Downtown Salt Lake City offering more holiday fare
City Creek kicks off festivities; retailers have high hopes
"We are attracting 16.2 million visits a year to the City Creek Center, but when you look at what that means for anybody else operating a business, that is a marketing opportunity," explained City Creek marketing director Dee Brewer.
Thus far, retailers at the new shopping center have exceeded their sales and traffic expectations, with an economic impact that has been significant, Brewer said.
Jason Mathis, executive director of the Downtown Alliance, said huge crowds are expected as visitors from throughout the region come to experience the city's traditional holiday programs as well as the new programs.
"To accommodate the crowds, (we're) hiring a trolley car we are calling 'the Jingle Bus' to ferry people between the malls and Gallivan Plaza," he said. That service will begin the day after Thanksgiving.
New this year will be a holiday Christmas village on weekends as a supplement to the ice rink at Gallivan Plaza. Additional police will also patrol downtown and assist with traffic during the peak holiday times, he added.
"There are a dozen nights in December that we anticipate record crowds in the downtown area," Mathis said.
The increased interest is forecast to bring significant revenues to city businesses as well.
As for City Creek, the retail and entertainment hub is 98 percent occupied, with an Apple Store scheduled to open on Saturday — replacing the soon to be closed Gateway location. Wardell called the addition an "early Christmas surprise" from Santa.
"This is an opportunity for other retailers, and you're seeing that as the retail footprint is growing down Main Street and throughout the central business district," Brewer said.
"This tide is lifting all boats," he said. "The downtown retail corridor has really been restored on Main Street."
Contributing: McKenzie Romero
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