This BLOG is focused on updating you on the most significant new sales and listings in the Park City area market on a weekly basis. All content is original. By finding and discussing what makes some properties standout in terms of location, design, and price, I can help buyers spot locations and property types that may meet their needs. I select properties from all members of the Park City Multiple Listing Service that have quality video presentations. These videos are the next best thing to an actual property tour. When you are sure that an actual visit to one or several properties is worth your time, we can make that an enjoyable experience. If you are considering the sale of a property you own, it can pay big dividends to see what comparable properties are selling for vs. what properties you may be competing with are listed for.

I don’t shy away from expressing my opinions concerning this market and I’ve had many years of experience in doing so, but I need to know what you want to accomplish before I can really help you. This website and my BLOG are just first steps in a process that needs to add value to your efforts, so pick up the phone and call me or send along any comments you have on my BLOG posts.



James Lewis

Senior Partner
Branch Broker for The Colony
2200 Park Ave., Suite A200
Park City, UT 84060
Cell: 435.901.9898
Office: 435.649.7171




By Jim Lewis
Feb 27, 2018

After what seemed like a never ending Fall, we finally started seeing snowflakes and I am amazed at how well the season is turning out. Although Park City may not break records this year, we are holding our own. Coleen Reardon, director of marketing at Deer Valley, was quoted in the Park Record as saying that because of the resort's snow making abilities, business is pacing even with last winter. Deer Valley and Park City get well-deserved kudos from recent visitors about the quantity and quality of snow and retail, entertainment and restaurants do an amazing job of providing a quality product. Sundance was once again a huge success with over 70,000 visitors and Utah was again the number one viewer market for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. I'm sure Park City more than held its own as a small part of the Utah market and it was great to see local winter athletes participate and do well. Salt Lake City/Park City will compete for the 2030 Winter Games and as the only past Winter Olympics location that has maintained facilities and training capability, it is hard to see us not winning that bid. I believe Park City and Salt Lake City's history of welcoming athletes and visitors from around the world will help the media remember that the Olympics are all about the pursuit of excellence in individual/team competition, not about competition among nations. Park City will always be as proud of participants who never make an Olympic podium as it is of Ted, Lindsey, Bode and Stein. This season has also brought us the "battle of the passes". Now Alterra, who recently purchased Deer Valley, is launching the new Ikon Pass to compete with Vail's Epic Pass. The new pass includes Deer Valley, Alta & Snowbird and 23 other North American resorts and goes on sale March 6 at http://www.ikonpass.com . Meanwhile, Vail's 10 year old Epic Pass, which gives its 700,000+ buyers access to four dozen resorts around the world including Park City Mountain Resort, will be tough competition for the Ikon Pass. I expect many of our locals and frequent visitors who are devotees of Deer Valley will continue purchasing Deer Valley season passes since the Ikon Pass includes only 7 days at Deer Valley. The Epic Pass and the new Ikon Pass are having a huge impact on the ski industry. We are seeing more evidence each season that "ski nomads" are becoming the new normal. In the past, "every-year-to-the-same-resort" created a market for larger family gathering ski properties. These homes and condominiums were furnished by the buyer (with the help of top decorators) and managed by professional property managers including nightly rentals when not in owner use. Now we are seeing new projects designed and managed more like luxury hotels and sold furnished with more emphasis on rental returns for owners. Recently Re-Play has launched a full ownership, fully furnished "YOTELPAD" product at Canyons Village with prices starting at $275,000. Sizes of this "first in the world" offering will range from 338 SF - 1,013 SF with services and amenities focused on nightly rental performance. There is a good reason that the company who created YOTEL and YOTELAIR has selected Park City to be its first foray into the resort market. It will be joined by 5 similar projects already confirmed in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Hubert Viriot, YOTEL CEO was quoted in London as saying " Following the successful roll out of YOTELAIR and YOTEL, we saw a natural opportunity to rethink the traditional extended stay segment in the same fashion we disrupted conventional hotel models." Based on the enthusiastic acceptance so far by the Park City Realtor community, the IPO style offering should be an exciting event. Construction is scheduled to begin July 2018 and estimated completion is early 2020. If all of the above isn't enough real estate related news, last week it was announced that Storied Development, LLC, a Georgia real estate firm has purchased the 450 member Talisker Club in Empire Pass, 533 residential lots in the Tuhaye Golf Community development and 4 Empire Pass sites with development approvals for a combined 75 condominiums. You can expect major news in the near future concerning the rebirth of one of the premier golf/ski communities in the Park City market.


By Jim Lewis
Nov 04, 2017

The big Park City headline of the week was " New York City firm acquires Mayflower land next to Deer Valley" http://www.parkrecord.com/news/firm-acquires-mayflower-parcel-near-deer-valley-resort/.#.Wfzfi1ke2VI.email . To get the full impact of this news you have to consider it as it relates to other development now underway and the news discussed in my 4/15/17 and 8/26/17 uncategorized posts concerning the acquisition of Deer Valley Resort by the as yet unnamed alliance between KSL Capital Partners and Aspen Skiing Company. The New York firm referenced is Extell Development Company, a privately held development company - https://extell.com . Extell president Gary Barnett, one of the biggest names in New York City real estate quietly purchased 40 acres adjacent to Deer Valley ski resort back in 2015 from an investor who had secured approvals to develop a hotel and roughly 200 condos on the site. Back in May 2016, the rumor was that Extell was looking to buy another 1,000 acres from the consortium of Dutch investors who have owned a large holding there since the 1980's. Now the acquisition of 2,300 acres announced yesterday combined with Extell's 40 acre Blue Ledge parcel opens up the opportunity for a year-round master-planned luxury resort in what could be a 30 year project. That development would add over 1,000 acres of ski terrain, lifts and parking in support of luxury residential and commercial development. One look at Extells New York property portfolio will give you some idea of how much the pool of prospects for Park City luxury property has expanded with this acquisition.


By Jim Lewis
Aug 26, 2017

My April 15, 2017 post discussed the news that a new alliance between KSL Capital Partners and Aspen Skiing Company had entered into an agreement to purchase Intrawest Resort Holdings ski areas for $1.5 Billion, followed several days later with the purchase of Mammoth Resorts. At that time Eric Resnick, CEO of KSL Capital Partners said that the new partnership was not about real estate development, but was focused on operations with seasons pass revenues the financial engine. This was a direct challenge to Vail's industry changing Epic Pass program. http://blogs.realcove.com/jimlewisblog/lets-get-ready-to-rumble/  . On August 21st Park City awoke to the news that the Aspen Skiing Company/KSL Capital Partners alliance have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Deer Valley Resort. http://blog.deervalley.com/deer-valley-resort-to-be-acquired-by-newly-formed-resort-company-and-joined-with-intrawest-mammoth-resorts-and-squaw-valley-ski-holdings/ . The sale is expected to close prior to the upcoming 2017-18 ski season with no change in the existing Deer Valley pass product already on the market. Deer Valley has also announced that it has no plans to change the operations and standards that have made it the premier ski resort in North America, with management and staff unchanged. Although the four Aspen Snowmass resorts privately owned by the Crown family of Chicago will not be included in this transaction, they may participate in a joint pass program or other opportunities to work together in the future.

So what does this recent development mean for Park City?

I believe it will be easy to underestimate the impact of this good news on Park City's future. Park City now becomes the center of North American skiing. Park City will be the only town where dueling resorts are on the same bus route and within walking distance of each other. Both contenders will share the benefits of our huge transportation advantages, "greatest snow on earth", proximity to the booming Salt Lake metropolitan area, and our $2 Billion International Airport renovation, but I'm sure these two brands will compete to be recognized as the best providers of ski and other vacation experiences. Any fears of becoming a Vail "company town" disappear and both contenders have top reputations as philanthropists and community builders. With access to some of the best minds in architecture, construction & planning and hospitality, the future development of the Deer Valley Resort and other areas already on the drawing boards can only be improved. I do believe we can cut back on efforts to generate visitor traffic from everywhere all the time and concentrate on the quality of what we provide for visitors and residents.

Significant Sales - week ended 8/25/17

Park City real estate activity returned to normal last week. There were 68 pended sales reported by the Park City Multiple Listing Service in the week ended 8/25/17. 41 closings and 73 new listings were reported during that week.

Single Family Homes: Testing, testing - prices that is - new luxury listings continue to be priced aggressively with pended sales supporting that trend in most cases. In locations where that support does not materialize, we are seeing downward adjustments. Two new luxury single family home listings in Old Town demonstrate aggressive pricing, but the greatly diminished supply of top level Old Town homes has made such homes rare opportunities. 527 Park Ave in Old Town is a 2,000 SF, 3 bedroom, 3 bath home built in 1888 and remodeled in 2010. This is the architectural romance that every Old Town buyer is looking for. The location couldn't be better - close to Main Street and the Town Lift. Priced at $2,495,000 ($1,248/SF), this home is a jewel box. http://www.spotlighthometours.com/tours/tour.php?mls=11703537&state=UT . A home at 621 Woodside Ave in Old Town built in 2006 has been considered one of the prime reasons that this location is considered Park City's "Gold Coast". This 3,770 SF, 4 bedroom, 5 bath home features unparalleled craftsmanship, ski-in/ski-out access, an over-sized 2 car garage and many unique historic architectural elements. Priced at $5,500,000 ($1,459/SF) this is as much luxury as Old Town can offer. http://www.spotlighthometours.com/tours/video-player-hls.php?id=2388015&autoPlay=true.  A notable new listing in another very popular location is a home at 2490 Silver Cloud Drive in the Fairway Hills neighborhood in Park Meadows. This 6,783 SF, 5 bedroom, 6 bath home built in 1999 is priced at $2,995,000 ($442/SF) http://www.tourbuzz.net/public/vtour/display/857334?idx=1#!/ . If you've always wanted to live on the top of the mountain, check out a new listing at 147 White Pine Canyon Road at The Colony. This 7,420 SF, 8 bedroom, 10 bath home including a main house and a guest house is priced at $5,750,000 ($775/SF) with ski access on Winters Way. http://www.tourbuzz.net/public/vtour/display?idx=1&mlsId=257&mlsNumber=1476071  . My vote for single family sale of the week goes to 4275 Quarry Mountain Road in the Quarry Mountain Ranch subdivision in the Old Ranch Road area. This 7,377 SF, 6 bedroom, 7 bath home on 2.31 acres was listed at $5,250,000 ($712/SF) after a recent reduction from an original listing price of $5,848,000. http://www.tourbuzz.net/public/vtour/display/583731?idx=1#!/ . 

Condominiums: A rare new listing at the Racquet Club condominiums in Park Meadows sets a hew high for that townhouse project. 177 Racquet Club Drive is a 1430 SF, 2 bedroom, 2 bath property built in 1976 and recently remodeled. Priced at $645,000 ($451/SF), this should attract major interest. http://www.spotlighthometours.com/tours/tour.php?mls=11703501&state=UT . After a recent $191,600 price reduction and 277 DOM, Unit E at the 205 Main St Condominiums went under contract last week. At the new price of $2,995,000 ($922/SF), this 3,249SF, 3 bedroom, 4 bath property is the second closing in this project and should help new townhouse construction on Main Street to find the right price levels. http://www.tourbuzz.net/public/vtour/display?idx=1&mlsId=257&mlsNumber=1445773 .

Vacant Land: The only notable sale in this segment of the market was a sale at 195 White Pine Canyon Road in The Colony. This 4.00 acre site was listed at $1,800,000 with ski access on Trace and easy access to the Quicksilver Gondola. http://www.spotlighthometours.com/tours/tour.php?mls=11504647&state=UT .

PARK CITY MARKET STATISTICS - July 2016-June 2017 / July 2015-June 2016

By Jim Lewis
Jul 29, 2017

A strong first half of the year for the Park City area real estate market:

All major segments of the Park City area market show a steady increase in quantity and volume sold along with increases in both average and median sale prices. Drilling deeper, different trends are apparent. Within the Park City limits, the median price of single family homes has moved up 20% to $1,900,000 while the median condo price has increased by 6.2% to $701,000. The lack of affordable housing is a growing problem and as more affordable housing moves further beyond Park City limits, increased traffic and parking problems also increase. The Snyderville Basin shows a similar pattern with the median single family home price up 4.75% to $970,000 and the median condo price up 13.4% to $487,500. Moving further out, the gated golf communities maintain steady volume and luxury prices, but small outlying communities like Kamas, Oakley and Woodland show increased sales, but the median price of single family homes is still under $400,000. Going all the way to the Heber Valley, activity and volume are up, but the median price of single family homes is under $400,000 and new construction activity is strong.

The latest statistics support a message delivered in my past 2017 blog posts that a large majority of buyers are looking for full-time or second homes vs. vacation or investment properties. Park City is seeing many older nightly rental condos being remodeled and sold to full-time or second home residents who do not enter into nightly rental agreements. Many of these purchases are as more affordable alternatives to single family homes within the city limits. We are also seeing owners of large, older upper-end homes downsizing, but choosing to stay in Park City in smaller upgraded properties. (see the 7/17/2017 post "How did Park City, Utah become a top retirement choice"). A related trend lurking behind the numbers is the rise of a new generation of luxury condominium residences built for nightly rental performance. These new projects are being pre-sold well before the completion of construction. This is also a major reason for significant unsold resale inventory in Empire Pass - product that is now aging and club oriented. Todays buyers seem to be increasingly allergic to high carrying costs in the form of club dues and high HOA expense unless they are confident that rentals can pay those bills. Last week a significant project was announced by the owners of the Goldener Hirsch Inn to be located on the last remaining parcel in Silver Lake Village. This luxury hotel will be the first new project in over a decade in Silver Lake Village and will join St. Regis, the Stein Eriksen Lodge, Stein Eriksen Residences and Montage as full service luxury properties. These 39 contemporary residences will be connected to the iconic Goldener Hirsch Inn by a sky bridge and are being sold fully furnished with completion scheduled for the summer of 2019. Visit http://www.goldenerhirschbrochure.com    for details. This offering is well priced and yes, I do have strong opinions on best location values. I expect strong interest when reservations commence on August 4, 2017.

There were 53 pended sales reported by the Park City Multiple Listing Service in the week ended 7/28/17. 35 closings and 70 new listings were reported during that week.


By Jim Lewis
Jul 08, 2017

More good news:

At a press conference on Friday, Park City Major Jack Thomas and the Park City Council announced a major initiative to purchase 5.25 acres in the City's Bonanza Park neighborhood for $19.5 million to form the city's first-ever Arts & Culture District, with Sundance Institute and Kimball Art Center as anchor partners. Property owners Mark J. Fisher and John Paul DeJoria after spending many years trying to craft development plans acceptable to the community that would also be economically viable, have agreed to step aside to make the new project possible. Now a collaborative planning & design process in 2017 - 2018 will lead to a projected groundbreaking in 2019.

Two years ago the news was all about Vail's new resort and Replay Resorts was being introduced as the master developer (see uncategorized post dated 7/6/2015). At that time Replay made a point that has proven key to understanding the recent Park City real estate market and now applies to the announcement of the new Arts& Culture District. Developments that provide exclusive amenities for their owners find that the price tag for the construction and maintenance of those amenities (golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools, etc) are becoming less popular with owners. Replay de-emphasizes on-site amenities in favor of natural beauty and attractions of the area. They expressed the belief that becoming an extension of the surrounding community and vice versa is a far more cost effective way of establishing a destination than building attractions inside the gates. They encourage guests to see the ways of a place through the eyes of the locals. In that light, real estate owners should look at the establishment of a dedicated Arts & Culture District (funded by a 1% transient room tax) to include the Sundance Institute and Kimball Art Center, as amenities that improve their properties free of added property taxes, club dues or higher HOA fees. Of course the recent $38 million acquisition of the 1,350 acre Bonanza Flats parcel does involve extra taxes, but provides a perpetual benefit to residents whose cost was accepted through donations and a major up-front vote for the $25 million bond.

Major credit should be given to Robert Redford for rejecting advice to solve the Film Festival's growth problems by moving out of Park City and instead making a commitment to Park City as the permanent home of the Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival. Park City residents and second home owners should realize the loss that would be suffered by losing what has developed over the past 30+ years. Last month it was announced that the 2017 Sundance Film Festival generated a total economic impact of $151.5 million and that number is in addition to the economic impact of the Sundance Institute's year round Utah-based programs, such as the Filmmaker Labs and Summer Film Series. There is no doubt that Sundance, the Kimball Art's Center and the arts community they have helped to build are an important component of the Park City brand. As discussed in my 6/24/17 post, Park City finished a close second for Art's Vibrancy for towns under 100,000 people in a recent study of 900 communities by Southern Methodist University.

The economic benefits and the world wide recognition are important, but as Mayor Thomas said at the Friday announcement, "Artists help preserve the soul of their communities" and this project should go a long way towards establishing Park City as a cultural hub of the West.


By Jim Lewis
May 20, 2017

Significant Sales - week ended 5/19/17

Die hard skiers enjoyed fresh powder at Snowbird - the remaining ski area still open, but several others certainly could be operating if they hadn't sent their workforce home. The golf courses are open, but a bit challenged by the continuing snow events. While this late arrival of summer conditions comes at what is usually a slow time of year, the main effect seems to be many summer listings waiting for good photography conditions before launching their marketing campaigns. Once again, the weather guru's have predicted the warmth of summer to be just around the corner. There were 104 pended sales reported by the Park City Multiple Listing Service in the week ended 5/19/17. 46 closings and 84 new listings were reported during that week.

Single Family Homes: With 30 pended sales and 38 new single family listings, it was a surprisingly busy week. 15 if the new listings were priced over $1,000,000, and all 38 were outside Park City limits. 12 of the 30 pended sales were listed above $1,000,000 and 6 of those sales were in the City limits. Old Town single family inventory took another hit this past week with 4 pended sales and no new replacement listings. Prices continue strong based on the limited supply now available. The most interesting sale of the week was a home at 597 Deer Valley Loop Road in the Pearl West neighborhood, which was featured as a new listing in a previous post. This 1,718 SF, 3 bedroom, 3 bath contemporary home priced at $1,550,000 ($902/SF), was built in 2014 and proves that modern architecture fits nicely in Old Town if designed and constructed as well as this property was. http://www.tourbuzz.net/public/vtour/display/452030?idx=1#!/ . A home at 316 Woodside Ave listed at $1,597,000 ($780/SF) is a 2,047 SF, 4 bedroom, 4 bath home suitable as a rental property or full time residence. Built in 1913 and remodeled in 2003, this home is well located in a neighborhood with scarce inventory and strong prices. http://www.spotlighthometours.com/tours/tour.php?mls=11605560&state=UT&reloaded=true . A home at 89 King Road built in 1969 is a rare Old Town development opportunity in another prime neighborhood. http://www.tourbuzz.net/public/vtour/display/669974?idx=1#!/ . The high dollar luxury Old Town home sale of the week was a home that is a restoration of the historic Larremore family barn completed in 2009. This 3,329 SF, 4 bedroom, 4 bath home located at 730 Norfolk Ave and listed at $3,699,000 ($1,111/SF) sold after only 59 DOM. http://www.tourbuzz.net/public/vtour/display/718099?idx=1#!/ .

Condominiums: With 59 pended sales reported last week, it would seem a land rush week for condo sales, but actually the land rush was back in February when the Lift condominium project was opened to reservations. 42 of the 59 pended sales were reservations that were converted to contracts last week, leaving only 11 reservation still in the conversion process. 8 of the 24 new condo listings are Lift units now available for sale. 3 units ranging from an 837 SF, 1 bedroom, 1 bath unit priced at $645,000 ($771/SF) to an 1,884 SF, 3 bedroom, 3 bath unit on the first floor priced at $1,475,000 ($783/SF), together with 5 penthouse units ranging from $1,780,000 ($1,004/SF) to $3,670,000 ($1,157/SF), make up the remaining inventory. Refer back to my 5/12/17 post - "New Car Smell - Part 2" for a discussion of why this new project has attracted such strong interest. Of the remaining 17 pended condo sales, the standout was the sale of Black Diamond Lodge, unit 221. This 2,861 SF, 3 bedroom, 4 bath condo priced at $3,295,000 ($1,101/SF) was built in 2002 and remodeled in 2009. The highly coveted slope-side location at the Snow Park base area is always in high demand. http://www.tourbuzz.net/public/vtour/display/703872?idx=1#!/ .

Vacant Land: There were 22 new lot listings and 15 pended sales last week. The luxury lot sale of the week was a resale of 1 White Pine Canyon Road at The Colony. This 40.17 acre equestrian site just inside The Colony gate was listed for $2,999,900 and was the original home site at The Colony. http://www.spotlighthometours.com/tours/tour.php?mls=11504485&state=UT . 4 of the reported 15 sales were at Victory Ranch ranging from a .97 acre lot listed for $550,000 to a 3.66 acre site priced at $775,000. 7361 N. Caddis Drive, the highest priced of the 4, was sold after 55 DOM. http://www.tourbuzz.net/public/vtour/display/727819?idx=1#!/ .


By Jim Lewis
May 12, 2017

In this post I would like to continue my analogy that luxury car sales demonstrate why new luxury condo product coming to market now in Park City deserves a premium to the luxury product constructed 10-12 years ago.

Why did last seasons visitors seem to prefer the product offered by Apex and Lift to the older product in Canyons Village and Deer Valley? Since construction is just underway at Apex and not even started at Lift, What was the game changer for buyers? First of all, the past few years have produced a huge change in the ski industry with Vail re-inventing the economics of resort operation and development. No longer does operations take a back seat to real estate development for profits. Now last years sale of 650,000 Epic passes produces reliable profits for Vail's connected array of top ski resorts with little dependence on individual resort weather conditions. Recently a new collection of 12 leading ski resorts put together by Aspen Skiing Corp and KSL Capital Partners announced plans to build a similar competitive network built around seasons pass sales. Operations are now king and resort owners seem happy to avoid loading up on development debt and happy to off-load vertical construction and sales to developers like Replay Resorts and East West Partners. As I discussed in my July 6, 2015 uncategorized post entitled "Whats going on with Vail's new resort and how does it affect The Colony" Replay Resorts, who was selected as the master developer for the Canyons Village, introduced a fundamental philosophy that departed from past development thinking in the Park City market. Replay de-emphasizes on-site amenities in favor of natural beauty and existing attractions of the area. They believe that becoming an extension of the surrounding community and vice versa is a far more cost effective way of establishing a destination than building attractions inside the gates. Now we see this philosophy at work in the new Lift project which is Replay's first individual project in Canyons Village. Lift was launched on Feb 7th and currently 54 of the 61 units have been reserved and conversions to contract are underway. So lets assume in my "new car/used car" analogy that Lift units are like next years fuel efficient product not yet available to drive, but taking orders for future delivery (think Tesla Model 3 and Elon Musk). The 2005 - 2007 Talisker Club units are like the gas hungry luxury SUV's of the past that now occupy the front row of the used car lot, and the luxury hotel condo product like St Regis and Montage along with new contemporary townhouses on Main Street like Parkite and 205 Main can be seen as whats on the floor in the showroom at the end of a model year.

In 2005, the stacked flat projects in Empire Pass were the latest thing. They had direct ski access, quality finishes and in addition to minor amenities in each project (each project has a different personality) they all shared in membership to the Talisker Club which offered members access to ski and golf facilities plus fly fishing and other club activities. They also came with monthly dues plus market prices for food and fun. When an owner added HOA dues to club dues, it was a costly annuity. Since renters could not utilize club facilities, the only rental season was ski season. Empire Pass was a beautiful but lonely place in the other seasons. With many high split property managers competing for nightly rental business, owner returns were often less than HOA dues, Club costs and taxes combined. At the same time, the product was difficult to manage efficiently by the high profile management companies and slowly VRBO and one-off competitors chipped away at the business. The Talisker Club lost big money for Talisker through its attempts to offer first class service to very demanding members. Club facilities were overcrowded at prime times or empty at slow times. The original Park City government decision to allow almost no parking in Empire Pass other than in-building owner parking hurt club business and a free shuttle service largely for the benefit of renters operated by the Empire Pass Master Association resulted in an additional annual dues bill of about $3500 for each owner. Many owners chose to resign their Talisker Club membership rather than pay dues and add the $100,000 membership fee to their closing expense (owners were paid an 80% deposit refund within 60 days after closing), but many buyers who didn't see value in the club expense made offers that excluded the membership. Since resigned members in the waiting line either by choice of by terms of their resale were only paid their deposit on the basis of 1 refund for 3 developer sales, the line grew as development slowed and many members have been in line for years.

Now contrast that with the product being offered by Apex and Lift,  Together with minor, but well done amenities like pools and fitness facilities, both projects take full advantage of Replays makeover of the Canyons Village base area which will have all season restaurant locations, nightlife, shopping and a connection to the Park City base area via the $50 Million Quicksilver Gondola completed last year by Vail Associates. At the Lift, units come fully furnished. Buyers will  avoid working with individual designers who created individual decor at Empire Pass at luxury prices, product that now has little value in resales. This plan also contributes to a more standard rental product. In the last 12 years resort condo fashions have changed. Buyers seem to be looking for more windows, more light, expanded kitchens with more counter space, clean modern design and furnishings plus more emphasis on children's amenities. At Lift and Apex, the developers see their buyer profile as quite different from the Empire Pass buyer profile of 12 years ago. In 2005, the perfect buyer was someone who was rich and wanted to create their very individual second home where the owner and their friends and family could return every year to recreate the experience of previous years. Rental was an afterthought but tax write offs were important. Today developers see a new profile. They see younger buyers who want to experience different ski resorts, different communities and meet new people. These buyers want a lively, memorable all season experience and low ownership costs and rental income are important. In the last 12 years, the product and club amenities of the past have simply gotten older and a little out of date while the existing attractions of the Park City area continue to improve and expand. So now the question becomes how to compensate for these differences. The simple answer is price. The significant fact is that the "sticker price" (price/SF) of the new cars being ordered for future delivery which promise lower ownership costs, better rental potential and 4 season performance are being priced at significantly less than the used  cars on the front row of the used car lot. Last season provides proof that new development prices are attractive to today's buyer and today's resale prices for the best used product are meeting heavy resistance. Even the luxury full service product offered at Montage and St. Regis whose prices are supported by far superior net rental performance than the Empire Pass stacked flat product, are quietly lowering end of ski season prices. Last month Montage lowered its remaining 17 developer units by an average of 6.6%. New contemporary town homes on Main Street are quietly lowering prices based on buyer resistance and lack of proven rental performance. Original prices at the 205 Main project were recently reduced by an average of 5.85%, but are still at substantially higher prices than the Lift and Apex units reserved to date. Second tier hotel condos like Waldorf Astoria have recently offered 3rd and 4th floor residences at prices below $650/SF with 12 months paid HOA dues.

Hopefully this message won't be misinterpreted as encouragement to raise prices of new product. Lift itself shows price resistance in prices above $1,000/SF for its Penthouse units. The message is that condo inventory in Empire Pass is substantially overpriced. At the right price Empire Pass properties will fly off the shelf, but the journey for current sellers will be painful.

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