Park City, Utah: Another Place You Can Spend $21 M. On a House

Back in the money!

Back in the money! (Mark Maziarz/ parkcitystock.com)

New Yorkers can be so solipsistic. We tend to forget that New York is not the only place where you can get a decent meal, where talented young people congregate, where the mega-wealthy dump huge quantities of cash into real estate they hardly ever use.

You know where rich people also spend wads of money on ridiculous mansions? Park City, Utah.

The New York Times has a story about the ski resort of a mobile advertising mogul and home of the Sundance Film Festival in this week’s real estate section. It’s no surprise that money falls like snow in the resort town—as The Times aptly points out, Aspen may be nice, but most of it is surrounded by public land. Which you can’t buy and resell for a lot more money. Ugh.

Basically, Park City, which during the recession was in danger of becoming merely moneyed rather than covered in gold-leaf, is getting even richer than ever before. See, it’s not only movie stars, directors and fabulously wealthy ski buffs who are buying houses these days. Now, the town is diversifying and expanding it’s money base to all kinds of rich people: executives, investors, dot-com billionaires.

One investment banker was so excited that he bought seven properties for a total of over $100 million, according to The Times.

Town leaders are so excited that they are even considering installing a gondola chair lift on Main Street for a direct connection from the downtown to Deer Valley.

Brokers are so excited that they’re hosting lavish parties for potential buyers with bottles of $500 wine, snacks made by fancy Manhattan chefs and Rolls Royce test drives.

Sellers are so excited that they’re asking more than $20 million for their slope-side mansions.

“The last few years we had to beg to get people to come,” broker Paul Benson told The Times. “Real estate wasn’t really a hot topic. But this year that has changed. The people are actually spending money to be here. They aren’t here because they had free tickets. They are looking at high-end homes. It is 2006 all over again.”

Ah, 2006.

kvelsey@observer.com