Back to the crux of the matter: wild speculation about motives.
We know that there has been a decrease of about 10,000 missionaries -- down from from a 2001 count (http://www.cumorah.com/index.php?target ... apter_id=5
). We know that the church is guilting more older members into serve missions (http://www.lds.org/ensign/2005/05/coupl ... e?lang=eng
) (you may need to take a break here and spew chunks, but that is ok -- I understand -- the rest of this can wait for you to come back when you're ready) at an estimated cost of about $1,800 per month (most likely more). If the church is asking the older generation to give up their retirement savings, or come up with the money some other way by, for example, selling their home -- it doesn't seem very nice to expect them to spend any amount of time in dilapidated college dorms at the MTC that even today's college student wouldn't deign to live in. Some of the wealthier mormon couples I've known have opted for several missions after their retirement. One couple has sold their home. One old lady I know spent all her money on a mission that she had to cut short because she had to fight cancer. You won't read about that story in the Ensign, but you can bet people will be seeing color photos in the Ensign of a 9-story beacon of promise to Teh Faithful who feel like a lifetime of sacrifice will be rewarded.
I think that Marriott-like accommodations in the foothills of one of the prettiest views in America would help draw in the money of all those mormons who have shown a willingness to throw heaps of money at things like Prop 8 and Mitch Thurston Howell The Romney's presidential campaign.
That's one idea. The other speculation is that since the highest concentration of mormons is in Provo, the church is slowly consolidating its administrative power base there, and leaving its MBA minions in Salt Lake City to tend to the business of making money. The 9-story building will metastasize into another complex to rival the Vatican -- only way uglier. There are historical precedents for moving church headquarters to avoid threats to its heirarchy, so hey -- I can't be too far off. Can I?