CEDAR CITY – Boulevard Home Furnishings added its third fully operational store with the grand opening of a Cedar City location Friday evening.
This store has been a long time coming.
After property was purchased nine years ago to build a Cedar City location, development did not occur because of the economic recession, Jerry Thomas, director of sales for Boulevard Home Furnishings, said.
“About 2011, 2012, we saw the economy starting to come back,” Thomas said. “We hired a designer to design the store and decided on the size of it. At that point in time is when we really went out and looked for how we really wanted to implement Cedar City into that store.”
The store was designed with the Cedar City area in mind.
“We want this to be a Cedar City store,” Thomas said. “Every single person that works there is from Cedar City. We want it to be a Cedar City store, not a St. George store.”
Local subcontractors built the store, keeping work in the area.
The store features unique elements and design specific to Cedar City culture and the area’s history.
Cedar City railroad
“The main counter, what we call guest services, is called the Boulevard Express,” Thomas said. “It represents the history of trains in Cedar City.”
The railroad in Cedar City was one of the southernmost spurs – a railroad track on which rail cars are left for loading and unloading.
“When the Union Pacific spur went from Salt Lake to California, it went through Lund,” Todd Prince, park manager for Frontier Homestead State Park Museum, said. “In the 1920s, they brought a spur in from Lund to Cedar City.”
The railroad in Cedar City had a large impact on the area in regard to tourism opportunities and transporting iron ore. From Cedar City, visitors would travel to Bryce Canyon, Zion, Cedar Breaks and Grand Canyon national parks and monuments.
“They would bus them from Cedar to those places; that was a big economic keystone for Cedar City,” Prince said. “The other thing is it made it economically viable to ship iron ore from Iron County, north.”
Although the railroad did not establish Cedar City, it was critical to its economic development, Prince said.
Utah Shakespeare Festival
The Boulevard Home Furnishings La-Z-Boy comfort studio features a Shakespearean-themed entrance in recognition of the annual Utah Shakespeare Festival.
“Shakespearean (Festival) speaks for itself in the fact that it’s such a huge part of SUU and the Cedar City area – the whole festival city, if you will,” Thomas said.
According to the Utah Shakespeare Festival website, the festival was founded in 1961 by Fred C. Adams and had its first season in 1962. It was created in response to summer tourists wanting more activities after having visited the surrounding national parks.
In 2000, the festival won a Tony Award for outstanding regional theater.
The festival continues to be a part of Cedar City’s heritage while offering Shakespeare and non-Shakespeare plays season after season.
“We felt those were the two iconic things, besides the university, that Cedar City had to offer,” Thomas said.
Such a large store offering quality products will allow people to stay and shop in Cedar City, Brennan Wood, director of economic development for Cedar City, said.
Having several stores to choose from creates a cluster effect, Wood said; it gives people options and different stores to choose from, which allows locals to spend money in the area.
“There is a large multiplier effect of keeping your dollars here in Cedar,” Wood said.
Boulevard Home Furnishings owns the land surrounding the new store. The area has been labeled Boulevard Plaza, with future plans for growth.
“There are plans for future expansion for the Boulevard,” Thomas said. “There’s also a 30,000-square-foot pad for retail, another 20,000-square-foot pad for retail, and then a restaurant site, and then some other small retail sites, as well.”
Boulevard Home Furnishings additionally has stores in Mesquite, Nevada, and St. George, with a clearance center in Hurricane.
The new store will be open six days a week, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
- Boulevard Home Furnishings holds groundbreaking for new plaza, store in Cedar City; STGnews Photo Gallery – 2013
- At the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the renaissance world is more than a stage: STGnews Videocast – 2013
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