Or, on an even bigger and grander scale, envision a San Antonio-type river walk.
But think close to home, in Layton, where city and county officials are envisioning a Buffalo Walk, complete with wide, red-marked walkways, a small lake, cascading waterfalls, and more.
That vision was unveiled by Layton Mayor Steve Curtis, last week. “It can and should be done. We need to make it a destination point.”
“We want to make it a showpiece,” added Scott Carter, Layton’s strategic project manager. He said it’s hoped design work could be done by next winter, at the latest, and construction started within a year.
What’s envisioned is a 200 acre project fanning out from the Davis Conference Center, to Antelope Drive on the north, Hill Field Road on the south, I-15 on the west. It would encompass walkways and individually-designed nodes, or themed areas, interspersed among 200 acres, explained Layton Parks Superintendent Brock Hill.
“We want an incomparable water feature, like the Gateway (in Salt Lake City), where people will want to get out of their cars.”
A 2 1/2 acre park, including water features, would be a focal point for the project. The park would be developed as part of a water detention basin south of the Hilton Garden Hotel, which connects to the Conference Center.
A broad walkway, perhaps eight to 10 feet wide, would be built in red to define the whole area, accompanied by signage, benches, soft decorative lighting, different types of perennials and other flowers and plantings, Hill said.
The idea, which was originally only for a walkway system, has been percolating in the minds of the mayor and others such as Barbara Riddle, CEO of the Davis Convention & Visitors Bureau for several years.
The buffalo walk idea reflects Antelope Island, home to many bison and other wildlife that draws people from around the world, she said.
“Adding a fun, themed pathway to the area will be like frosting on the cake in selling Davis County and Layton as a convention destination,” Riddle said.
“You don’t get something for nothing,” however, said Davis County Planning Director Barry Burton.
With an as-of-now theoretical price tag of up to $10 million, a mixture of bonding and assessments against property owners would be needed, he said, adding that grant funding would also be sought.
With final details not yet in place, Burton said assessments could be assigned a business by its acreage, maybe in the range of $3,000 to $5,000 an acre per year for 10-15 years. He said Layton Hills Mall officials spoke positively about the project, wanted to be incorporated into the trail way system.
In addition, County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings said some tourism tax money could be allocated, particularly as this trail system could connect to others nearby – a factor discussed in the meetings.
One of the original thoughts behind the project, which was reiterated last week, was to create a trail and signage system to aid tourists, convention visitors, in finding restaurants, the mall, theaters, etc.
“With everything that is being developed, from Falcon Hill to East Gate, this will create a quality of life draw,” Riddle said.