GREENbike doubles in size in 16 months

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Since launching last April, GREENbike, Salt Lake City’s bike share, program has grown by 100 percent–to 20 downtown stations with 160 active bikes in less than 16 months. In addition to the eight new stations installed this July, six existing stations are being expanded to accommodate demand.

GREENbike’s 2014 capital expansion is being funded through grants from the Wasatch Front Regional Council, Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency, Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Clean Air Partnership.

In 2013, 6,100 people rode 65 GREENbikes 26,000 times, preventing over 54,000 miles from being driven. Each GREENbike averaged 400 trips during the program’s eight-month season. GREENbike launched in April of 2013 with 10 bike share stations and 55 active bikes.

“The Wasatch Front Regional Council is a proud GREENbike Strategic Partner,” said Andrew Gruber, Executive Director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council. “The program furthers our region’s goals to provide individuals with a variety of transportation choices, connect people with their destinations, and improve our community’s quality of life.” ”

GREENbike has received an unprecedented amount of private sector support for a program of its size, which is what allows GREENbike to offer unlimited 30-60 minute trips to annual members for only $75 a year, $15 for 4-Days or $5 for 24-Hours.

“The Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City believes in the value that GREENbike creates in our capital city,” said Stan Penfold, Chair of the SLC Redevelopment Agency. “Bike share expansion means there’s even more non-motorized travel options for citizens, which not only helps better our air quality, but I believe helps build a healthier, more connected, and socially-invested community. We’re thrilled about the program’s success, and hope to see more stations and GREENbikes in the years to come.”

GREENbike’s Title Sponsor & 2014 Basket Sponsor is SelectHealth, Helmet Sponsor is LDS Hospital and Annual Membership Card Sponsor is AT&T. Fifteen of GREENbike’s 20 bike share stations are sponsored by private organizations such as Key Bank, Backcountry.com, Harmons, Rocky Mountain Power, Radisson and Fidelity Investments.

New Station Sponsors Include:
- Sheraton Hotel
- Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR)
- Salt Palace Convention Center
- Utah Office of Tourism, Film & Global Branding, Governor’s Office of Economic Development
- Telephone & Telegraph LLC
- Wasatch Property Management

DTA receives Downtown Pinnacle Award for marketing

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

During its World Congress & 59th Annual Conference, the International Downtown Association recognized Downtown SLC Alliance with a Downtown Pinnacle Award for its work and initiatives related to Marketing & Communication.

The projects “I Am Downtown” and the “My Own Downtown” program were among nine qualified entries in the category of Marketing and Communication. This category highlights plans or strategies that used, print, electronic media, or multimedia efforts to promote downtown and further the value of city centers.

“Our team is excited about this,” said Jason Mathis, Downtown SLC Alliance’s Executive Director. “So many good things are happening in Salt Lake City’s downtown and it’s awesome that people from other cities recognize that and voted to honor the Downtown Alliance with this award.”

“Downtown SLC Alliance’s project received this prestigious award for demonstrating excellence in downtown management,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “Each year the IDA Awards Jury honors the very best programs and projects in each category to recognize great work and most importantly to set the standard for best practice in our industry. The ‘I Am Downtown’ and ‘My Own Downtown’ campaigns are a wonderful example for all downtowns to emulate.”

The Washington, D.C.-based International Downtown Association (IDA) is a champion for vital and livable urban centers and strives to inform, influence, and inspire downtown leaders and advocates. With 550 members and thousands of friends, IDA is a guiding force in creating healthy and dynamic centers that anchor the well-being of towns, cities, and regions.

The Downtown Alliance is the advocacy and management organization representing the interests of property owners in downtown Salt Lake City and is a member of the International Downtown Association.

The Downtown Alliance is dedicated to building a dynamic and diverse community that is the regional center for culture, commerce and entertainment. For more information, visit downtownslc.org

Be a Downtown SLC Ambassador!

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

The Downtown Alliance, Visit Salt Lake, SLC Police Department and Volunteers of America are calling for volunteers to become Downtown SLC Ambassadors.

Ambassadors will maintain a visible and hospitable presence in the downtown area. They will be easy to recognize with bright yellow vests and will provide street-level concierge services downtown Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Volunteers will be trained to offer directions, helpful information and recommendations on things to see and do, and places to visit, shop and dine. They will provide assistance with the GREENBike program, parking meters and other parking options downtown.

Ambassadors will also make an effort to keep downtown safe. They will be prepared to assist in the case of an emergency and also report any illegal activity or suspicious behavior to the Salt Lake City Police.

In exchange for a minimum of two 3-hour shifts per month, volunteers will receive various benefits from discounts, tickets and gift cards to downtown partners. Come help improve the quality of life for everyone downtown!

You can learn more at DowntownSLC.org.

Clear the Air Challenge 2013: The best year yet!

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Thanks to more than 8,500 Utahns coming together to make a difference in the state’s air quality, the Clear the Air Challenge for 2013 was the most successful challenge to date!

During the month-long Challenge in July, 1.9 million miles and nearly 170,000 vehicle trips were eliminated, resulting in the removal of 1.6 million pounds of emissions from our air. In doing this, more than $1.1 million dollars were saved in vehicle costs. Those numbers trump all other years’ participation by a landslide–and we have all of you to thank.

“We call this the Clear the Air Challenge, but it really has been the Clear the Air Opportunity,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. “We have over one million residents in Salt Lake County and if every County worker avoided using their car just one day a week 700 tons of emissions would be eliminated from our air each year.  What you do, one day a week or every day, makes a difference.”

The total number of participants, 8,643, represents an increase of more than 2,000 from the previous year. Last year, the Challenge included 6,591 participants who eliminated over 134,000 single-occupant vehicle trips, averting nearly 1.6 million miles driven.

“We are pleased to see such a jump in miles and trips eliminated,” said Jonathan Johnson, chair of the Salt Lake Chamber Clean Air Task Force and executive vice chairman of Overstock.com. “Utahns recognize the importance of clean air to our health and to our economy.  The jump in participation shows that more and more people are willing to do their part.”

Outstanding businesses and teams were recognized for their efforts during an awards ceremony held at the Downtown Farmers Market. You can watch the video below or click here.

Companies
Most Trips Saved: O.C. Tanner with 26,258 trips
1st Place Company: Overstock.com with 1,300 participating employees saving 25,000 trips and eliminating 220,000 miles.
2nd Place Company: Fidelity Investments with more than 500 participating employees saving 8,500 trips and eliminating 227,000 miles.
3rd Place Company: ADP with almost 20,000 trips saved and 187,000 miles eliminated.

Teams
1st Place Team: University of Utah Facilities Management Team who saved 7,500 trips and 63,000 miles.
2nd Place Team: Goldman Sachs who saved 5,300 trips and almost 55,000 miles.
3rd Place Team: MHTN Architects who saved 4,900 trips and more than 41,000 miles.

Individual
Most Miles Saved: Nichole Warren of the U of U Moran Eye Center saved 8,550 miles.
Most Trips Saved: Robert Kent from the U of U Psychology Department saved 582 trips.
Most Consistent (Gold level): Soren Simonsen from the Salt Lake City Council saved 562.
Most Consistent (Silver level): Dennette Nobles from MHTN Architects saved 272 trips.
Most Consistent (Bronze level): Jason Graf from the U of U Facilities Management Team saved 196 trips.

Coverage
Deseret News: Clean air challenge saves nearly 170,000 trips, sets new records 

We thank everyone who participated in July and to our winners who put in so much effort into this cause!

As we celebrate the success of the fifth year of the Challenge, we’d also like to take a moment to see the combined efforts over the past few years. Overall, the Challenge has engaged approximately 20,000 participants, saved over 7.1 million miles and eliminated more than 600,000 vehicle trips.

While this was the fifth year of the Clear the Air Challenge, it was the first that the Chamber was responsible for its operations and we were very glad to have the opportunity to continue on this beneficial program.

So a big thank you goes out to everyone who participated and sponsored the Clear the Air Challenge. Congratulations on making such an incredible contribution to improving Utah’s air quality. But don’t forget that you can implement clean air driving habits all year long! Air quality is an on-going issue that needs to continue to be addressed, and all of us can play our part by driving less.

Businesses interested in doing more, can visit CleanAirChampion.com for more ways to benefit air quality and their bottom line. And Utahns from all walks of life are encouraged to become part of the Utah Clean Air Partnership – also known as UCAIR. Visit ucair.utah.gov to see what you can do in your daily activities to improve air quality.

GREENbike set for expansion

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Salt Lake City’s non-profit bike share program, GREENbike, has surpassed initial user projections leading to the systems first major expansion, less than four month since its launch. Two new stations have been installed to meet growing customer demand, and several popular existing locations have been expanded to handle an increased number of bikes. GREENbike, a partnership between Salt Lake City, the Downtown Alliance and other strategic partners, opened with 10 downtown stations in April. In only 130 days, each GREENbike has been used 270 times.

A new solar-powered station will be located at the Radisson Hotel, located at 215 W South Temple and a second station will also be added at 300 S and 160 E. The Radisson station is expected to be popular with convention attendees and the installation is timed to meet the needs of the city’s largest trade show: Outdoor Retailer, scheduled to begin Wednesday.

“We’re proud to be the first hotel in Salt Lake to have a GREENbike station,” said James Courtney, General Manager of the Salt Lake City Radisson. “This guest amenity, plus our convenient connection to the Airport TRAX line, allows our customers to skip the environmental costs of vehicle emissions and enjoy fresher air as they get a little exercise.”

Based on initial data, roughly one-third of all GREENbike uses are from out of state visitors. Salt Lake County residents comprise an additional 33 percent, with the remaining users spread throughout the Wasatch Front.

Five of the stations that see the highest usage amongst bike share members will be expanded. UTA’s Intermodal Hub station, which ties mass transit options TRAX and FrontRunner, as well as buses to GREENbike, will double in size.

“Bike Share works in conjunction with light rail, bus, and Frontrunner service so riders have an option for the first or last mile of their trips,” explained Stan Penfold, RDA Chair. “Demand for the Bike Share program has been great, and expansion of these transit-focused stations will further enhance connections downtown. Bike Share is a wise investment in Salt Lake City.”

A survey showed that 86 percent of locals strongly agree that the GREENbike program is an enhancement to Salt Lake City’s public transportation system. Due to the availability of a bike share system, 29 percent of respondents ride public transit more often, resulting in improved air quality and reduced traffic congestion.

Additionally, the Key Bank station, near City Creek Center, will have several docks added. “Downtown shoppers have discovered the GREENbikes. They have quickly become a part of the City Creek Center experience. I see them everywhere! We are thrilled to see more bikes available at the Key Bank station on our blocks and at new stations around the city,” said Linda Wardell, General Manager, City Creek Center. Squatters, Exchange Place and Rocky Mountain Power stations will also be expanded this week.

Bike share programs make high-quality bicycles available in an urban setting for riders to get from point A to point B. Bikes are docked at stations that instantly make them available for other members instead of being chained or tucked away in an office. Shared bikes are either being ridden or are available for someone else. The system benefits visitors, commuters and residents in the downtown area.

Bike share systems are not rentals. Instead the program works through membership that range from $5 for 24-hour access to $75 for a year. Bike share allows a member to take any bike from any station, as many times as you want, for 30 minutes at a time for no additional charge. The farthest distance between any two stations is well under a 30 minute trip. An added benefit is that once the bike is docked at the station, the user is no longer responsible for it: eliminating the need to remember a lock or worry about maintenance. For a limited time, annual members receive a custom “I Bike SLC” helmet with their membership purchase.

Annual Members also receive an online profile that keeps track of the number of calories burned, distance traveled and how many lbs of toxic pollutants weren’t released into our air. Additionally, annual members are provided with an RFID card that lets you tap the dock of your choosing to release your GREENbike. The GREENbike Membership Card works in over a dozen cities across the country.

The business of building a city: Downtown Rising

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Editor’s note: this post is authored by Darin Mellott, senior research analyst at CBRE and a member of the Utah Economic Council. It was originally published on ksl.com

Tuesday I attended the inaugural downtown symposium which was organized by the Downtown Alliance. There was much to celebrate in the way of accomplishments at the symposium. However the Salt Lake Chamber’s President and CEO, Lane Beattie, asked a very important question: what comes next?

Anyone living, working or spending significant amounts of time in downtown Salt Lake City can attest to the significant amount of change and progress experienced in the area during the last several years. From new office towers to City Creek Center, Salt Lake’s downtown not only looks different, but feels different. It can also be said that people are looking at downtown in a different way than they have in the past.

Inspired by my own experiences and the symposium, allow me to approach the topic of downtown from my area of expertise: commercial real estate. Professionals at the firm where I work (CBRE) inform me that while consulting with their clients, more businesses are asking themselves whether or not they should be downtown. This is an important observation, because there is a convergence of need and capacity.

In the office sector, an uptick in organizations searching for larger blocks of space has been observed. While there are areas of high vacancy, blocks of contiguous space can be challenging to find, especially when factoring in the unique needs of certain companies. Due to tenants using space more efficiently and some relocations, larger blocks of space are available in downtown Salt Lake City.

In addition to the raw space requirements, businesses are sensitive to quality of space. As organizations are becoming more attuned to the needs and preferences of “Gen Y”, overall office environment is becoming more important. Areas with a “cool” factor are in high demand and maintain lower vacancy rates. Not only is the area’s reputation improving, but there is a cool factor to being downtown again.

Furthermore, as businesses continue to operate in an uncertain environment, expenses are in focus. From a commercial real estate perspective, companies are looking to increase productivity and maintain lower costs. This is accomplished through new workspace strategies. While these strategies re-imagine what the workplace should look like, they are also advantageous to businesses because space is used more efficiently.

This is where public transportation becomes more important. Access to public transportation is now a common requirement for tenants. With higher concentrations of employees, parking becomes an issue. Locations with sufficient parking for such requirements are in low supply. Consequently, organizations looking to increase the density and efficiency of workplaces are becoming more aware of the challenges presented by new strategies.

Public transportation is an important component of efforts to address the challenge of accommodating more employees in smaller amounts of space. With multiple TRAX lines (including connectivity to an international airport), FrontRunner and bus connections, accessibility to downtown is unmatched. These are just a few of the trends moving forward that will favor downtown Salt Lake City from a commercial real estate perspective.

Aside from commercial real estate, downtown Salt Lake has so much going for it. I always marvel at the majestic backdrop of Salt Lake, with the Wasatch Mountains towering over the city. When I travel, I enjoy the connectivity enjoyed as a hub city of one of the world’s largest airlines. My easy commute is possible because of strategic investments in infrastructure. Furthermore, the local area’s economy continues to perform well, adding to a vibrant feel in the community and enabling continued progress.

Going back to its beginnings, Salt Lake City has a tradition of moving beyond challenges to a level of admirable success. However, Lane Beattie’s rhetorical question remains valid: what’s next? That’s the question of the day. As Lane correctly pointed out, there are no guarantees for the future.

Fortunately, a collaborative spirit seems to be embedded in the city’s DNA. The kind of cooperation and coordination that made the 2002 Winter Olympic Games a success is still here. While we can be proud of the city’s past achievements, I was reminded that a focus on the future must be maintained. The ingredients for success are here on a practical and conceptual level.

Now it’s time to take advantage of current opportunities and imagine the future. There are many decisions that need to be made and issues addressed, whether talking about a convention hotel, investments in infrastructure (particularly transit) and of course, education.

All of these things will determine the future ability of the city to continue thriving. In my opinion, not only does Salt Lake City have the ability to grow and prosper, but this city and state serve as remarkable examples of what can happen when reasonable people work together for the common good.

 

“For the Love of Cities” author shares thoughts on SLC

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Peter Kageyama is the author of, “For the Love of Cities,” a look at creating what he calls a “love affair between people and their places.”

Tomorrow he will keynote the Downtown Alliance, Downtown Symposium tomorrow and he joins us today.

In this video, Kageyama discusses the one percent of people who make cities great, the importance of bikes to a downtown area and finding love notes.

You can also check out his TED Talk below.

The Lowdown on the SLC Farmers Market

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

This past weekend marked the beginning of the SLC Farmers Market for 2013–with new extended hours.

From now until Oct. 19, the SLC Farmers Market will be open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can find it in it’s usual home at Pioneer Park (300 South 300 West).

This summer, the Downtown Farmers Market will host a smorgasbord of programs and events, such as Music at the Market, Waste Wise Program, SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Eat Local Week and much more. Each weekend will also feature a different event. For example: this Saturday, June 15, you can come Celebrate Kids with Discovery Gateway while crafting fruit stamps with your children. So bring them along with you!

Don’t miss out on all the fresh produce, artisan cooking and crafts, live music and more this summer at the Farmers Market!

And come August, the Tuesday Market will be back, running from 4 p.m. to dusk. Those of you who work downtown can get all of your fresh produce needs without having to come back on the weekend.

To see a map and a list of vendors available on Market Day, click here. You can also find parking information on the SLC Farmers Market website.

From its inception in 1992, the Downtown Farmers Market has become a summer tradition for Salt Lake City residents and visitors.

SLC Bike Share kickoff on April 8 & 9

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Mayor Ralph Becker has called 2013 “The Year of the Bike”–and with the launch of the GREENbike, Salt Lake City’s Bike Share program, in exactly one month, we can’t help but feel like that name couldn’t be more fitting.

Salt Lake City and the Downtown Alliance have been working together to create GREENbike, Utah’s first fully automated bike share program. It’s the first of its kind in the West.

On April 8, we will open 10 stations and make 100 bicycles available in our capital city. The launch will take place at the western entrance to Gallivan Plaza on Main Street at 10:30 a.m. On April 9, Squatters will be hosting a kickoff/fundraiser at Squatters Pub Brewery from 5:30 p.m-8:30 p.m.

Salt Lake City’s Bike Share program is a network of Bike Share stations where members can take any bike from any station, as many times as they like, for a small membership fee of $5 a day or $75 per year. The stations are located close to transit stops, popular destinations for food, entertainment and other hot spots in downtown Salt Lake City.

GREENbikes are designed for one job: short trips in the city by people wearing regular clothes and carrying ordinary belongings. The bikes are one-size-fits-all and the only thing you may need to adjust is the seat.

So mark your calendars and join us for the launch on April 8 as well as the special fundraiser/kickoff party to support GREENbike at Squatters downtown on April 9. Tickets are $35 if bought in March and $50 if bought in April. All the proceeds go to GREENbike.

Annual GREENbike members will be able to pick up their custom “I BIKE SLC” helmets at the party. And there will also be a $1,100 TREK 7.5 fx giveaway at 8:00pm!

Also be sure to follow SLC Bike Share on Facebook and Twitter to stay on top of all things bike share in Utah.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Only four GREENbike station sponsorships are left!

Contact Ben Bolte at ben@greenbikeslc.org if you’d like to help support this cause and have your company recognized on one of the bike share stations.

To learn more about bike share sponsorship, CLICK HERE.

City Creek Center earns high praise

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Just in case you missed the news on Tuesday, City Creek Center received a significant award. Below is the Chamber’s statement:

Chamber congratulates Taubman on City Creek Center honors

SALT LAKE CITY- (Jan. 15, 2013) The Salt Lake Chamber, Utah’s largest and longest-serving statewide business association, congratulates Taubman Centers and City Creek Reserve, Inc. for City Creek Center being named the “Best Retail Development, USA” in the International Property Awards for 2012. City Creek Center also placed among the top three in the broader “World’s Best Retail Development” category.

“City Creek Center has been a remarkable addition to a downtown on the rise,” said Salt Lake Chamber President and CEO Lane Beattie. “This well-deserved award recognizes an amazing urban center and Taubman’s commitment to retail excellence. We also acknowledge the vision and unwavering commitment to downtown of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

City Creek has provided a significant boost to Utah’s economy, currently the fifth strongest in the nation with the sixth lowest unemployment rate. Built during the Great Recession and opened March 22, 2012, City Creek is Utah’s largest privately-funded, mixed-use development. This project provided over 1,700 construction jobs and 2,000 retail jobs. In addition, the 536 residential units and 5,000 parking spaces benefit dozens of downtown businesses as visitors drawn to downtown by City Creek Center eat and shop throughout the central business district.

Downtown Salt Lake City is the regional center for culture, commerce and entertainment. A vibrant metropolitan center is an important economic engine for the entire region. Downtown Salt Lake City is the historic hub for employment, transportation, finance, legal work and the creative class. It also stands as the seat of local and state government and the headquarters of a world religion. City Creek is an important part of a state that has earned a reputation as a great place to live, work, eat and play.