Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Point theaters get $15M for renovations, expansion

Federal stimulus dollars will improve the viewing experience at the Thanksgiving Point movie theaters. Utah County commissioners approved up to $15 million in tax-free bonds that will add nine screens and renovate the existing theaters. The county is often used as a pass-through agency for bonds for schools or non-profit organizations. But because of the nature of some of the federal stimulus dollars, for-profit agencies have access to the $25 million the county has available.

The theaters at Thanksgiving Point will be the largest recipient of the money. The bonds will be paid back by Thanksgiving Point and partner U.S. Development, with the breaks coming from lower interest rates. The company will likely break ground by the end of the year on the nine new screens and have everything up and running within a year. The existing theaters will continue to operate.

Several other projects, possibly including an office building in Provo, will split another $10 million in the coming weeks. While the tax-free bonds are available to most private organizations, the federal government has laid out restrictions: The money can't be used on tanning salons, golf courses, country clubs, airplanes, health clubs, luxury boxes, hot tub facilities, massage parlors, race tracks, gambling establishments or liquor stores. Provo Daily Herald