The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

4 June 2006

You must be this smart to shop here

The Gateway in downtown Salt Lake City is Utah's biggest outdoor retail center; it's the sort of integrated mixed-use community that we're only just starting to see take shape in this neck of the woods.

You'd think that retailers would be queueing up to get space in this place, and, well, some of them are. On the other hand:

Two national stores planning to come here changed their minds when they learned how few Utah residents have college degrees. In fact, the numbers have taken such a downward turn, even state leaders are taking action.

The Gateway was supposed to be a new home for store Crate and Barrel and restaurant The Cheesecake Factory.

The reason in this case is eye opening. These businesses prefer areas where at least 35-percent of the population has college degrees. Everyone assumed Utah would clear. To the dismay of even Gateway developers, we didn't come close, with just 28 percent.

Considering that Oklahomans got out of the fourth grade only after two tries and only just recently got indoor plumbing, or so the stereotype says, I've got to wonder if maybe the Utahns are being handed a line; the Cheesecake Factory is building a location on an outlot at Penn Square, even as we speak. (Well, okay, it's Sunday, they may have the day off.) We don't, however, have a Crate and Barrel. Yet.

Posted at 11:48 AM to Dyssynergy

Neither of those chains will come near Newnan, I guarantee it.

Posted by: McGehee at 1:29 PM on 4 June 2006

I have a Crate & Barrel. The crate is full of chickens & the barrel is full of oil.

Posted by: Dwayne "the canoe guy" at 7:13 PM on 4 June 2006

Danny Newnan?

Posted by: k at 7:19 PM on 4 June 2006

23% of Oklahomans have a bachelorís degree or better.

No matter how you slice it, doesn't look like Oklahoma City meets the Cheesecake Factory test. 23% of Oklahoma adults have bachelor's degrees or better (state). In Oklahoma County, slightly higher at 25% (county). In Oklahoma City, no higher, at 24% (city). Even if you cut some slack for the refined folks of northwest OKC near Penn Square Mall, there's no way we're going to hit the 35% threshold. Please don't tell the Cheesecake Factory. Or Utah.

Posted by: Terry Hull at 5:29 PM on 6 June 2006

I object in principle to being referred to as "refined."

Posted by: CGHill at 8:37 PM on 6 June 2006