The Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office is pleased to announce that our Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex (RAC) has been honored with the 2019 Best of State Award for Best Sports Complex in Utah, and the Salt Lake City Cemetery has been honored with 2019 Utah Best of State Award for Best Historical/Heritage Site in Utah.
Now in its 17th year, Best of State recognizes Utah individuals, organizations and businesses for their excellence and achievement in industry, innovation, creativity and community contributions that enhance the quality of life in the Beehive State.
“We are very excited that these two Salt Lake City gems have been honored with Best of State Awards,” Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said. “Both are examples of our commitment to providing exceptional facilities and services that enhance the lives of Salt Lake City’s residents and visitors.”
The RAC, which opened in 2016, is a 120-acre recreation complex along the Jordan River that has become a favored host site for national sporting events including, rugby, lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, and football tournaments for both adult and youth teams.
Part of the Salt Lake City Parks Division in the Department of Public Services, the facility provides state-of-the-art amenities not seen at most of the country’s municipal event sites: Wi-Fi, power outlets, live-stream video capability, ice machines, space for vendors and food trucks, and 1,200 parking spaces.
“Salt Lake City is thrilled to receive this prestigious Utah award. It is with the exceptional enthusiasm and great effort put forth by the Regional Athletic Complex staff that these world class fields are serving as a premier field sport location for Salt Lake City, Utah and nationally,” Kristin Riker (Public Services Deputy Director, Public Lands). “This award goes to the decision makers who had the forethought to fund such an exceptional facility, and to the team that is dedicated to making their dreams a reality.”
Also part of the Public Services Department’s Parks Division, the Salt Lake City Cemetery offers residents and visitors a picture of both Utah and Salt Lake City history.
Located in the Avenues area of the city, the 120-acre cemetery serves as the final resting place for thousands of men and women who have shaped our region: politicians, pioneers, artists, inventors, outlaws, educators, activists, and currently 12 presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The cemetery grounds have been in continuous operation since 1848 — longer than any other known municipally-operated cemetery in the United States. Salt Lake City’s efforts to preserve and protect the cemetery reflect the city’s commitment to honoring our cultural past and the lives of those who came before us.
Last year, the cemetery’s unique history was documented in the new book Images of America: Salt Lake City Cemetery, which was co-authored by cemetery sexton Mark E. Smith along with Annastasia Hirt and Corey Rushton of the city’s Public Services Division.
“This recognition from the Best of State helps raise the awareness of Salt Lake City’s most treasured cultural and historical urban open space,” Lee Bollwinkel, Public Services Parks Division Director said. “To quote Mark Smith: ‘Cemeteries are for the living, not the dead.’ Through their headstones, cemeteries help us understand the history that lies beneath us, telling us a little bit about a person and how much they were loved.”
Best of State honorees, including the RAC and Salt Lake City Cemetery, will be recognized publicly at the organization’s annual awards banquet on June 12, 2019 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.