Orson Scott Card recently visited Salt Lake City and reported on his experience at City Creek Center, the new shopping destination in downtown. His verdict was much the same as mine: It’s a lovely space, well designed, and I’ll never shop there. A middle-aged, middle-class male like me was obviously not their target demographic. I’m not rich, and I’m not into clothing.
There were exactly three shops I had any interest in visiting at all. One was a toy store. Went there, saw little I liked, won’t go back. Another was a Yankee Candle shop. I love candles. They’ve got good ones. A whole shop full gives me a headache. The staff were nice, but vulturely. I might go back, but I can find nice smelling candles closer to home, and without the name-brand markup. The last shop was Deseret Book. It’s a very nice store, but we’ve got them much, much closer to home. I probably won’t go back there either.
But if you’re looking for a space downtown to hang out, sit down, and enjoy an urban intraction with nature, there are some nice places at City Creek. But then there are some very nice spaces with even more nature just across the street at Temple Square. There’s a park a few blocks away.
There are people for whom City Creek is an irresistable destination. I work with some. That’s why I visited in the first place–it was part of a department “bonding” activity they talked us into. But I, for one, find it easy to resist. And that’s before even looking at prices. It’s one of those places where I just can’t afford to save that much money.
It’s too bad. Like Card says, it didn’t have to be that way. It could have been something really fun and attractive to all types of people. Instead they aimed for status-symbol-shopping. I wish them luck.