Salt Lake City's got a shiny new shopping mall opening today that's destined to find its way onto the Utah ski tourism map. Instead of wondering how you'll spend the hours between your ski day and your flight departure, just head on down to Main and 100 South. The $1.5 billion City Creek Center is the only shopping center to open in 2012 and one of the largest mixed-use developments in the United States. Retail stores, restaurants, offices, residences and open space spread across 23 acres of land in downtown Salt Lake City. But more importantly, it's a space that effectively merges the outdoors with the indoors.
Not only does the skybridge over Main Street frame the Wasatch mountains, but a retractable skylight roof opens on warm sunny days and closes at night and in the winter, leaving you with the impression that you're still outside. So after a week of skiing in Park City you can do a little shopping but still feel like you're on vacation.
There are two 18-foot waterfalls and a mini creek that runs east-west through it all. There's nature everywhere with local masonry, native plants, and a trout pond stocked with Bonneville Cutthroat and Rainbow varieties. The developers even brought in the designers of the Las Vegas Bellagio fountains to build three fountains in the Center. These will dance to fire and music.
Don't be surprised when you hear locals call this the "Mormon Mall". Center Creek is owned and operated by Taubman Centers, a real-estate investment trust, but the LDS church owns the land it sits on. True to form, no shops will be open on Sunday and no liquor will be served at any of the restaurants. The only exceptions are the Cheesecake Factory and Texas de Brazil Churrascaria. Rumor has it that Cheesecake refused to occupy 65 Regent Street without that golden liquor license.
Nordstrom and Macy's anchor a food court, a full-service Harmons Grocery Store, and 80 retail stores including Tiffany & Co., and Swarovski, Michael Kors and Coach. While you're there, check on your flight times just like you would at the airport so you don't miss your flight. There are several arrival and departure tubes that will update in real time.
Take a walk around and see for yourself or watch this YouTube teaser from the Salt Lake Tribune:
With the earlier opening of H & M in the Fashion Place Mall and now City Creek, you might think Salt Lake was a hip metro like L.A. or New York. Ok, maybe that's pushing it. We'll have to wait for Raleigh Motion Picture Studios to open first.
For a list of stores go to www.shopcitycreekcenter.com.