On the heels of one major destination enhancement — the new Salt Lake City International Airport opened in September — Utah’s capital city is pushing forward on another: Construction of the city’s first-ever convention hotel is on schedule to be completed in October 2022.
The $377-million hotel, to be operated by the Hyatt Regency, is being built into the southeast corner of the Salt Palace Convention Center. It is the final missing piece in Salt Lake’s meeting and convention package, said Mark H. White, CDME, Senior Vice President of Sales & Services at Visit Salt Lake, giving planners and their attendees everything they could need.
“The new hotel will make the planners’ job easier,” he said, because they will need fewer overflow properties, they’ll have more suites for VIPs, and more meeting-space options. “The primary benefit to attendees will be convenience,” he added. “Their sleeping rooms, meetings, trade-show floor, and dining can all take place under one compact roof.”
The 26-story Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City will add 700 guest rooms to the convention district, bringing the total number to 8,000. It will house 60,000 square feet of state-of-the-art indoor meeting space, including a 23,138-square-foot Regency Ballroom and a 14,682-square-foot junior ballroom.
Guests will enter a spacious ground-floor lobby adjacent to a bar, one of the hotel’s restaurants, and a corner market. Another restaurant and a fitness center will be located on the sixth floor, adjacent to a 6,000-square-foot pool pavilion. The pavilion can be used for outdoor receptions and networking events, giving meeting organizers additional options for social functions.
The hotel is designed and being built with sustainability and green-energy features in mind by Portman Holdings. The project is partially financed through the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program which allows for specialty financing to enable green energy design and implementation.
The building also will have COVID-19 safety precautions. “The design includes concepts to create a clean and streamlined hotel,” White said, including touchless fixtures in the public bathrooms, touchless water fountains and bottle fillers, the ability to activate keyless entry to guest rooms via a smart phone, and hard surface flooring in the guest rooms. Portman created large open spaces in the public areas and the food- and-beverage outlets, he said, and some of the public-area furniture was reimagined, including reducing the size of tables to provide more flexibly for social distancing.
Another Asset Among Many
Salt Lake’s convention hotel adds another asset to the city’s compact convention district, which includes City Creek Center, a 23-acre, $2-billion LEED-certified retail center located across the street from the Salt Palace, and the $110-million, 2,500-seat Eccles Theater. The downtown district houses dozens of restaurants and bars, hotels, and cultural and entertainment amenities.
Salt Lake’s public transit, ride share and taxi services, as well as numerous bike lanes, make it easy to explore the city’s ever-expanding dining and nightlife scene beyond the district and its world-class outdoor recreational opportunities.
Combined with the new airport — the first new U.S. hub airport built in North America in the 21st century — “Salt Lake continues its tradition of improvements that make it an ideal meeting and convention destination,” White said.
“We’ve been extremely fortunate to have major destination enhancements every few years,” he said. “The 2002 Olympic Winter Games brought unique off-site venues and an award-winning light rail system. Several years later, a world-class, 26-acre shopping destination was built across the street from the convention center. A brand-new $4.2-billion airport just opened last month. And now, we anxiously look forward to the Hyatt Regency.”