Nestled between Lake Utah and the Wasatch Mountain Range, the Utah Valley offers stunning scenery from almost every vantage point. From the Salt Lake City International Airport, visitors can hop on the FrontRunner commuter train or drive down Interstate 15 to reach the area within 45 minutes. The area’s largest city, Provo, features its own regional airport as well, which connects to nearly 90 major cities across the United States.
In 2012, Provo opened an 83,578-square-foot convention center that overlooks the Wasatch Mountains from a rooftop garden terrace.
“People are always just stunned by the natural beauty,” said Lee Adamson, director of sales at the Utah Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau. “When we’ve got a group up on the convention terrace, everyone just stands there taking selfies.”
Across the street, the Provo Marriott Hotel and Convention Center offers an additional 24,591 square feet of function space, with smaller venues available throughout town for after-hours events.
Visitors would be remiss not to explore some of the surrounding natural treasures, with options like hiking to Bridal Veil Falls, rafting on the Provo River, skiing at the Sundance Mountain Resort and strolling the grounds of Whispering Springs Lavender Farm, the largest herb farm and distillery in the world.
“We’re in a metropolitan area, but we’re so close to the mountains, it has a strong, mountain-recreation feel,” said Adamson.
According to Adamson, one of the key things that makes the Utah Valley stand out as a meeting destination is the personal touch provided by the Utah Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, from welcome banners stationed on the streets to other services.
“Some of these groups get lost in a bigger city,” said Adamson. “But here, they get to enjoy being the bigger fish in a place with beautiful scenery and all the amenities they need.”
Utah Valley Convention Center
Based in the heart of historic downtown Provo, the Utah Valley Convention Center is a brand-new, LEED Silver-Certified facility with 83,578 square feet of function space. The convention center is conveniently located 10 minutes from the Provo Regional Airport as well as 1,300 downtown hotel rooms. One of its main highlights is a 5,553-square-foot open rooftop garden terrace that offers a panoramic view of the Wasatch Mountains. Planners can take advantage of the convention center’s complimentary Wi-Fi and in-house catering service, the Center Street Café.
Thanksgiving Point is a destination in itself that encompasses the largest dinosaur museum in North America, the elegant 55-acre Ashton Gardens, the Thanksgiving Point Golf Club and the Museum of Natural Curiosity. Ashton Gardens features 15 themed gardens and the largest man-made waterfall in the Western Hemisphere, making it an excellent location for a picturesque after-hours reception or cocktail party. After touring the museums and gardens, groups can dine at the Harvest Restaurant, the Tower Deli or the Trellis Café, which overlooks the gardens.
Sundance Mountain Resort
The Sundance Mountain Resort is located at the foot of Mount Timpanogos and features 1,200 square feet of meeting space, 95 guest cottages and 5,000 acres of lush mountain landscape. Groups can take their pick of adventures at this rustic, high-end resort, which offers everything from art studio classes to skiing and zip lining down a 2,100-foot vertical drop over the valley. Dining options include the frontier-themed Foundry Grill, the Tree Room Restaurant and the Owl Bar, which contains the restored 1890s Rosewood Bar once frequented by the Butch Cassidy gang.
Local Food Scene
The Utah Valley offers an eclectic food scene that every meeting attendee will want to explore. For those in the mood for ethnic food, Joe Vera’s Mexican Restaurant, Oregano’s Italian Kitchen and Black Sheep are local favorites. Station 22 features savory Southern comfort food, and Guru’s Café is a chic Southwestern venue. The Communal Restaurant centers on fresh farm-to-table ingredients. Anyone with a sweet tooth will appreciate dessert venues like the Rockwell Ice Cream Company and the Roll With It Creamery, which features Thai-style rolled ice cream.
Location: North central Utah
Access: Salt Lake City International Airport, Provo Airport, interstates 15 and 80
Major Meeting Spaces: Utah Valley Convention Center, Provo Marriott Hotel and Conference Center,
BYU Conference Center, Sundance Mountain Resort, Thanksgiving Point
Hotel Rooms: 3,500
Off-Site Venues: The Links at Sleepy Ridge, Cedar Hills Golf Club, the Underground Museum
Utah Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau