Nov 4, 2022 - Business

Newly opened Hyatt Regency expected to boost event tourism

Hyatt Regency at Salt Lake City

The Hyatt Regency downtown. Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency

The long-anticipated Hyatt Regency in Salt Lake City is now open, adding 700 guest rooms to the city's hotel capacity.

Why it matters: The new hotel is making Salt Lake City more marketable for conventions and other large events, and is expected to bring tens of millions of dollars in additional visitor spending, Karen Boe, spokesperson for Visit Salt Lake, told Axios.

Zoom in: Of 104 major events (average attendance of more than 10,000 people each) coming to Salt Lake City in the coming decade, 14 booked here specifically because of the hotel opening, Boe said.

  • She added that the city has bids in for another 17 events that it couldn't have tried to host without the hotel.
  • Surveys of convention attendees show they spend on average $971 per visit, Boe said. That's about $92 million for the 14 events already booked, and another potential $99 million for the 17 pending, not accounting for inflation.
A hotel room.
A double-bed hotel room. Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency

Driving the news: The 25-story hotel held a ribbon-cutting Wednesday after opening on Oct. 17. It took nearly three years to complete.

  • With the Hyatt Regency and two other smaller new hotels, more than 1,000 new rooms are coming to downtown, for nearly 8,000 total, Boe said.
  • This is the state's first Hyatt Regency, which caters to large-scale conventions and group travel. The hotel features 60,000 square feet of event space, 21 flexible breakout rooms and has the largest ballroom in Salt Lake City, hotel manager Pina Purpero told Axios.

Context: The hotel aims to alleviate room demand for upcoming events like the return of the Outdoor Retailer trade show in January, the 2023 NBA All-Star Game in February and a potential 2030 Winter Olympics.

Details: Each guest room features floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the city skyline and Wasatch Mountains.

  • The hotel includes a rooftop pool with cabanas and firepits and a 24-hour gym.
  • It will also feature two restaurants, a grab-and-go market and a cocktail lounge.
A candle-lit restaurant in Salt lake City
The hotel's Spanish-cuisine restaurant Muntanya. Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency

The intrigue: The hotel is connected to the 700,000-square-foot Salt Palace Convention Center.

  • County and city leaders have been shopping for a developer to build a hotel at the Salt Palace for more than a decade.

Dee Brewer, executive director of the nonprofit Downtown Alliance in Salt Lake City, told Axios he anticipates the new hotel will also attract more restaurants and bars to the area and boost economic opportunity.

  • A coffee shop and a Southern barbecue eatery have already announced plans to open across from the hotel, Brewer said.

What's next: Brewer said other downtown hotels are in the works, including Le Méridien, the Asher Adams and the eco-conscious Element Hotel, which is slated to open Nov. 17.

  • The completion of those projects is necessary to address more convention visitors, the growing Salt Lake City International Airport and an increase in leisure tourism to the state, Brewer said.

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