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
Jul 17, 2017

Retirement for those that don't believe in retiring.

I never thought of Park City as a "retirement community" - that term has always brought to mind silver haired people relaxing in lawn chairs with palm trees in the background. Recently I've realized what a strong trend retirement or more accurately "active retirement" is in shaping the Park City real estate market. How could a ski resort high in the mountains in a state with the youngest demographic in the country be a magnet for people contemplating retirement?

  • First of all, the definition of "retirement" is way dated. What used to mean living on a pension after a long career with a big company, is now moving to the financial independence gained from business or asset ownership or high level business management that makes possible the pursuit of goals other than more money at any age.
  • Pre-retirees are generally identified as 50-64 year old's, but increasingly successful entrepreneurs, professional athletes, or other professionals who can choose to end their active careers at a much earlier age expand that definition. These people fit the profile of visitors who have been recreating in Park City in increasing numbers for the past 50 years.
So guess what? In the early days a small percentage of visitors fell in love with this old mining town despite its many shortcomings. A few even became permanent residents, but most became vacation home owners. In 1973 when you could buy a Park Avenue 2 bedroom condo for $46,500 on a bank foreclosure sale or a lot in Holiday Ranch for $10,000, this was an easy decision. As the years went bye, prices increased and new second home owners paid prices considered crazy by first buyers. Park City shortcomings of the 60's and 70's faded and by the early 80's Deer Valley put Park City on the luxury map and lot prices approaching $500,000 seemed unbelievable to the second wave of buyers. In 1998 The Colony was able to sell its first 20 lots for $745,000 - $1,150 in one day. Many of those early early Deer Valley and Colony lot owners proceeded to build luxury ski homes which they enjoyed as vacation homes. My guess is that any retirement planner working with those brave pioneers would have been horrified by the expected effects on any sane retirement plan of building a luxury vacation home on the side of a mountain in Park City, Utah. As Park City continued to develop recreation, culture, services, and effective government (see "The Richest Small Town in America" uncategorized post dtd 10/1/15), many of Park City's second home owners decided that there was no better place to live and are now identified as "retirees". Now some are downsizing, but most stay within the community they helped to build and today's prices give them many options. On the other end of the price scale, people who purchased new production homes in neighborhoods like Snyders Mill, Ranch Place and Park Meadows in the mid 90's for $150,000 - $250,000 can now realize prices ranging from $700,000 - $1,000,000+. They can choose to relocate to nearby communities like the Heber Valley where comparable homes sell at roughly half of Park City prices, or they can just enjoy living in their home waiting for the final mortgage payment.

Relatively few of past Park City newcomers were investors - full-time residents were mainly looking to enjoy their life and raise their families. Investors who did purchase nightly rental condominiums experienced a variety of results. The 2008 recession was a difficult time for luxury nightly rental condominiums, but after years of seeing little new construction, today's market see's new nightly rental product which has many advantages over older projects (see "That New Car Smell" uncategorized post dtd 5/9/17 & part 2 dtd 5/12/17). It is notable that many of the original nightly rental condominiums are being remodeled and converted to full time residences, but few of these situations result in being retirement homes for the former landlords.

There are so many reasons why people wanting to live here and own primary or second single family homes are dominating the current Park City real estate market, that I have decided to focus future posts on those benefits that are unique to Park City. The real estate choices facing potential new residents are much different for the pre-retiree than for the young family or the investor.


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