Mark February 17th through 19th very boldly on your calendar. If you didn’t already know, those are the official dates for the massive NBA All Star games hitting downtown Salt Lake City. According to some, estimations are that 115,000 attendees will pitch up to watch the action. Ben Winslow notes an expected $40 million economic impact from the marquee event; the throng of arrivals will flood the city and its hotels, restaurants, bars and… liquor stores.
One small wrinkle in those plans however. Downtown Salt Lake City has only one liquor store proper – two if you generously add the Westerly wine-focused store, three if you expand your search radius to the Avenues, and the store snuck underneath the Smith’s. As some of you may recall, popup liquor store options have been mooted for some eighteen months (a major new downtown liquor store is still under development) at DABS meetings, and today, one such store was approved. The DABS confirmed to me:
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The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Services plans to open a temporary store to accommodate the influx of visitors to Utah’s capital city during the NBA All-Star 2023 weekend. The temporary store will improve safety and traffic in and around the existing state liquor store on 200 W. 400 S., by providing walkable access for visitors to another location that is nearby many events. The DABS is pleased to take the opportunity to feature many locally made craft products in the temporary store.
The Alcoholic Beverage Services Commission will vote on whether to proceed with the temporary store in their meeting on January, 26, 2023. The temporary store will be open in the Salt Palace Convention Center from Thursday, February 16 – Saturday, February 18, 2023, from 11am to 10pm each day.
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During today’s DABS meeting, commissioner Tiffany Clason spoke to “significant concerns” about pedestrian safety in regards the huge influx of in and out-of-state visitors to downtown SLC. The temporary pop up store will feature both national and local product; with commissioner Tiffany Clason going on to specifically note the excitement to showcase local Utah craft product to visitors.
This is apparently the first time the DABS has opened such a popup of this nature. The store can be found at the North East entrance of the Salt Palace and will be a cash free operation.
As I noted in our Valentine’s Day roundup, expect the city to start feeling much busier than usual several days ahead of the big days themselves. Make plans with that in mind, but also take note that the UTA will be running Trax until 2 a.m. during the main event. More than that, UTA will be offering ten zero fare days, February 12th through 21st, during NBA All-Star week. This includes FrontRunner, TRAX, all bus services including Ski Bus, Paratransit, and UTA On-Demand.
P.s. be sure to download the NBA events app on both iOS and Android – you’ll find the ability to check in at a boatload participating local restaurants and bars – anytime now through to the games. This will let you earn points for NBA prizes – including free tickets. There are tons of great local businesses listed on there – places like Scion Cider, Stoneground Italian Kitchen, Quarters and more!
Featured image – wine store at 3rd West.
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Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC. I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have written in myopic detail about the Salt Lake City dining scene for the better part of seventeen years.
I’ve worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV. Pause those credits, yep, that’s me! I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”.
Want to know more? This is why I am the way I am.
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