Downtown Salt Lake City is booming, but it hasn't always been that way. Jason Mathis, Executive Director of the Downtown Alliance, says when he took the job, he was wondering what he was getting himself into.
"I was walking down Main Street one day at the height of the inversion in January. City Creek was a hole in the ground. There was nothing," says Mathis.
"Just a few years later things are going crazy. We just had the biggest retail year on record. People are excited about what's going on downtown."
Mathis says there's not one single factor that led to the downtown renaissance we're enjoying today.
"Downtown is a system; you can't just point to one factor," he says. "City Creek is a big factor. There are lots of new apartment buildings and small retail. This is the biggest year ever in Salt Lake's convention industry. Things are always rising or falling. Nothing ever remains static. We're at a time right now when everything seems to be rising; we're firing on all cylinders."
Mathis says even though things are good, city officials have to be on guard and not be complacent.
"The national economy could turn at a moment's notice. Here we have a progressive city government and a state climate that's super business friendly. That combination is very appealing to a lot of national companies who are thinking about relocating. "