Robert Farrington Jr. is the Executive Director of the Downtown Alliance of Salt Lake City, Utah; a position he has held since 1992. He is the first and only Executive Director of that organization. Over the past decade, downtown Salt Lake City has seen record setting growth and development, with the addition of over $2.5 billion in public and private investment, and other significant new public and private development initiatives underway. He served as Chairman of the Cabinet of “Downtown Rising”, a major community visioning effort for Downtown Salt Lake City, and helped lead the efforts generating support for Trax, Salt Lake’s new light rail system.
In addition to major economic and community development initiatives, he has been instrumental in creating major new events and festivals in Salt Lake City that are now community institutions and draw hundreds of thousands into the City, including the Downtown Farmers Market, (one of the largest in the West), First Night Salt Lake City, Lights On!, Salt Lake City Music Festival, and Downtown Dine O’Round. One of the milestones of that decade of progress was the successful hosting in downtown Salt Lake City of the 2002 Winter Olympics, in which Farrington was deeply involved.
Farrington was one of the founders, and the first Executive Director, of the San Antonio Downtown Alliance, and has consulted with numerous other communities around the nation in creating downtown organizations and business improvement districts.
Prior to joining the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance, he was a partner in Admiralty Management Company, a real estate planning and project management firm involved in redevelopment plans for the 1968 World Fair site, professional baseball stadium, college campus, and resort developments.
He has worked extensively in urban economic development and international trade, heading up those efforts for the San Antonio, Tx. Chamber of Commerce, and consulting for other organizations.
Farrington was awarded a Master of Science degree in Urban Planning and Environmental Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Houston.
Farrington is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, has been an adjunct professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Utah for the past ten years, and has lectured on urban and downtown planning at other colleges and universities. He serves on the Boards of the Salt Lake Chamber, Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, and other community organizations.
He was selected as alumnus of the year by the University of Texas at San Antonio, and has received national recognition for planning and urban development projects from the International Downtown Association, American Planning Association, National Defense Transportation Institute, and other planning and economic development organizations.
In his spare time Farrington is an avid skier, hiker and mountain biker in the great Utah outdoors, which he enjoys with his wife of 32 years, Maria Stillman Farrington, and their two sons, Bobby and Charles. Farrington is a native of New Orleans and makes a mean chicken and sausage gumbo.