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Utah has plenty of news to share in 2012. According to Visit Utah, new museums, exhibitions, commuter lines and a retail development project are debuting across the state. What follows are the Beehive State’s latest developments and future projects.
The Leonardo — Salt Lake CityOpened in October, The Leonardo museum combines art, science and technology to inspire creativity and innovation and to connect today’s big ideas, questions, inventions and discoveries. The museum uses a unique approach to engage visitors and spark curiosity, featuring immersive exhibits, real-life labs and community workshops. A highlight of the museum is The Lab @ Leo, which focuses on art and invention as both forms of inquiry and problem-solving, giving visitors the chance to rub shoulders with working scientists, inventors, creators, thinkers, philosophers and artists. www.theleonardo.org
PLC–SLC Connect — Park CityUtah’s ski country is now more accessible than ever before. Through a cooperative effort between the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), Park City and Summit County, the UTA is now offering public bus service from Salt Lake City to Park City for the first time. The PLC-SLC connect services markets in Summit County and Salt Lake City during peak commuter hours and includes stops at multiple ski resorts, Park City Transit Center, Salt Lake Central Station and the University of Utah, among others. The cost for a one-way trip is $5.50. Three-day or 30-day passes are also available. www.rideuta.com
Quarry Visitor Center and Quarry Exhibit Hall – Dinosaur National Monument — JensenAfter closing down for renovations in 2006, the new Quarry Visitor Center and Quarry Exhibit Hall at the Dinosaur National Monument now offers a dramatic dinosaur display, with the fossilized remains of more than 1,500 Jurassic dinosaur bones preserved in a 200-foot-long wall. The Quarry is the only place within the 10,000-acre monument where the public can easily see dinosaur fossils embedded in rock. The Exhibit Hall features all-new exhibits addressing the dinosaurs’ life on earth, including a large mural which portrays Dinosaur National Monument as it may have looked 149 million years ago, depicting more than 50 different ancient species. Beyond the Quarry, Dinosaur National Monument offers trails, tours and activities which highlight the area’s dramatic canyons and rich cultural history. www.nps.gov/dino
Natural History Museum of Utah — Salt Lake CityThe Natural History Museum of Utah, which opened in November, provides interactive exhibits and programming, immersive design and public spaces representing different time periods. The state’s designated natural history museum celebrates Utah’s native people, cultures and ecology. Notably, the museum has been built to gold LEED standards. www.nhmu.utah.edu
City Creek Center — Salt Lake CityOpening on March 22, City Creek Center will be the retail centerpiece of one of the nation’s largest mixed-use downtown redevelopment projects. This unique shopping environment will feature a retractable roof, a creek that runs through the property, fountains, a pedestrian skybridge, a snow-melt system and more. The world-class fashion and dining destination will offer approximately 80 stores including Macy’s, Nordstrom and Tiffany & Co, as well as a food court and restaurants in a causal, pedestrian-friendly environment. www.shopcitycreekcenter.com
Airport TRAX LineA new rail extension from Salt Lake City International Airport to downtown Salt Lake City is currently under construction and scheduled to open in early 2013. The train will provide quick transfer from the Airport to downtown hotels and restaurants, including the new City Creek Center shopping and entertainment center. The Airport Line will help alleviate congestion in parking, enhance security and provide greater access and mobility to the west side of Salt Lake City.www.rideuta.com