PROVO -- With the mixed smells of new paint and carpet, sausage and omelets, the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce was the first group to use the new Utah Valley Convention Center's services for its First Friday Forum and breakfast.
The bright sun that poured through the three-story-high windows defined the height and breadth of the new facility. Steep escalators and angled staircases added to the designs and textures featured on the walls, in the carpets and lighting. By each drinking fountain is a duel trash and recycling receptacle representing the green design. All morning people wandered throughout the building on guided tours and self-guided sneak peeks.
"It's amazing we get to kick off the opening of this convention center," chamber board chairman Val Hale said.
While there were a few glitches to the technical portion of the presentation, the food services and center hosting were on top of things.
Guest speaker for the event was internationally known motivational speaker Bob Kittell, a graduate of Brigham Young University and memory-building guru.
Speaking in quotations, Kittell focused his thoughts on the ideas of not just dreaming the dreaming but making it a reality. "When the student is ready, the teacher appears," he said.
Speaking of his own life, he said after some failures that his friend said to him, "your problem is you don't dream big enough." Kittell added, "You become what you think about all the time" -- except in the case of teenage boys, he said, adding most won't turn into girls.
Between Kittell's wit, wisdom and personal stories and the new venue, the chamber had a larger then normal attendance.
"Life is about taking action. Be grateful in adversity, you'll get through it quicker," he said. Kittell added, "Whatever is holding you back, let it go."
Other activities opening the center include Saturday's Provo College graduation, followed that evening with Orem High School's annual prom. These events kick off a week of activities, a gala Friday night and culminating with the grand opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 12. The grand opening is for residents to come in and take a look around and participate in three floors of activities, free food and entertainment. There will be a business expo and live radio broadcasts from the event as well and arts and crafts for children.