Salt Lake City in the state of Utah in the US is booming, with projects like the $3.6 billion redevelopment of the Salt Lake City International Airport, where a completely new airport will begin serving passengers in 2020. A 28-story convention hotel is expected to break ground later this year and bring more than 700 rooms and 62,000 square feet of additional meeting space to the city when it opens in 2022.
Salt Lake is a dynamic Western city with an incredible array of hip new restaurants, buzzing brewpubs, and an NBA team, not to mention Broadway shows and performing arts venues. And just 35 minutes from downtown, 4 of the best mountain resorts in the west are primed for retreats and post-meeting recreation. Here’s why Salt Lake is celebrating its meetings offerings:
PLENTY OF ROOM TO MOVE – AND TO MEET
Start with the Salt Palace Convention Center in the heart of downtown, which offers nearly one million square feet of exhibit, meeting, ballroom and pre-function space. Then there’s the Mountain America Expo Center, with 234,000 square feet of space just 16 miles south of Salt Lake City International Airport. There are numerous options for holding an event in an offsite venue, including Olympic venues, the Natural History Museum, Rio Tinto Stadium or an outdoor music venue to name just a few. The four world-class resorts just 35 minutes from downtown – Alta, Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude – offer extraordinary mountain meeting venues for the perfect retreat, with time for hiking, mountain biking and team-building activities.
For luxury meetings, nothing tops The Grand America Hotel in the heart of Salt Lake, which offers five-star facilities and conference space for up to 3,000 guests. Thanks to 19,000-plus rooms throughout Salt Lake County, including more than two dozen hotels downtown that are within walking distance to the Salt Palace as well as hundreds of bars and restaurants, there’s an array of lodging to make organizing any conference, convention or meeting even easier.
BARS, BREWPUBS & COCKTAILS
After an all-day event, it’s time to sample Salt Lake’s amazing roster of brewpubs, including Squatters, Desert Edge Brewery and Wasatch Brew Pub. There’s also Epic Brewing Company, Red Rock Brewery, and the Uinta Brewing Company’s Brewhouse Pub. Or maybe try Fisher Brewing Company or the RoHa Brewing Project? Need additional choices? The Beer Hive Pub has 200-plus brews (24 on tap). All of them offer a great venue for a casual dinner. After dinner, it’s time to head to Beer Bar/Bar X, owned by Ty Burrell of “Modern Family,” for a nightcap, or a nightspot like Urban Lounge. Fancier drinks and fare can be found at Whisky Street, The Red Door or The Vault at Bambara, as well as at Lake Effect and Under Current.
KNIFE & FORK
Salt Lake’s dining scene is wide-ranging, with new restaurants like George, which pours natural wines and serves classic bistro fare made from local ingredients. Another newbie is Stratford Proper, with pizza, pasta and burgers for post-event eating. If formal dining is in order, consider Bambara at the Hotel Monaco, The Copper Onion, or perhaps Log Haven located in Millcreek Canyon. There are popular places such as White Horse Spirits & Kitchen, a modern American brasserie; the seafood emporium, Current Fish & Oyster; as well as Lake Effect, adjacent to the Salt Palace, where cocktails, small plates and live music are the rule.
Classic Salt Lake eateries include the sushi haven Takashi, the incredibly popular Mexican restaurant Red Iguana, and the small plates and pizza place Copper Common. Seasons is beloved by vegans while Table-X is where chefs create artful but casual fare, focused on local meats and produce, some of it from the restaurant’s own garden. Avenues Proper is where to satisfy that chicken and waffles craving or maybe fall for a smoked meatloaf sandwich. Late night eats? Head to Spitz, which is famed for its Döner Kebab.
By day, check out the extensive dinosaur collection at The Natural History Museum of Utah or visit The Leonardo, a visionary interactive museum of science, technology and art. There’s also The Utah Museum of Fine Arts, which has works by such American artists as Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt and John Singer Sargent.
In the evening, theater-goers can take in a Broadway-style show at the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Theater, take a seat at Abravanel Hall to hear the Utah Symphony or watch Ballet West at The Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre, which is also home to the Utah Opera. There’s also a schedule of concerts, dance, ballet and theater at The Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. During the respective seasons, sports fans can cheer on the NBA’s Utah Jazz or MLS’ Real Salt Lake, as well as a number of minor league teams.
For more on conventions, events and meetings, contact Visit Salt Lake Meetings.