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The Salt Lake City Department of Airports formally opened what it is calling a brand new $4.1 billion Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), featuring a new parking garage, gateway center, central terminal and Concourse A-west.

Delta Air Lines will occupy the 25 gates in Concourse A-west, including six international gates. Next month, Concourse B-west will open with 20 gates for Alaska, American, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest and United airlines.

“To say we are excited to be here today is an understatement,” said Bill Wyatt, SLCDA executive director, “After six years of construction and many more years of planning, we are proud to open the first new U.S. hub airport in the 21st Century,”

Prior to the pandemic, SLC received more than 26 million passengers in 2019 in an airport originally built for 10 million passengers.

The new SLC now features a two-level roadway system with an elevated road designated for departures, a 3,600-space parking garage with a camera-based sensor system to indicate where open spots are located and 56 charge stations for electronic vehicles.

The new Gateway Center houses car rental counters and quick-check airline ticket counters and leads to 16 security screening lanes with automatic return bins to aid in touchless travel. The LEED Gold Certified Terminal includes seven miles of luggage conveyor belts to accommodate oversized bags, such as skis, snowboards, bike boxes and golf clubs.

New Amenities

The opening this week includes nine restaurants and 12 stores in Concourse A-west, though officials said eventually there will be 45 concessions, 21 restaurants and 24 retail stores, in the terminal and Concourse A-west – all with street pricing.

HMSHost celebrated the opening of five new dining options, all featuring the “Fly Healthy Promise,” that includes enhanced health and safety protocols throughout the new airport and extending into dining and retail.

The HMSHost offerings include Market Street Grill, the airport location for a Salt Lake City restaurant known for fresh seafood and steaks; California Pizza Kitchen; two Starbucks Coffee locations; and Shake Shack, the critically acclaimed modern day “roadside” burger stand.

“We are excited to bring safe and accessible, not to mention amazing foodservice options to travelers as part of the newly relaunched Salt Lake City International Airport,” said Michael Price, HMSHost vice president of business development. “We are thankful to the Salt Lake City Department of Airports, the City of Salt Lake City, and our restaurant partners and teams for allowing us to safely enhance the dining experience in this new airport.”

U.S. retailer Hudson saw the opening of four new stores in the new facility, one pre-security and three post-security. These outlets were included in Hudson’s eight-year contract, awarded in 2018 as part of the redevelopment program. When the redevelopment program is complete, Hudson will operate 13 new stores in just under 6,000 square feet at the airport.

“The opening of the new terminal and concessions at Salt Lake City International Airport is an important event because it represents our collective efforts as an industry to rebuild stronger than ever after COVID-19,” said Roger Fordyce, Hudson CEO. “Together with our partners at the SLCDA, our four new stores incorporate the highest level of safety SLC travelers are looking for without sacrificing the culture, spirit and ingenuity the capital city is known for.”

The stores opening include one-stop-shop featuring travel essentials shop Hudson; Land Speed Depot by Hudson, a travel convenience concept inspired by the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah; Central Pointe Market, evoking Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square area; and Salt Lake City Dufry Shopping, providing options for both domestic and international passengers. Each of Hudson’s SLC new stores have been retrofitted with social distancing in mind – including the presence of self-checkout at two stores – and boast an extensive selection of PPE offerings from Hudson’s proprietary “Traveler’s Best” product line.

Paradies Lagardère is also opening five new stores this week, including an airport location of famed local retailer Hip & Humble, and its proprietary outdoor brand No Boundaries. These in addition to a new CNBC store and a TripAdvisor store. KSL, a new store named for local NBC TV affiliate, also opens this week.

Still to come are Johnston & Murphy, a lifestyle brand with classic apparel and accessories for men and women; an iStore; Liberty Park Market; InMotion; and Maverik, the popular regional retail brand that will provide travelers with essentials, electronics, and regional and gourmet items.

Inside the terminal are 24 restrooms with private lactation rooms, deep bathroom stalls and the Greeting Room, a large area that can accommodate 300 to 400 individuals, where friends, families and others can wait to pick up passengers once physical distancing measures are no longer in place.

The New SLC project was built by HDJV, a joint venture of Holder Construction and Utah’s Big-D Construction. The project team for the North Concourse is a joint venture between Austin Commercial and Okland Construction (AOJV).  HOK is the architectural firm for The New SLC.