SALT LAKE CITY — They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But changing the name of an established local business in order to connect with downtown's most anticipated mixed-use development in years is also pretty flattering.
Recently, the Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown announced that it will now be known by its new name, the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek. The renaming also coincided with the debut of downtown's newest grocery store, Harmons City Creek.
While the supermarket, located at the northeast corner of State Street and 100 South, was part of the overall master plan for the estimated $1.5 billion 23-acre City Creek Center project, the hotel decided to make the change to "create great synergy for an increase in visitors to the downtown area" upon the opening of City Creek Center next month.
"Our hotel has been in this location more than 31 years … and we are delighted to welcome our new neighbor, City Creek Center, to the vibrant cultural core of the city," said Steve Lundgren, general manager of Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek.
"With the excitement downtown, and rebirth of the heart of our city, City Creek is destined to become a well-known place name and our revision of the hotel name better reflects our location and sense of community."
Lundgren said that in order to affect the change, there were discussions with all pertinent stakeholders, including developers City Creek Reserve and Taubman Inc. While the name City Creek Center is a registered trademark, the addition to the hotel's moniker falls short of infringing upon the copyrighted name of the new development.
He said there was "conversation and agreement" reached between all the interested parties that allowed the name change to occur without any money changing hands.
"We felt that this name gave us (an) advantage … as City Creek becomes better known and a destination of its own, then we'll be part of that," he said. "It's difficult to even walk in the immediate area without feeling the energy and excitement … so it will add a cachet and a lot of excitement to this part of town."
Besides the hotel and grocery store, Salt Lake business license records indicate that 12 other businesses have City Creek in their names, with another license pending.
Dee Brewer, director of marketing for Taubman Inc. — the company that manages the retail portion of the City Creek development — said anything that contributes to downtown visits is a positive thing for the entire central business district.
Tourism is a vital industry for Utah and Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek is an integral tourism partner with City Creek Center, said Linda Wardell, City Creek Center general manager. She estimated that up to 40 percent of City Creek Center’s retail sales would come from visitors who travel from more than 50 miles away.
"The Marriott Downtown at City Creek is a key part of the tourism offering at City Creek Center," she said.
Lundgren said that due to the hotel's location immediately adjacent to City Creek Center, their guest experience would be greatly enhanced by the addition of nearby high-end shopping and dining options. In addition, the name revision also reflects the hotel’s on-going commitment to Salt Lake's hospitality community.
"The partnership of the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek and City Creek Center will have a tremendous benefit to the local and tourism communities," he said. "This is a collaboration that will help lift all levels of business."