The first Honors Think Tank convened at Ensign Peak in the fall of 2004 to explore and assess the nature of downtown America, and Salt Lake’s downtown in particular. This group of 14 Honors students and two faculty advisors selected a two-block area located between 500 and 600 West and 200 and 300 South as the focus of their community-based research.
The students created subcommittees to become experts in history, diversity, housing and business issues. They created a brief documentary film capturing personal interviews with residents of the area. They created relationships with relevant downtown agencies including the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Envision Utah, the Downtown Alliance, the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office, the RDA, and the LDS Church. The team received expert advice and varying perspectives on the problems facing Salt Lake City from these public partners.