With so much of our lives put on hold over the past six months, projects and events that stayed on track despite the pandemic are an even greater cause for celebration when they come to fruition!
That was certainly the case with the Sept. 15 opening of the newly-constructed Salt Lake City International Airport terminal, concourse, and garage. Coolly dubbed “The New SLC,” the $4.1-billion investment reflects the importance of creating travel efficiencies for not only Utahns, but also the tourists and second-homeowners who are critical to the economic health of the state.
The Park City Chamber of Commerce | Convention & Visitors Bureau has long-boasted the uniqueness its location being just 35 minutes from airplane seat to chairlift ride, but COVID-19 has created an even greater need for Utah to offer a world-class airport for travelers, as more people are realizing they can work from anywhere, and – for many – their dream “anywhere” is in the mountains. With so many folks moving to the Wasatch Back to leave behind states where the pandemic and recent wildfires are proving to be devastating to local economies and lifestyles, the ability to easily commute between work and the Wasatch Mountains makes Park City an enviable – yet highly-accessible – home base.
So what’s changed? Well, the newly-efficient design was achieved by replacing the previous five concourses with a central terminal and two linear concourses – the North Concourse and the South Concourse – connected by a passenger tunnel. One concourse is now open, with the second slated to open on Oct. 27. Other efficiencies include placing the baggage claim on the same level as the parking garage entrance, and elevated roadways that allow for more streamlined passenger drop-off and pickup, plus more space for Uber and Lyft.
For rental property owners along the Wasatch Back, getting those much-needed room nights back on the books is another reason to welcome visitors in the style they expect when traveling to one of the top year-round destinations on the planet.
I asked Shawn Stinson, a 35-year Parkite who serves as Director of Communications & Media for Visit Salt Lake, to share the significance of such an enormous undertaking:
“Salt Lake, as well as the entire Wasatch Front and Back, has always rated one of the most accessible destinations in North America, and now it’s even more so with the opening of The New SLC,” Shawn explained. “Being the first hub airport built in the 21st Century, it is the world’s most modern, innovative and efficient airports in operation. Designed to accommodate 26 million passengers with the ability to expand if and when necessary, it represents a huge improvement from the old airport’s capacity and one that will undoubtedly enhance travel to and from Utah’s capital city for visitors and locals alike for decades to come.”
He further noted, “Each aspect of the new—not just remodeled—$4.1 billion airport is designed around travel efficiency, and will no doubt enhance the overall travel experience for those coming for work or play. Simply stated, The New SLC is a game-changer for the region’s travel industry, including our world-class resorts, Utah’s stunning National and State parks, and the ever-important meeting and convention segment of the visitor economy.”
One of the many things people are especially excited about are the dining and shopping options, which go from being merely convenient, to oh-so-critical when flights are delayed. Nancy Volmer, Director of Communications and Marketing for The New SLC explained it further:
“Today’s traveler expects airports to provide a quality selection of restaurants and shops,” she said. “They will find that at The New SLC Airport. The airport went through an extensive selection process to get the right combination of local, regional and national brands. Passengers will be excited with the variety of dynamic shops and restaurants. Plus, street pricing has been implemented for all concessions, which means passengers pay the same price that at off airport locations.”
Iconic local eateries and shops like Granato’s Gourmet Market, Hip & Humble and King’s English Bookshop are joined by national faves such as Shake Shack and Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen. You can view all of the offerings in the new terminal and concourse by clicking here.
With many of us hankering for a long-awaited getaway, a trip through The New SLC is certain to provide the much-needed gateway for those flying to, from and through Utah these days!
With increasingly convenient ways to get here, there are even more reasons why people Choose Park City. Take the first step in making Park City your new home base or getaway location by connecting with Christine Grenney at 435-640-4238, or by visiting her website by clicking here.