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Salt Lake airport sees record number of passengers following All-Star Weekend

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Travelers walk past security at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023.

Ryan Sun, Deseret News

Between NBA All-Star weekend, ski season and a holiday, the Salt Lake City International Airport is seeing a big boom in passengers.

“The busiest day that we have seen,” Nancy Volmer, Salt Lake City International Airport Spokesperson said Monday.

Volmer said, typically, Presidents Day is a big day for skiers to return home. Last year, Presidents Day marked the busiest travel day at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

This year, think even bigger — 35,000 passengers were expected to come through the front door Monday. It smashes the previous record, set a couple weekends ago, when 32,000 people made their way through Salt Lake for some of “the Greatest Snow on Earth.”

Whether coming or going, passengers visiting Salt Lake City for the first time are hoping to hop on a return flight.

“I liked the downtown area. It was pretty awesome. Pretty cool,” Damien Prince, a YouTuber and musician who was in town for NBA All-Star Weekend.

“I just wanna come back and experience it. I was only here for three days, so that wasn’t enough time,” he said.

Chris Staples, a professional basketball dunker, was also in town for NBA All-Star Weekend. It was also his first trip to the Beehive State.

“My favorite thing honestly was seeing the mountains. Because they look fake. Even in real life! I think every time I got in the car, I was looking at ‘em, I was like, ‘is this real?!’” said Staples.

In addition to Salt Lake International, there has also been a lot of passengers come through on the east side of the air field.

“Where the private planes fly in and out is very busy. … We had 64 of those planes that took off last night, so that runway is back open. Currently, there’s probably about twice as many private planes that will be taking off in the next day or so,” Volmer said.