photos: Lauren Pandolfini
words: Justin Morgan

During the heat of the Pride Festival in Salt Lake City, the grand opening of evo’s brand new Campus Salt Lake went off with a bang. A lot of big companies have the goal of impacting communities, but evo has put its money where its mouth is by creating 100,000 square foot space called the Campus, designed around getting people together. Since evo’s founding in 2001, its purpose has been “to make life better by building community and igniting the adventurous spirit that lives within us all.” Stepping into its new SLC home, you can’t help but feel it will be a place that will provide the community with more ways to connect with what they love—the outdoors, recreation, art, and culture.

The Campus is perfectly located forty minutes from Brighton and Snowbird in the heart of the city’s Granary District. The area was once the hub of industry in Salt Lake until the rail lines moved west. Once that happened, the neighborhood underwent a period of urban decay until recently being rediscovered and coming back strong. evo’s impressive, multipurpose space was created by stitching together and repurposing five decaying, 100-year-old warehouse buildings. They did this while preserving and returning these buildings back to their former glory, including one section of the building that is now recognized as a National Historic Landmark. 

Not only is this a place for evo’s retail store and new hotel, but also for local businesses. 26,000 square feet went to Salt Lake’s first bouldering-only climbing gym, the Bouldering Project. 5,000 square feet went to the All Together Skatepark. This is evo’s second park they have built that’s designed to be an all-inclusive space for skaters of all abilities to enjoy, with a focus on progression. evo also partnered with Level 9, a local value and consignment-based outdoor shop, to share the space. This seems like a surprising move, sharing space with a competing shop, but the fact that Level 9 focuses on lowering barriers to entry getting into outdoor sports while also providing incredible service, reinforces evo’s drive to strengthen local community by supporting and helping more people to get outdoors.

Aside from businesses at Campus Salt Lake, evo managed to reserve so much space for people to hang out, work, and get together. They curated art by local Salt Lake creatives, Adam Clark and his incredibly talented wife Ana, that are on display throughout the building. Walking through the grand opening, seeing everyone in the community together, hearing local Salt Lake bands, eating out of local Salt Lake Food trucks, and drinking Salt Lake Beer (not 3.2% anymore) you couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride. Campus Salt Lake is a space that you need to spend an afternoon in if you find yourself in town, and will become a cornerstone for locals here in Salt Lake.