Ghost town: Normally busy areas of Salt Lake City are largely deserted because of COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The Salt Lake City metropolitan area is home to more than 1.2 million people but these days areas of Utah’s capital city look more like ghost towns.

City Creek Center in Downtown Salt Lake City drew thousands of shoppers on a sunny Saturday last September. On Friday it was closed,  shut down until at least March 29th.

Last October’s General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints drew more than 100,000 attendees but next month’s session will have zero attendees and on Friday there was hardly a person to be seen outside of the Conference Center.

In late December the Delta counter at Salt Lake International Airport was bustling with holiday passengers. On Friday it saw just a handful.

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“Empty, very empty. Really really eerie,” traveler Sheila Biell said. “It’s really, really dead. There’s very few travelers in the airport and it’s very quiet. Very unusual.”

A month ago during the height of ski season, the airport was doing record numbers according to spokesperson Nancy Vollmer.

“We had days of 30,000 passengers travelling through the airport. Ever since the resorts have closed and the whole Coronavirus fear has come to light those numbers have dropped dramatically,” Vollmer said. “A couple of days ago we saw about 9,000 passengers who were scheduled to come through the airport. Today it’s closer to 6 or 7,000.”

For one final comparison, the Terminal One TSA checkpoint was crowded on the day after Christmas and the same checkpoint had no wait whatsoever on Friday afternoon.

18,000 fans would have packed Vivint Smart Home Arena Friday night for the Jazz game against the Minnesota Timberwolves but instead the building will be dark and quiet because that game, like the entire NBA season is postponed indefinitely.


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