Like billions of other Salt Lake City residents, Telestial State was in attendance. And we have to admit: it’s a really pretty mall. There are waterfalls and a sky bridge and a roof that moves around for some reason. It’s as if the LDS Church and the Bellagio Hotel & Casino got super drunk, had an out-of-wedlock baby, and named it “the City Creek Center for Rich People.”
That’s how classy it is.
But see, that’s just the thing: while walking around the City Creek Hotel & Casino, I got a severe case of déjà vu. High-end shopping in a manicured and safe environment… why did this feel so familiar?
Oh right. Because it reminded me of the high-end malls in Las Vegas.
If you’ve ever visited some of the higher-end malls at the Bellagio, the Venetian, or the Wynn, you know the unspoken, unwritten rule:
“Anybody is allowed to walk around and look! But if you’re poor, leave your wallet in your fucking pocket.”
Which takes us back to the City Creek Hotel & Casino. Consider the following construction price tags:
- $1,700,000,000 - Venetian
- $1,600,000,000 - Bellagio
- $1,500,000,000 - City Creek
- $785,000,000 - Paris Las Vegas
- $630,000,000 - The Mirage
- $450,000,000 - Treasure Island
- $375,000,000 - Luxor
- $344,000,000 - Monte Carlo
It cost more to build the City Creek Center than it did to build Treasure Island, the Luxor, and the Monte Carlo… combined. City Creek is more lavish, and more expensive, than three of Las Vegas’ megaresorts.
According to the LDS Church, the City Creek Center was built for two reasons:
1.) Revitalize the economy of downtown Salt Lake City.
2.) Prevent the neighborhood surrounding Temple Square from becoming a hobo slum.
After all, it took 40 goddamn years to build the Salt Lake City Temple… why shouldn’t it be located in a nice neighborhood? So naturally, the LDS Church chose to protect the House of the Lord™ by building a $1.5 billion dollar mall that caters to the wealthy.
It’s a beautiful mall, and will hopefully be the economic jolt that downtown Salt Lake City so desperately needs. But let’s call a spade a spade: spending $1.5 billion dollars to build a fucking mall probably has little to do with the poor in spirit, the meek, or the merciful. And unless I’m mistaken, I don’t believe that “make sure that the wealthy have a safe and beautiful place to shop” is in the beatitudes.
On the other hand, I believe it was Jesus Christ who said:
“Anybody is allowed to walk around and look! But if you’re poor, leave your wallet in your fucking pocket. And never shop on Sundays.”
Jesus may not have given a shit about the poor, but he was a stickler for closing on Sundays.