Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

#RootsTech 2014 -- A Pre-Conference Visit to the Salt Palace

My wife and I arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday afternoon and checked into the hotel. In the evening, we wandered into the Salt Palace, the location for RootsTech 2014. I have been to all three previous conferences and was fairly familiar with the layout of the portion of the Salt Palace used for those years. This did not prepare me for our experience of walking around in this huge building. We were looking for my wife's brother who works for the company supplying huge teleprompters for the conference sessions. We walked and walked and then we walked some more. We finally found the huge hallway where the Conference is being held. Each of the halls we passed were bigger than the one before. We saw the Exhibit floor and it took several minutes, after peeking in the doors, to just walk past the entry ways. I don't know how much bigger it is physically than the previous venue, but it is really, really big. In our pre-conference briefings from FamilySearch, they casually mentioned the D hall would seat about 2600 people. Well, yes. The E hall is even larger.

I can assure anyone who attended before, with all the congestion is moving from session to session, that this will not be nearly the problem it has been in past years. There are escalators as well as elevators. After wandering around for a while, we never did find my brother-in-law, but we did get an eye full of a huge convention center and a lot of preparations for the Conference. Come prepared to walk! When we got outside, we realized that this part of the Salt Palace takes up two long, Salt Lake City blocks. Here is a comment on the size of the blocks from a blog post from Historical Concepts, Architects, Planners and Place-Makers entitled "Salt Lake City Interrotta: An Ideas Competition:"
At 660 feet (10 chains) on a side, each block is exactly 10 acres. The size of Salt Lake City’s blocks has proven to be a challenge to its urbanism. Everything from walkability to standard development sizes have struggled with the 660’ dimension: the blocks are just too big and the lots too deep, especially when compared to other American cities. Most of these large blocks are divided with access drives and are internally oriented by dimensional necessity, but there is plenty of room for improvement.
Maybe 1,320 feet doesn't sound like much but try walking that several times in the course of a morning. Don't worry about getting your exercise while attending the Conference.