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Jim McNeil, proprietor of The Depot and owner of United Concerts. “You can imagine Rio Grande Street transformed with upscale restaurants and clubs, unique boutiques and street festivals.” McNeil points to one of The Gateway’s other distinguishing features—it is open on Sunday when much of the rest of downtown is closed. “I go back to the original vision I had when I sat down with Roger Boyer and talked about the possibilities for this space in a historic rail depot,” said McNeil. “Have things changed in 14 years? Sure. But the potential for using The Gateway to elevate our whole community is still just as great now as it was back then. In fact, it’s greater in some ways.”

Mystery Escape Room

Increased competition from City Creek Center, Fashion Place Mall and Station Park in Farmington, along with the exponential growth of online retail has changed The Gateway’s status as the region’s retail superpower. The Gateway remains home to shops and stores including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Barnes & Noble, Aldo Shoes, Victoria Secret, Buckle, and Bastille. But the fundamental strengths of The Gateway as an entertainment center are unchanged. A linear design, along a private street, anchored by one-of-a-kind entertainment options, has always helped The Gateway stand apart. In many ways, those unique assets are more important now than they were in 2001. Retail Properties of America, Inc., who purchased the bulk of The Gateway’s retail assets from The Boyer Company in 2007, remains committed to the future of shopping in the district. They also see a bright future as an entertainment destination, buoyed by a major influx of new residential development in surrounding blocks. “We continue to work towards the successful repositioning and remerchandising of The Gateway, and believe the center still has many features that Utah residents cannot find at any other shopping center, such as the Discovery Gateway, The Clark Planetarium and the Urban Arts Gallery,” stated Bryan Hill, General Manager at The Gateway. “We remain confident that The Gateway will be successful for years to come.” “We’re committed to our location at The Gateway, and support their efforts at revitalization through new retailers and entertainment options,” said Krista Albert, external relations director for Discovery Gateway who noted the children’s museum’s 40-year downtown history. “When we moved from the old Beck Street location and reopened at The Gateway in 2006, we had the benefit of foot traffic adding to our attendance. We are embarking on a three-year exhibit renovation and replacement plan that will create new experiences for both locals and visitors.”

Mystery Escape Room

Gameworks

Bolstering its role as downtown’s western anchor and entertainment center, The Gateway has seen an influx of experiential offerings in recent months including Gameworks and the Mystery Escape Room. “It is a perfect fit for us,” said Les Pardew, who brought the Mystery Escape Rooms to the Gateway in November. “For one thing, everyone knows where we are located. We’re close to restaurants so our guests can make a night of it. We are literally surrounded by TRAX stops and the parking is incredibly easy.” Modeled after European concepts, the Mystery Escape Room include three theatrically-themed rooms with puzzles and riddles that have to be solved within a certain time frame to unlock the doors. Actors help lead the dozen or so guests in each room to help solve the game. Each of the three rooms is swapped out every four weeks, allowing guests to have new experiences every month. “One guest described it as being inside a movie,” Pardew said. “There is a competitive element. People come for birthday parties, team building or just to have a good time. It’s an experience that you can only have here at The Gateway.” spring / summer 2015

downtown the magazine

Gameworks

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2015 Downtown the Magazine - Spring & Summer Edition  
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