At 5 a.m. on September 15th, 2020, the early morning silence was broken by the sound of cheers and jet engines. This was the day of the grand opening of the brand new, $4.1 billion Salt Lake City International Airport. This marks a new chapter of travel for those coming and going to the Salt Lake Area.
After patiently waiting 3,163 days, everyone can now enjoy the new airport. Due to COVID-19 and the reduction of the passenger numbers flowing through the airport, about two years were saved in the construction process. On top of saving time, they were able to save an estimated $300 million. Additionally, Salt Lake City did not use any local tax dollars on the reconstruction project. This new rendition of the airport comes with many upgraded amenities and new perks travelers can enjoy.
A top priority for the construction of the airport was to capture Utah’s beauty and put it on display. When you first see the airport you can instantly see the attention to detail. The new terminal has native Utah plants in the landscaping, distinct colors to represent Utah inside and out, and added giant glass windows in the terminals for stunning views of the mountain backdrop of Salt Lake City. On top of that, there is a new art piece called The Canyon, a football field-sized art piece that shows Utah’s diverse topography and natural beauty.
The terminal hosts all-new dining and shopping experiences. When combined with some old favorites, you will find 58 total dining and shopping locations. The airport is lined with well-respected brands such as Shake Shack, Hip & Humble, LEGO, Uinta Brewing and so much more. While there are a lot of new additions, there are some familiar favorites like Cafe Rio, Squatters Pub, and XpresSpa. Whether you are running late and just need a snack and a magazine, or you have some time to unwind with a glass of wine and enjoy the shops, the new airport has checked the boxes.
Utah is a hub for those who love the outdoors, and most bring a lot of gear wherever they go. Luckily for them, the baggage claim system has been given a major upgrade. The new belts have been built wider to accommodate all of your oversized goods such as skis, snowboards, and golf clubs. This means that all of your luggage will now arrive on the same carousel. Seven miles of conveyor belts were built to transport bags across multiple checkpoints across the airport. With belts from the baggage claim to the parking garage, there’s no need to even carry or wheel your luggage.
Speaking of the parking garage, this one is all-new and much more advanced than you may expect. This state of the art parking garage features a camera-based sensor system that uses lighting to show the location of empty parking spots. On top of that, it doubled the old parking structures capacity with 3,600 spots. Pedestrian bridges take you from the parking lot to the terminal. Now, The flow of traffic should be much smoother.
This new airport was designed with efficiency in mind. The airport has received a gold star certification from LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The certification ensures that the building was built using energy-saving, water-efficient, and CO2 emission reduction strategies. This gold level certification is one that only 9 other airports in the U.S. have achieved.
Phase two of the airport reconstruction is set to be completed in 2024.
Why does this matter?
The redesign of the airport shows the growth and development of Salt Lake City as an up-and-coming urban area with greater influence in the world.
USA Today currently ranks Utah’s economy as the best of any state. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have suffered from soaring unemployment rates. Utah’s unemployment rate stands at 5.1%, which is less than half of the national average. Even before the pandemic, Utah had a far stronger economy than most of the country.
The strength of Utah’s economy paired with the pandemic causing surging rates of individuals working from home has groups from all over the country flocking to Utah for its unique outdoor opportunities and larger properties.
You can see the growth as you explore the state, with the great expansion of Utah as an international hub for business and technology. This new airport is one of the many steps that Utah is taking to ensure its place as a “go-to” destination in the future.
As we should all be aware, February marks an exceptionally important time of remembrance: Black History Month. While Utah might not seem like it has a wealth of ties to famous African American inventors, leaders and historical figures, there is more than one way to celebrate in Salt Lake City. Here are some of our favorites:
Evening in Harlem
Taking place on February 7th at 6PM, Evening in Harlem is a recognition of the Harlem Renaissance. ABC4 describes:
“The Harlem Renaissance was an intellectual, social, and artistic explosion for African-Americans centered in Harlem, New York, spanning the 1920s.
Wallace Henry Thurman was an American novelist active during the Harlem Renaissance, and was born in Salt Lake City in 1902 and moved to Harlem in 1925.
This year’s Evening in Harlem is the first fundraising event for the Utah African-American Chamber of Commerce Foundation and will introduce the Utah Black Success Center: a platform to develop more Black community, business, corporate and government leaders to further elevate Utah’s growing diversity.”
This event will be held at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City. You can find more information about this event here.
Black History Month Concert Series
Hosted by the Utah African American Chamber of Commerce, the Black History Month Concert Series is free and open to the public. It features local artists and is a celebration of excellence in the community.
The mission statement is one of power and inspiration: “Excellence in the Community creates more and better performance opportunities for Utah’s finest musicians. Communities are enhanced as people come together to recognize and experience the accomplishments of deserving artists. Our programs foster social, economic and community development. Music to match the mountains.”
You can learn more about this concert series and the artists on the event page.
Black History Month at the University of Utah
From artwork for children, to film screenings and poetry slams, there is something for everyone on the University of Utah calendar of events for Black History Month.
Whether or not you’re able to make it out to any of these events, we hope you’re able to have a meaningful Black History Month! We further hope that you can take the time to reach out to new cultures, and appreciate some of the great figures in our African American communities throughout history.
At Windermere Utah, we are proud to keep you up-to-date on the latest news, events, and listings. Be sure to keep checking back in here at the blog, and don’t forget to follow us on social media.
Ski season in Utah is an experience unlike any other. The planners of the 2002 Winter Olympics knew it, and we at Windermere Utah know it, too. And, when it comes to choosing where you want to go for your winter adventures, avid skiers, mountain enthusiasts, and snowboarders aren’t without options. We put together this helpful guide for you to use while planning your next Utah winter escape.
Salt Lake City – Packed with culture and access to easy international travel, enjoying Salt Lake’s host of resort areas means you really can have it all.
Known for it’s fantastic off-piste terrain, Snowbird offers you premier powder, and an apres experience that you can savor well into the evening hours. Snowbird also has an extra long season, and accommodates all levels, so whether you’re looking to take the kids on their first bunny slope, or are in the mood for some pro-level heli skiing, Snowbird is a fabulous choice. Be sure to check out their website to find their list of events.
Latin for “elevated,” Alta’s steep slopes and varied terrain let you explore all that the mountain has to offer. Recently voted as having some of the best extreme terrain, you’ll find three things in Alta: fresh powder, incredible vistas and pure adrenaline. As the first ski area of Utah to install a lift (1938) Alta is rife with historic significance and keeps you close to Salt Lake’s downtown district, so even while you’re off the slopes, the adventures don’t stop. Take a look at their website here.
From mid-November to early April, the slopes of Brighton welcome guests with ample powder and short lift lines. Known for being well-rounded in all areas – terrain and hospitality – this resort area has been a SLC staple since the 1930’s. While resort areas like Alta are known for being ski-only, Brighton attracts many snowboarders and backcountry enthusiasts. You can renew and purchase your Brighton passes online at their website.
If you’re looking for premier powder but don’t want the crowds, Solitude is aptly named for exactly what it offers. 77 named runs give skiers of every level the variety you want, and with tons of lodging options in a village-like setting, everything you need is right on hand. For the full Solitude experience, be sure to check out their most well-known trails: Dynamite, Honeycomb Canyon, and Challenger. You can learn more about Solitude on their website.
Layton – Tucked along the Wasatch Front, Layton has three fantastic ski resorts that keep you close to home while on the slopes.
Best-in-class advanced piste terrain is calling, as well as endless adventures off the beaten path, and you’ll find it all at Snowbasin! This is one of the sites that hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, so if you’re in the mood for some history and luxury treatment, you’ll want to check out all of the amenities Snowbasin Resort offers.
Slackcountry, off-piste, and tree skiing – for the winter enthusiast, anything and everything can be found on Powder Mountain. Because Powder Mountain also takes great strides towards preserving its natural surroundings, ticket sales are limited. This means that your experience is not only so much more exclusive, but it also means shorter lift lines, and lighter crowds on your favorite runs. Take advantage of this incredible resort by checking out their website.
Nordic Valley Resort
For the winter sportsman on a budget, Nordic Valley offers you a value that can’t be beat. It’s also incredibly community oriented, with after school programs and nightly specials that ensure easy and affordable access to incredible slopes for participants of all ages and levels. Take a look at their season pass page to get great offers on what you love to do most.
Park City – The place where mountain lifestyle meets luxury accommodations. The only time you’ll lift a finger is to raise the lift rail.
Park City Mountain Resort
For the first time visitor, as well as the regulars, you can expect great things from Park City’s Mountain Resort. Their elevated learning areas, enhanced snowmaking and grooming, and reimagined on-mountain dining experiences are all new for the 2019-20 winter season.
And if for some reason you’re looking for some added fun in the Mountain Resort region, just a day trip away (about a 30 minute drive), there’s the added attraction of a naturally-heated geothermal crater. So there is tons to explore, and even more to love. Check everything they have to offer here.
Last, but certainly not least on our list, is the immaculate Deer Valley Resort. Ski in/ski out takes on a life of its own in this luxurious mountain setting. Their daytime restaurants has garnered attention from the most selective wintersport lovers, and their lift infrastructure gives you a streamlined experience. While it is classified as “skier only,” the resort itself offers amenities and views beyond belief. Take a look for yourself, here.
We hope this list is helpful to you, and we’d love to know – is there anything we missed? If you’ve got a favorite winter getaway, tell us about it in the comments! We wish you a healthy, active and enjoyable ski season. Keep checking back here at the blog for the latest Windermere Utah content, and don’t forget to like and follow on Facebook and Instagram.