With the deadline past for bids to host the Utah Arts Festival, West Valley City, Ogden, Salt Lake City and the Utah State Fairpark are vying to be the new home to the big summer event.
After 22 years in Salt Lake City, the festival is looking for a new home after light-rail tracks and Gateway development displace it as soon as next year."I've got three functional freeway exits," says Jim Harvey, director of the Ogden event center, referring to I-15 construction in Salt Lake City. "This place would be perfect for the festival."
Not so, says Brian Hall, who was fine-tuning West Valley City's proposal shortly before Friday's deadline.
West Valley City hopes to stage the June event rent-free at the E Center and offer festival organizers a share of parking receipts.
Fairpark director Donna Dahl hopes the festival would boost the Fairpark's efforts to become independent.
"The Arts Festival is like a small fair," Dahl said. "It means revenue for us. We're always looking for new events."
For that matter, downtown Salt Lake City is not giving up.
When the Triad Center location doesn't work anymore, the city suggests Pioneer Park, The Boyer Co.'s planned Gateway development behind the Union Pacific Depot and a wide parklike median proposed for 500 West.
Nelson expects a decision by early May.