SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) -The Gateway Mall continues to evolve from a retail shopping center into a vibrant entertainment and dining complex with the grand opening of Dave & Buster’s on Monday.
When Barnes & Noble Booksellers closes it’ doors here at the end of June The Gateway will have 16 retail stores and two phone stores, but with the addition of Dave & Buster’s it has 9 restaurants and 12 entertainment venues just across the street from the home of the Jazz, Vivint Smart Home Arena.
“It’s almost like a sports and entertainment district part of Downtown where people will go there for entertainment reasons,” Nick Como of the Downtown Alliance told News4Utah. “The shopping has kind of switched over to Main Street and the Broadway area, with City Creek Center and that just goes to show how flexible Downtown Salt Lake City really is and evolving…It also tells a bigger story about Salt Lake City being an attractive place for development. Real estate wants to come here, developers want to come here, new businesses want to be part of what’s going on here.”
Dave & Buster’s General Manager Andy Oreskovich says that The Gateway’s owner, Vestar has successfully transformed malls to entertainment hubs in other cities.
“With the rise of Amazon, we all know the brick and mortar mall is kind of going away so you have to have a reason why people are going to go to those venues anymore,” Oreskovich said. “You have to be ahead of the curve and change it from just your normal everyday mall to an entertainment area.”
Business owners here say the homeless problem near The Road Home shelter to the south has improved since last year’s law enforcement crackdown.
“Operation Rio Grande has been a real game changer specifically on the West Side,” Como said. “I’m really confident that what we’re doing with the new homeless resource centers that we’re moving around to different parts of the Valley we’ll really be ahead of ourselves in two years, we’ll be in a really good place in the city.”
Dave & Buster’s is the 113th location of the national chain, a 45,000 square foot facility with 220 employees.