As the only major outlet store option within 300 miles of Salt Lake City, Tanger Outlets draws crowds from across the state and even nearby states such as Wyoming and Idaho, but that may not be the case this winter. After five years in development, California-based Craig Realty Group anticipates completing the Outlets at Traverse Mountain in Lehi, making it another nearby option for Utah and Salt Lake County residents.
"Our tenants are very excited," said Outlets at Traverse Mountain General Manager Teri Sunderland, "They're getting an idea for the market and how this venture will go in Utah."
The center will be opening roughly at the same time as one of Tanger's top money-making periods, Christmas. The outlet store is planning on hosting its annual back-to-school sales, another busy period, before the new Lehi center opens. Tanger has also appeared before the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission requesting an addition of 23,000 square feet of retail space.
"There's a lot of concern about (the new outlet), new competition for the Salt Lake Valley customer," said Bill Malone, the Park City Chamber/Bureau President and CEO.
"That potential new draw is a real concern," he added, "not just for the outlets but also the community that really benefits from that sales tax revenue."
Malone said he's sat in meetings with Tanger Outlet representatives on the issue and that concerns were raised on the potential impact on the Wasatch Front customer base. Actual numbers from Tanger Outlets on where customers are coming from were unavailable. Tanger Outlets General Manager Nancy Gray kept a cool attitude about the incoming competition.
"Tanger has such a different product," Gray said. "We're very proud of what we offer, and we do a lot that they don't do. We make sure shoppers have the best choices and the best time while they're shopping."
"Tanger Outlet centers have been a leader in outlet industry for many, many years, and I'm confident we'll continue to do that," she added.
Several stores from the Kimball Junction outlet center will open second locations in the Outlets at Traverse Mountain, including favorites among bargain-shopper such as the Nike Factory, Coach Outlet and the Ralph Lauren Factory Store. In total, the Outlets at Traverse Mountain expects to launch 50 stores for its November grand opening, a total of 225,000 square feet in its initial phases. Plans to expand could be in the cards after its first two to three years of business, which could include an additional 40 stores in continued build outs on the 50 acre site the outlets sit.
"There are some of the same tenants as there are in Park City," Sunderland said, "but I still feel there is an opportunity for those stores to be successful in both locations. We're on the on the border of Utah and Salt Lake County, so we're positioned to serve those local communities and the tourism community heading through the area."
The location at Lehi will be close to one of the nation's largest interstate intersections, I-15 and I-80, and will also be accessible by TRAX.
Craig Realty Group, the parent company of the Outlets at Traverse Mountain, owns more than 17 other outlets across the nation, including markets such as Honolulu and Chicago. The company targets populated urban centers with a strong tourism base.
"There aren't that many outlets in the state," Sunderland said, "but there seems to be a consumer market that is all about having that value-option without sacrificing the brand, a real niche from what we could tell from consumer research."
Other confirmed tenants in the Outlet at Traverse Mountain include Calvin Klein, Banana Republic, Gap Outlet, J.Crew, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi's, Van Heusen, Bass, Izod, Carter's Childrenswear, OshKosh B'Gosh, Gymboree Outlet, Skechers, Vans and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.