addition to the new stores recruited by City Creek Center. Utah shoppers will be well served by two dynamic and unique shopping destinations in the heart of downtown.
Based on conversations with the operators of both centers, I’m absolutely convinced that The Gateway and City Creek Center will continue to be successful. And the Downtown Alliance is working with marketing teams at both organizations to develop campaigns that encourage patrons to cross-shop, with free TRAX service and unique offerings of each center.
Clearly, people across the region are very excited about the opening of City Creek Center. We anticipate that this momentum will only grow over the next few weeks, leading up to March 22. The Gateway, too, has several advantages, including the Clark Planetarium, the Grand Hall, Discovery Gateway, the Olympic Legacy Fountain, and Megaplex Movie Theaters. The proximity of the BYU extension, LDS Business College, residential units and new full offices will also continue to contribute to The Gateway’s long-term success.
A dynamic urban center like ours is never stagnant. Change brings challenges but also opportunities. With the opening of City Creek Center, our downtown continues its evolution into a regional capital for the new American West – with all the cultural, artistic, gastronomic, sporting, employment, nightlife and retail amenities that make up a great city. While there will certainly be some growing pains throughout this evolution, the future of our downtown is strong and secure. The Gateway, along with the rest of the downtown ship, continues to rise on an ascending tide.