Not just Salt Lake County, but all of Utah would benefit from an expanded Salt Palace, says Thayne Robson, director of the University of Utah's Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

"All of Utah, but especially Salt Lake County, including the growing areas of Sandy, West Jordan, Midvale and West Valley, will reap substantial economic benefits from an expanded Salt Palace," Robson told the Salt Lake Rotary Club Tuesday."An expanded convention center will bring 7,100 new jobs during the first six years after construction."

The current proposal is to expand exhibit space in the Salt Palace to 300,000 square feet. Two newly elected Democratic county commissioners have said they will try to scale back the $62 million planned expansion of the Palace but say some expansion will likely occur.

Robson, who is also chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, told Rotarians the total benefit of Salt Palace expansion would be $539.2 million over the six years.

This year, Denver expanded its exhibit space to 300,000 square feet, compared to Salt Lake City's current 200,832 square feet. Reno is expanding its exhibition capabilities to 261,000 square feet and San Francisco is expanding to 442,000 square feet.