The Depot Rolls Into Salt Lake

Concert-goers in Salt Lake City will soon be able to satisfy their hunger and music cravings with the opening of The Depot – a 1,200-capacity train-station-turned-performance- venue/restaurant.

Ground has broken on the $6 million project and, with that, United Concerts CEO Jim McNeil says the concert industry and fans are ready for smaller venues.

“People want to go to smaller venues to see shows,” McNeil told Pollstar. “There’s nothing like a House of Blues in Salt Lake. … There really isn’t a great performance venue that you can go to.”

Located directly across the street from the 20,500-seat Delta Center, The Depot will be built into Salt Lake’s 1909 Union Pacific train station. The 37,000-square-foot building will have three levels: two for balcony seating overlooking the stage and one for a 220-seat fine dining restaurant.

McNeil said the venue will host a variety of genres including jazz, comedy, R&B, electronic, rock, folk, country and more. It will also be used to for conventions, wedding receptions and other events.

“We’re going to be selling this to a variety of economic and social groups,” he said.

Meanwhile, McNeil isn’t worried about competition from the soon-to-reopen 3,500-seat Great Salt Air, which is about 18 miles away on the beach of the Great Salt Lake.

“It’s hard to get adults over there; it’s a kids place,” said McNeil, who ran that venue for 15 years before it closed. “We struggled with it for years and I don’t miss it.”

The Depot is expected to open in early January.

Mitchell Peters