Utah State Parks Blog

Antelope Island State Park to Get New, Improved Visitor Center

April 8, 2022

Jeff Rasmussen, Director of the Utah Division of State Parks at the April 8, 2022, Kick-Off Event

SYRACUSE, Utah —The Utah Division of State Parks, the Friends of Antelope Island, and Davis County, are excited to announce the renovation and expansion of the current visitor center into a new, state-of-the-art learning center. It is one of several major improvements and additions to one of Utah’s most popular state parks.

Antelope Island State Park had 1,074,570 visitors in the calendar year 2021, compared to 815,445 in 2020, making it the third most visited state park in Utah behind Sand Hollow State Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.

“Antelope Island’s popularity just continues to grow,” Park Manager Jeremy Shaw said. “Improving and expanding the amenities at the park helps us to meet this increased demand while also enhancing the visitor experience.”

The current visitor center was built in 1996 as a two-phase building project, but phase two was never built. Since then, the growth and popularity of the park has far exceeded the demands of the current facility.

The Division was pleased to get $1 million last year in state appropriations for the engineering and design of the building — which has been underway for the past eight months. Gratefully, the Utah Legislature in this year’s session was able to appropriate an additional $12 million for the
remodel and construction of the visitor/learning center.

Antelope Island State Park Manager, Jeremy Shaw talks about the upcoming visitor center expansion at the kick-off event.

Through the efforts of Friends of Antelope Island, a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to assisting the state park with improvements for the benefit of visitors, plans were developed to expand the visitor center to include a “learning center.”

The current building will be remodeled and incorporated into the new expansion as an education center. In partnership with Weber State University, Westminster College, and interest from Utah State and the University of Utah, plans are to include permanent space in the building for research labs, workspace, and displays for the study of the island and Great Salt Lake. With the dwindling lake level, such on-site research is vital.

There will also be a new auditorium where the hundreds of Utah school children who come each week to Antelope Island on field trips can gather for discussions, demonstrations, and lectures. New and expanded state-of-the-art exhibits will be developed to enhance the understanding and experience of all who visit the park.

“This new and improved area will allow us to continue to host the thousands of visitors who flock to Antelope Island State Park each year,” Shaw said. “We are so thankful to the Utah Legislature, the Friends of Antelope Island, and Davis County for their continued support. Antelope Island State Park will continue to be a gem of Utah for many years to come.”

A new drop-off area and entrance plaza will create a new and attractive welcome for visitors with adequate space inside and out for special events, corporate meetings, and private receptions with panoramic views of the island, Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Front. Today’s visitor center occupies nearly 5,100 square feet. The new Learning Center will add approximately 15,000 square feet.

In addition to the new learning center, the park recently completed a new campground in Bridger
Bay with paved RV parking and hookups, flush toilets, showers, BBQ grills, and shelters.

Watch the full press conference here.

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