Provo City investing in improvements for expected influx during LDS temple open house

Posted at 4:24 PM, Nov 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-19 18:24:13-05

PROVO, Utah -- Provo is gearing up for the opening of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' City Center Temple next year, and the municipal council approved nearly $500,000 to finance projects aimed at getting the city ready.

The city is expecting 900,000 people to visit the new temple when it opens, and the open house will begin in January.

The projects are designed to make streets safer and more pedestrian friendly, and they include things like adding flowers and benches as well as installing electronic kiosks to guide visitors to shops downtown.

Business owners said they cannot wait for all of the foot traffic.

“We do have some designers, like some that do our T-shirts and some that do mugs and so on, that are going to do specific items for the open house,” said Quinn Peterson, a retail store manager at Unhinged. “I think having specific items for that open house is going to bring people in and help give them a memento from their experience.”

Wayne Parker, Chief Administrative Officer for Provo City, said they want to make the most of the influx of people.

“We want to try to make sure we don't waste an opportunity here to tell Provo’s story and have a really positive experience for our visitors,” he said.

The public open house starts on January 15 and goes through March 5. Online reservations for the open house will be available to the general public starting January 4, and those reservations can be made by clicking here once that date arrives.

The LDS Church decided to build the temple in place of the Provo Tabernacle after it burned down five years ago.

The cause of that fire was accidental.