Monday, November 5, 2012

A Catalyst for Downtown Economic Activity

Amid the bustling energy and recent growth of Provo’s downtown Center Street, the $40 million Utah Valley Convention Center has risen. Located on 220 W. Center Street in Provo, the 83,578 square-foot convention center is projected to bring many visitors to Utah Valley as well as cater to the needs of local residents.

Plans have long been brewing for a convention center in Utah County. In 2006, John Q. Hammonds broke ground for both a hotel and convention center in Pleasant Grove, only to have it come to a halt a few months later as the economy took a nose dive. Utah County took matters into their own hands, financing Provo’s Utah Valley Convention Center, which broke ground in June 2010.

The return on investment for a convention center is different than most commercial buildings. Revenue is distributed to the city rather than to the facility itself. Thus, convention centers facilitate financial opportunities for local businesses. Visitors require lodging, entertainment and transportation – all which influence the economy of the county.

“A lot of people think it’s only the businesses right around the convention center that are benefiting,” said Wheeler. “But there’s a thing called compression.When you get people into downtown Provo, they’re staying in the Provo Marriott, and the people that would have been staying there are now staying in Orem and Lehi. It spreads it out for the entire county.” Utah Facilities