Not many can say they have witnessed a city mayor don a white chef coat and wait upon guests, but during the new Utah Valley Convention Center's Cinco de Fryo event, a handful of media personnel experienced that very opportunity.
The Utah Valley Convention Center, which opens with an extravaganza on May 12, hosted a small gathering of local media on May 7 for an event they dubbed Cinco de Fryo. The meeting enabled press, key workers on the project and leaders of the city to mingle and discuss Provo's newest building addition to the neighborhood – the Utah Valley Convention Center.
The center offers 83,578 square feet of meeting space. At ground level, the front doors open to a tall, extensive entry way, with flooring made of terrazzo and recycled glass, rock and sand. Further down the hallway is a feature that the project team calls “the wavy wall,” which is textured to look like the ridges in sand dunes. The wall is made of MDF (medium density fiberboard), which is built locally. The east face of the entire three-story building is completely covered in a glazed glass wall, revealing views of the Wasatch mountains with Mount Timpanogos being the main focus. The wall opposite the glass windows reflects this arresting view. Sapele and Anegre wood paneling imitate the sharp peaks and valleys of the beautiful mountain view and will be illuminated by LED lights.
Media personnel toured the building while taste testing the various food options available to the public and other convention center guests.
“You can have a great event, but if the food isn't good, it reflects poorly upon the event,” stated Tennille Wanner, director of sales and marketing for the convention center.
With the joint efforts of Michale Smith, director of food and beverage, and Scott Compton, executive chef, at the helm of cuisine, the convention center offers a variety of dishes from its Center Street Cafe, concessions and ballroom catering.
The convention center’s Center Street Cafe is open to the public for breakfast and lunch from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., with extended hours during exhibits or events to accommodate guests. The cafe will offer two soups, which vary daily, sandwiches, beverages, wraps and other tasty meals. The cafe's signature creation, the Provo Round Up, is sure to be a hit with cheddar jalapeno bread and a smoky meat.
The concessions will also be a place for guests to grab a bite to eat, offering pretzels, pizza, delicious sliders topped with pepper jack cheese, fresh-cut fries and other concessions snacks. The catering, with its full-service professional kitchen, offers steaks marinated for days in a savory Korean Kalbi sauce and crunchy crab cakes drizzled with wasabi among other delicious selections.
Utah Valley has high hopes for the convention center and the role it will play in the community.
“A lot of people think it's only the businesses right around the convention center that are benefiting,” said Danny Wheeler, the Utah Valley Convention Center's facility manager. “But there's a thing called compression. When you get people into downtown Provo, they're staying in the Provo Marriott, and the people that would have been staying there are now staying in Orem and Lehi – it spreads it out for the entire county.”
Join the Provo community in welcoming the Utah Valley Convention Center. The opening event will be May 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m and will include free hot dogs and hamburgers, performers on each level, activities for the kids, the bomb squad, fire department and more.
Photos courtesy Utah Valley Convention Center