Anticipation has been building in true The Decision fashion regarding the location for the Tooele Valley Utah Temple. Will it be in Grantsville? Tooele proper? Stansbury Park? It appears we’ll be splitting the difference, as the Church has just announced that the temple will be located in exotic Erda, Utah.
Erda is home to just over 2,000 people and sits halfway between Stansbury Park and Tooele along Highway 36. Grantsville is due west along Erda Way. The temple itself we be built at the intersection of those two highways. You can see for yourself in this nifty graphic.
While Erda is situated nicely to provide equal access from the three main cities of the Tooele Valley, the town itself doesn’t have much. The plat for the temple will apparently go on some farmland next to an existing meetinghouse (although the Church states that a new meetinghouse will be built, so perhaps this one’s days are numbered).
However, let’s look more closely. Adjacent to the meetinghouse is the restaurant Virgs, which gets great reviews – nearly 5 stars on Google! Barbara Hobbs says it has the “breakfast of champions,” while Ashley Conover applauds the chicken-fried steak, saying, “The steak was as long as the plate (non circular plate.)” However, Caysi Green (real spelling) was not impressed, complaining, “Had the pancake breakfast months ago. Rubbery and tasted strange. It did not taste like pancakes. I probably took 4 bites and I was done… there were Flys everywhere and the floors were dirty… that place is disgusting..”
Will you hit up Virgs before or after your temple session?
Also noteworthy is the Motor Vue drive-in theater across the way, which is currently showing Dora and the Lost City of Gold. ¿Se puede? ¡Sí, se puede!
If you’re in the mood to kill your temple spirit, the nearest chain restaurant toward Tooele is Popeyes, where you can fight with your fellow worshipers about who gets to take home the last chicken sandwich.
Will construction of the temple stimulate development in Erda? Temple’s often play a role in revitalizing an area. Perhaps a Kneader’s will open across the street. You might assume based on the jovial tone of this article that it would be fantastically cheap to buy a home in Erda, but home values in the town are actually higher than Utah’s average.
Despite being only 17 miles from the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple as the crow flies, The Tooele Valley has long been part of the soon-to-be-closing Salt Lake Temple’s district due to limitations known as large mountains that require circumvention. The new temple site sits approximately 29 miles by road from Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
We’re still waiting on a design, but the Church did announce that the building will be three stories and approximately 70,000 square feet, i.e. not small by any means.
And that is how you write over 400 words about a temple location. You’re welcome.
Update: According to the Deseret News, Virgs will be forced to close or relocate. The owner of Virgs has been leasing the property for 20 years and had no power in making the decision for the Church to acquire the additional properties at the intersection. The existing meetinghouse, and insurance office, as well as some homes, will also be demolished.