Today, Utah County Commissioners Bill Lee, Nathan Ivie, and Tanner Ainge made a landmark decision to advance Utah County’s quality of life and economic growth. The Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a $4.3 million funding request that will make possible the construction of a 4-gate terminal at Provo’s airport.
The time is right for a multi-gate airport terminal in Utah Valley. Utah County is the hotspot for Utah’s population growth, with over 1 million additional residents expected in the county by 2065. Already, the county has the state’s two largest universities by student body, Silicon Slopes, Sundance, and far too many other thriving entities and attractions to possibly list.
Experts indicate that the annual economic impact of a daily flight into the regional airport is about $15 million to the surrounding region. So, a multi-gate terminal will do much more than add a convenient travel option. It will generate jobs, hotel stays, and more. It will even help reduce traffic, especially around the point of the mountain on I-15. Eventually, transit will better serve the airport, and the community will be one step closer to being a region with no need for a car.
The FAA gave a green-light for the terminal project by awarding an approximately $8 million grant to build the concrete apron for the terminal. Provo City is contributing approximately $19 million towards the project (with no tax increase required). And if the state legislature comes through on the remaining $9 million needed, the city could conceivably be putting shovels to the ground this fall and cutting a ribbon on the new terminal next year.
I’m thrilled that the County Commissioners have thrown their enthusiasm and their financial support behind this project. The decision to fund this terminal is the kind of forward-looking action we need. For decades to come, Utahn’s will reap the benefits of the vision our Commissioners have shown today. I cannot thank them enough.
At the public hearing this morning, each of the Commissioners voiced their enthusiasm for the project and for the long-term benefits it will bring. They also clarified that the county funds being used for the project are generated from tourism taxes and are required to be used for projects that will support tourism. The Commissioners also pointed out that rarely have they seen the excitement for a project that the Tourism Tax Advisory Board expressed in recommending approval of this funding.