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West Valley City's Olive Garden is restaurant's leading national performer

By Aaron Crim

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Sept. 26 2011 9:47 p.m. MDT

This is a bird's-eye view of Fairbourne Station. Ground has been cleared for a four-acre park on the left and a Hilton Embassy Suites Hotel on the right. Construction has begun on the park and will begin on the hotel in the coming weeks.

Kevin Conde, West Valley City Public Relations

WEST VALLEY CITY — Economic development efforts at the center of Utah’s second-biggest city are moving forward full-force. The recent announcement of the City Center project, Fairbourne Station, and the continued development of the Valley Fair Mall may be proving successful as businesses and retailers become involved with one of the largest redevelopment projects in the state.

The Olive Garden Restaurant at Valley Fair Mall has been recognized for the second consecutive year as the company’s leading performer among the restaurant’s 750 North American locations.

Paul Schmitt, general manager of the Olive Garden at Valley Fair Mall, has been presented with Darden Restaurants’ top honor — the Joe R. Lee Diamond Club Award — named after the company’s retired chairman and CEO. Now in its 14th year, the award is presented annually to a general manager in North America who demonstrates outstanding results by achieving top financial performance in the company’s previous fiscal year.

“I’m extremely pleased with the Olive Garden’s recognition but not at all surprised,” says West Valley economic development director Nicole Cottle. “Our team has worked hard with the Valley Fair Mall to bring in tenants who are wanted and needed in West Valley City."

Economic development efforts in the heart of West Valley City are not limited to Valley Fair Mall. Fairbourne Station, a major redevelopment effort encompassing the area between 3500 South and 3650 South and 2700 West and 3200 West, will begin taking shape in the coming weeks as construction begins on a four-acre park and a Hilton Embassy Suites Hotel.

Other economic developments are taking shape. A new Target store, the city's first, is under construction along the 5600 West corridor; a Hilton Home 2 Suites is nearing completion in the Lake Park Corporate Center; Intermountain Bobcat has recently broken ground on a new facility on the north edge of the city; and outdoor retailer Backcountry.com recently expanded its West Valley City distribution center.

"Our recent successes attest to the fact that our city is appealing not only to those looking to relocate but to those wanting to expand," Cottle says.

For more information about West Valley City’s Fairbourne Station project, visit www.fairbournestation.com. For more information about Valley Fair Mall, visit www.shopvalleyfairmall.com.

Aaron Crim is the spokesman for West Valley City.

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