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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Making Money off the Mormons

Nobody ever seems to complain about all the money Mormons pump into an economy or bring to an economy. It's rare to find any numbers, but the Salt Lake Tribune provides us with a few figures. In an article entitled, "LDS Church defends its sacred spaces with growth" we get an idea of just how much money is involved.
In Ogden, chamber President Dave Hardman estimates the church has spent $250 million — “the second largest financial investment in a downtown area” — to help “build an atmosphere.” The impact has helped bring in new businesses and create jobs, he says. And one bonus has been the diversity inside the church’s downtown apartment buildings — conceived for temple workers and retirees — but teeming with a mix of students, young families and seniors.

Together Ogden City Hall and the LDS Church are rehabbing 150 acres — 15 full blocks — across the downtown business center. Godfrey notes plans are under way for another 120 acres.
See this former post to get an idea of how much the Church is pumping into Salt Lake City. It is at least one billion dollars. Yes that's a "b" not an "m."

Another article talks about how much business General Conference brings to Salt Lake City, "By any measure, LDS conference impact is big."
Figures about the economic impact of LDS General Conference are notably lacking, but no doubt they are substantial.
“Twice a year, you can guarantee Salt Lake City hotels will fill up because of LDS General Conference,” said Steve Lundgren, general manager of the Downtown Marriott Hotel, 75 S. West Temple.
Although Utah Restaurant Association CEO Melva Sine has no hard figures on how much business increases on conference weekends, “we know every place is packed.
LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter said the church does not keep economic data, but noted that all five sessions of the big event fill the 21,200-seat LDS Conference Center. Crowds also spill into Temple Square, the Tabernacle, Assembly Hall and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
 The following quote is a telling tribute:
Executives from the Downtown Alliance are fond of saying the LDS Church is the best friend downtown could ever have. That is especially true in today’s economy. Instead of scrambling for bank financing like other developers, the church simply writes a check.
Simply writes a check . . . 

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