Local businesses, city gear up to host 100,000 visitors during NBA All-Star weekend

Feb 3, 2023, 10:04 AM | Updated: 1:36 pm

SALT LAKE CITYThe streets of downtown Salt Lake City will look a lot different in two weeks when city officials expect to see 100,000 visitors in town for NBA All-Star Weekend.

The 72nd NBA All-Star Game will be held at Vivint Arena on Sunday, Feb. 19.

Roberta Reichgelt, director of business development for Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development, said not everyone will attend the main event, which is why the city has planned for three days of activities.

“There are a number of activities throughout the city, for visitors and locals alike, that will showcase the best our state has to offer,” Reichgelt said. “It’s giving local businesses and local artists an opportunity to put their name and their work on a global stage.” 

Your guide to NBA All-Star events in Salt Lake City

Reichgelt’s office has been working closely with the Utah Jazz, Visit Salt Lake, the Utah Transit Authority, and other organizations and local business to gear up for the large crowds. 

“We are expecting over 100,000 people coming into Salt Lake City from all over the world. The economic impact could be upwards of $250 million,” she said. “Every last hotel is booked in the downtown area, I mean, maybe in the entire valley.”

Local business owner Alfonso Brito is excited to welcome new customers to his restaurant Santo Taco, located at 380 S. State Street. He and his staff have been working on All-Star menu items, which they will debut during the big weekend.

“With a theme about the game, you know, the ‘hoop taco.’ We already have three new tacos we are going to be putting out that weekend,” Alfonso said.

The local eatery has already planned to purchase about 50% more produce for the week. They will be bringing in additional staff from their other locations to help during the busy hours and are planning to extend hours, staying open until 4 a.m.

“Especially on Sunday when the game ends at 10, I believe, so we need to be open late that night,” Alfonso said.

The Salt Lake City Police Department told KSL there will be increased police presence around the city that weekend.

UTA is offering ten zero fare days — Feb. 12-21 — for FrontRunner, TRAX, and all bus services, including Ski Bus, Paratransit, and UTA On-Demand.

UTA to waive fares, increase services during NBA All-Star week

The last time Salt Lake City hosted an All-Star Game was in 1993.

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Local businesses, city gear up to host 100,000 visitors during NBA All-Star weekend