Welcome to ARLIS/NA 2019! Announcements & Reminders

The 2019 ARLIS/NA Conference Planning Committee is excited to finally welcome everyone to Salt Lake City next week! As you prepare for your trip, here are a few reminders.

Make sure to check out the resources on the conference website and this blog. You’ll be able to find local guides, a handy guide for first-time attendees (and don’t forget to attend the First-Time and International Attendees reception!), and information on local transit options, climate, and more.

This is a GREEN conference! No tote bags, vendor swag, or printed programs will be distributed at registration (the program is all online via Sched). Instructions on how to print your own program at home can be found here. Feel free to bring your old tote bags to donate to other attendees who want one! Lanyards will be provided and members will have the option to return them after the conference. Don’t forget to bring your water bottle and travel coffee mug!

The Grand America is a stunning hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, and offers a fitness center, full service spa, and year-round indoor pool, amongst other amenities. Most conference activities will take place on floors 1 and 3; this floorplan will help you get to all of your sessions on time! The conference registration desk will be located directly outside of the ballrooms on Level 1.

For the coffee drinkers among us, if you would like a coffeepot in your hotel room, you must request one at the hotel check-in desk (they are not provided in the rooms). There are also several coffeeshops within walking distance of the hotel including: Millcreek Coffee Roasters, Raw Bean Coffee, and Coffee Garden on Main Street. Check out the Eating and Drinking Local Guide for more options.

Getting around Salt Lake City is easy, thanks to lots of options from light rail to bike sharing. Public transit will be used whenever possible for tours and workshops; make sure to check Sched if you are participating in an offsite session (note that transportation will be provided to and from the Welcome Reception at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the Convocation Reception at the Natural History Museum of Utah).

Just a reminder that once you’ve arrived at the Salt Lake City International Airport, hop on the Green TRAX line and take it to Courthouse Square (it generally departs the airport every fifteen minutes, with some exclusions); the Grand America Hotel (conference hotel) is one block south of this stop. A one-way adult fare is only $2.50.

Interested in saving money during your stay? Check out the Show Your Badge mobile pass program from the Salt Lake Visitor’s Bureau for exclusive local discounts for conference attendees.

On a final note, Wednesday in Salt Lake was sunny and 59°F but it’s been chilly, windy, and rainy since, a perfect example of the changing nature of spring weather here (although it does mean fresh powder in the mountains!). Remember to pack layers, and preferably one water-resistant layer, especially if are participating in the tours of Park City and Spiral Jetty. Check out our previous blog post on Salt Lake City’s climate and recreation for more about getting outdoors and weathering the high altitude.

Make sure to post and tweet about your conference experience using the hashtag #ARLISNA2019 and tagging @ARLIS_NA (Twitter) and @ARLISNA (Facebook).

We look forward to seeing you next week!



Notes on Salt Lake City’s Climate and Recreation

Utah is well-known for having “now you see it, now you don’t” weather conditions in Spring. In late March, you can expect all the possibilities (snow, wind, rain, sun) in Salt Lake City but probably none of it will last very long. Average temperatures this time of year are highs in the mid-50s°F range and lows in the mid-30s°F range; the Weather Underground is a good source for up-to-date forecasts.

To be prepared, pack lots of layers (especially for those of us who have experienced many a frigid conference all while indoors!) with one waterproof or water resistant layer. If you have signed up for the tour to Park City, this is especially important as it is colder than Salt Lake.

The first thing you might notice on arriving here is that the air is very dry; make sure to pack chapstick and lotion for your trip! Don’t forget to add in a water bottle; Salt Lake City sits at an altitude of 4300 feet and drinking lots of water is an excellent way to combat altitude sickness as well as dry air. Consult this guide to help you prevent and treat altitude sickness.

Utah has had an excellent snow season and ski conditions are the best they’ve been in years. With 7 resorts within easy driving/riding distance from Salt Lake, why not get out into the mountains? No ski gear, you say? No problem! Boots, poles, and skis are all easily rented at the resorts.

For the deepest and steepest skiing in the continental US, head to either Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon. In Big Cottonwood Canyon you’ll find Brighton and Solitude Ski Resorts which are easier going in terms of culture and terrain. Solitude also offers a Nordic Center for cross-country skiing. In Little Cottonwood Canyon you’ll find Snowbird and Alta, both with steeper terrain and slightly higher altitudes.

If you’re interested in combining a bit of culture and an excellent ski experience, consider a trip up to Park City Mountain Resort or Deer Valley. Both have excellent terrain for all abilities and their proximity to the quaint mountain town of Park City make them especially appealing to visitors.

If you’re a snowboarder, please keep in mind that both Alta and Deer Valley are for skiers only.

Hiking and snowshoeing are also a fantastic way to experience the Wasatch Mountains. Rent some gear at the local REI and be mindful that avalanche conditions do exist — consult the Utah Avalanche Center before heading off on an adventure.

Thinking About Salt Lake City: Getting Around

Worried about how you’ll see all the sights/sites of Salt Lake City and surrounding areas? Utah has an excellent public transportation system along the Wasatch Front; in conjunction with Uber, Lyft, GreenBikes, and scooters, you can get anywhere you want to go!

Utah Transportation Authority (UTA):  UTA operates the local bus, TRAX (light rail system), and FrontRunner (commuter rail system).
Schedules, maps, and trip planning tools are all located on the UTA website. One-way adult fare on the bus, TRAX, and FrontRunner is $2.50.

Once you’ve arrived at Salt Lake City International Airport, hop on the Green TRAX line and take it to Courthouse Square (it generally departs the airport every fifteen minutes, with some exclusions); the Grand America Hotel (conference hotel) is one block south of this stop.

Uber and Lyft both operate on the Wasatch Front and are the most convenient option to travel to Park City (although you can take the bus as well). Park City is very walkable and local buses within the city are free. There are also several taxi companies that serve the Wasatch Front including Yellow Cab and City Cab. Note: It is not legal in Utah to hail a cab curbside.

FrontRunner is your ticket to see the greater Wasatch Front, including Provo and Ogden; FrontRunner also connects with bus and TRAX stops.

Interested in getting some exercise while seeing the sights/sites? Try out GREENbike, Salt Lake City’s nonprofit bike sharing service. A network of bike stations are available in downtown Salt Lake, including a station located one block west of the Grand America Hotel (conference hotel).

For the adventurous at heart, both Bird and Lime scooter services are available in Salt Lake City. The downtown area is relatively flat and conducive to scooter-riding; just remember to ride in designated bike lanes and park your scooter in such a way that it doesn’t block access to walkways.

Whatever your transit mode of choice, we know you’ll have fun exploring all the Beehive State has to offer!