I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it seems to me Provo’s New Year’s Eve celebrations have gone downhill over the past few years. Don’t get me wrong, for some people it’s a huge blast. By “some people” I mean mainly high school kids.
Back in the day Provo used to have it’s celebration downtown. It wasn’t much of a downtown area, but at least it was in the center of the city in a historical area, building memories. Several years ago Provo decided to move it’s party across town to the Provo Towne Centre mall.
In a city where it’s downtown area is finally growing, and a city council who is really trying to re-brand Downtown Provo, why on earth are we still doing this party in a mall on the edge of town?! I suppose part of it is to generate money, keeping the entire festivities in a zone you can’t just walk up to without paying. Certainly another reason is to keep people out of the cold.
Moving the NYE celebrations from a cold, dead downtown to a new warm mall made sense at the time. It doesn’t anymore. Here is my vision of a more successful NYE in Provo:
First off we need to bring people downtown. I mean really try to pack the small streets of Provo to drop the ball. Worried about people being cold all night? Need to generate some easy revenue? We have a beautiful convention center in the heart of Downtown Provo that was empty last night. Provo has the best music scene in the state. Partner with local venues such as Muse Music and The Velour to get the best of the best playing on NYE every year in the convention center. Once the party generates some buzz over the next year you can start moving your way up to bigger artists. You can also host several other activities in the large building. You can slap on an admission fee to the building and generate some easy revenue.
Downtown Provo has local bars and eateries to cater to those who want to have a few drinks and eat some great food. It generates revenue and exposure for the local businesses, forces people to discover the new Downtown Provo, and provides a much more real NYE experience rather than sitting inside of a teenage infested mall all night. If money is the issue, there are plenty of local businesses who would love to help in exchange for the exposure.
With so much going on in Downtown Provo, moving the NYE celebrations is a must.