The impact of hundreds of thousands of visitors streaming into downtown during the six-week Ogden Temple open house just won't wait for the event to begin on Friday.
Last week, the public reserved 350,000 free tickets to the open house in the first 30 hours they were available, a sign of building excitement to finally see whether the changes inside match those on the outside of an edifice renovated so completely and uniquely that a news release said Tuesday that "the new design is not remotely similar to the original."
Meanwhile, 25,000 LDS Church members have volunteered to serve as ushers, and nearby businesses began to see a boost Monday, when tours of the Mormon temple began for special groups. For Ogden, the temple tops a downtown rejuvenation that began half a decade ago.
For Ogden's members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the open house from Friday through Sept. 6 and subsequent dedication on Sept. 21 cap a nearly three-and-a-half-year wait to return to worship in their downtown temple.
"There's a significant buzz," former Mayor Matt Godfrey said. "It's usually the first topic people bring up with me. This is the hottest topic in town."