SALT LAKE CITY — Beginning Thursday, part of Salt Lake City's Main St. will be closed to vehicles and open to pedestrians for three afternoons and evenings each week this summer.
The city's "Open Streets" program invites Main St. businesses between South Temple and 400 S to expand their service into the sidewalks, creating more opportunities for shopping and dining.
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"We are excited to bring back Open Streets for Salt Lake City residents and visitors alike this summer. Main Street Salt Lake City is an incredible gathering place and we hope people will take this unique opportunity to experience our downtown in a new way, with more space to explore, shop and dine at some of our City's locally-owned businesses," said Mayor Erin Mendenhall in a news release sent to FOX 13.
Open Streets will take place every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon to midnight.
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Last fall, organizers experimented with the concept to bolster businesses that struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the bars, restaurants and retail stores involved in the test saw their sales increase by as much as 30 percent.
"Downtown bars and restaurants were hit particularly hard by the pandemic. They were missing the daytime workers, the conventioneers and business travelers and the event attendees. Think Jazz games, think Eccles Theater and Capitol Theatre. All those audiences were gone, so they have been suffering more than most," said Downtown Alliance executive director Dee Brewer.
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Opening weekend coincides with the Salt Lake City Arts Council's "Busker Fest," which will feature 30 nightly performances on Main St., Regent St., Gallivan Center and Exchange Place.
Click here to see a list of downtown bars, restaurants and retailers.