Blog

My blog is designed and structured to keep readers abreast of what's happening in our area that impacts real estate and particularly luxury real estate. I plan to update it weekly, or more frequently to the extent breaking news warrants doing so. For example, property information and updates occur frequently, and rather than waiting for a particular developer's website to be updated, I try and confer with those developers and let my readers in on some insights before the information is widely available. With my prior career in commercial real estate, I know how valuable timely information can be to a prospective purchaser. I will keep these blogs short and to the point so readers can get right into the heart of the subject matter.

 

Kimball Arts Festival Starts Today!

By Mark Sletten
Aug 12, 2016

The Kimball Arts Festival kicks off its 47th year this Friday.  Like the Olympics, its one of the few times when Historic Main Street is free of traffic, autos and motorcycles, as the street is lined with displays by over 200 artists. “Local’s  Night” on Friday the 12th is free and the Weekend Pass for the 13th and 14th is $12.00.  For Local’s Night, make sure to bring along a valid Utah driver’s license or utility bill showing a Summit County, UT residence (primary or vacation home).

In addition to the incredible kaleidoscope of artists and their works, there will be 30 live concerts, and of course Main Streets eateries and watering holes will be in full swing as well.  Hope to see you there!

Park City Arts Festival, held first weekend in August every year Park City Arts Festival, held first weekend in August every year

Treasure Hill Development in Perspective

By Mark Sletten
Jul 29, 2016

Here are some local comparisons to put the Treasure Hill development, which is proposed to perch around the Town Lift overlooking Old Town, into perspective.  Per an article by Jay Hamberger in the July 22, 2016 edition of the Park Record, here are the comparative measurements of several of Park City’s larger developments:

Treasure Hill: 771,824 square feet

Montage Deer Valley: 736,013 square feet

St. Regis Deer Valley: 375,097 square feet

Additionally, writes Mr. Hamberger, as proposed the Treasure Hill development would “… also include another 245,063 square feet for a garage…” and “The numbers for the other projects also do not include the square footage of the garages.” 

With the properties above being condominium hotels, the square footages would include residential condominiums/hotel rooms, commercial (restaurants, shops, etc.) and back of house (circulation and operational areas).  It should also be noted that the Montage Deer Valley is not a pure condominium hotel, in that the building is divided between condominiums with individual owners, and a hotel under its own ownership, with each element governed by separate associations.

Tour of Utah kicks off August 1!

By Mark Sletten
Jul 21, 2016

The Tour of Utah kicks off on August 1st and winds up on the 7th.  Many of the teams presently racing the Tour de France will be here and it promises to be an extraordinarily exciting event.

 

Stage 6 comes right trough Park City  on Saturday the 6th. That day’s race is from Snowbasin  to Snowbird  and will come through Historic Park City and up and over Guardsman Pass.  It covers 114 miles with over 11,000 feet of climbing.

Then, on Sunday, Stage 7 starts in Park City around the high school on Kearns Boulevard, then out through Browns Canyon to the town of Peoa (one of the only 4 letter words with 3 vowels and 3 syllables I know of).  Then a right hand turn and on to Oakley & Kamas, and eventually routed over to the Heber Valley through Wolf Creek Ranch. They race through Midway and up over Empire Pass where they drop down Marsac Avenue at speeds around 60 MPH before finishing on Historic Main Street.

Just before the Wolf Creek Ranch portion, they will be within a few hundred yards of one of the most idyllic riding roads I know of.  While the riders will continue to race on Highway 35 before turning on Bench Creek, they will just pass Lower River Road and that is where this photo was taken.  I played hooky one recent the morning and took a friend/client of mine out for a wonderful 25-mile loop.

River road

And If you have the time and can start your ride early enough, I strongly suggest you end up at the Woodland Biscuit Company for an sensational breakfast or lunch . The tour will be riding right past this quintessential café so it may not be a bad place to the the riders on a flat section of the course on Sunday.

A Hot Day in Park City.....

By Mark Sletten
Jul 18, 2016

And it got hotter at the Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday July 13th aas  discussion of the massive Treasure Hill development unfolded. Lawyers representing the applicant made a very eloquent statement about how the approval had legally morphed from the mid 400,000 square foot range in its Master Plan Development approval by the City in the mid 1980’s, to 1,000,000 square feet today (the size of a regional shopping mall).  An equally eloquent attorney, engaged by THINC Park City, made the case that lapses had occurred that exceeded the maximum time allowed in several circumstances, (so the approval was no longer valid) and further that the 1.2 million square feet was not what was contemplated by the City at the time of the original approval.  More detail in later updates but in the meantime, this photo is an example of how the development, if approved as submitted, might look and impact our Historic Old Town area. Also, I would encourage you to go to THINC Park City’s website: https://thincpc.org.

 

Treasure

You can see why Steve Swanson, a local architect, advised the Planning Commission to “Just say no.”

As to the trademark issue with Vail Resorts, the resort announced it would withdraw its trademark application for the name “Park City.”  Bill, Rock, CEO of the resort, issued this statement on July 16th:

“In 2014 while under Powdr Corp ownership, an application was filed with the Patent and Trademark Office to register the word mark “Park City” for providing facilities for skiing and snowboarding. After our acquisition, we supported that application because we think it’s appropriate to obtain the benefits of federal registration for the Park City mark, which has a long history of use in connection with the ski resort that is located in the Park City community. This is common within the ski industry and there are other businesses in our community that have registered Park City for their products. However, recently there has been much concern raised in the community about what the impact of our trademark registration would be. We have tried to assure the community that this registration would not negatively impact other businesses and we do believe that there has been some misunderstandings and misinformation about the trademark registration. That said, this has clearly become a distraction that is pulling our collective focus away from the important work that lies ahead for our city on critical issues, such as affordable housing, parking and transit among others. As such, we have decided to withdraw our trademark application in an effort to move beyond this concern. In addition, we will be updating certain of our wayfinding and vehicular signage in Park City to address any local confusion about the difference between the resort and the municipality. We will be longtime partners in the Park City community, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration on everything that makes our community so special.”

Good going Vail Resorts & thanks Bill for stepping up and putting this to bed!

Things We Live By

By Mark Sletten
Dec 13, 2015

(Learned from our 20+ years in Park City) 

We moved to Park City for the same reasons you love this town and we try to take advantage of every day we can get out on the mountain.  You gotta love where we live.
We bring our dogs to work almost every day. We love to have them with us.  They love to be with us.  And hearlyt everybody misses their dogs when not at home, so more importantly we are able to satisfy our friends', guests' and clients' “dog fix” when they are visiting Park City.
We moved here for the winters but like most locals we stayed for the summers. High temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s, no humidity, no bugs, great scenery, music all around us.  What more could you ask for?
We love selling real estate and are at a point in our career when we have the luxury of working with friends, past clients, and referrals.  Plus, it’s a bit like living inside the pages of Architectural Digest on a full time basis.  It’s a great job!
We also love to explore and mine the data, and have found out when looked at from every angle, it can be very predictive of market trends.
If you spend a minimum of three weeks a year here (winter and summer), you owe it to yourself to engage with one of our many not for profits - from the arts, to our mountain trails, to our youth sports groups – and while we can’t find a category for this, the National Ability Center as well.  Just take a look around and you’ll find something of interest, and maybe even something that fascinates you as you become involved here in Park City.
Same thing goes for our churches and synagogue.
If you are thinking about buying property here in the Park City/Deer Valley area, do so primarily for the years and fun and memories your family will enjoy, and less about the economics.  If economics are the driving factor, frankly you are likely better off being a rental guest than owning.  Either way, there is no better family experience than a day spent on the mountain, followed by sitting in front of a roaring fire with s’mores for the kids and a nice glass of wine for the adults. Happy Holidays!    

One Empire Pass

By Mark Sletten
Nov 06, 2015

I recently attended the second planning meeting with East West Partners regarding their new building in the Empire Pass area of Deer Valley at the base of the Silver Strike lift The official name is One Empire Pass.  Here are the basics: The building will be what the developer is calling “Modern Organic” meaning there will be lots of wood, stone and glass in a more contemporary style than other buildings in the area.  All of the residences will have Lady Morgan/Empire views, and they will be “see through” with no central hallways or corridors, and each has direct elevator service to the front door. Also on site will be a large fitness room, kids' rooms, a big “club house” type great room. An Inn Keeper will live onsite and provide services to owners and guests alike. The complex will have 27 residences as follows:

  • Two 2-bedroom residences of approximately 1,350 square feet.
  • Twelve 3-bedroom residences between 1,850 square feet and 2,250 square feet, and the larger units also having media rooms.
  • Eleven 4-bedroom residences with from 2,350 square feet to 3,200 square feet, and as with the 3’s, the larger residences also having media or family rooms.
  • Two 4-bedroom, roof top penthouses of 2,800 square feet each, plus large roof top decks approximately 20’ X 30’(the plan would allow these two penthouses to be combined into one 5,600 square foot penthouse suite that, with its views, would arguably be the best of the best in all of ski country in North America.
  • Finally, two ADA units that can also be utilized by owners through prior reservations for overflow guests when otherwise not being occupied by an ADA guest, plus the Inn Keepers’ unit.
And here is the timing:
  • December 2015 - Marketing begins (including an onsite sales/presentation office).
  • January 2016 - Non-binding reservations ($50,000 fully refundable deposit - unit specific).
  • February 2016 - Reservations converted to purchase contracts (20% deposit, refundable through due diligence).
  • April 2016 - Commencement of construction.
  • November/December 2017 - Residence closings and occupancy for the holidays.
East West indicated they would expect average pricing will be around $1,250 to $1,450 per square foot, depending on location in the building.

Park City Pledges Net-Zero Carbon Emissions

By Mark Sletten
Nov 04, 2015

As Jay Hamburger reported in the Park City Record on November 3rd, Park City leaders "pledged to  pursue a wide-ranging environmental program, indicating they want to, potentially, reach a net-zero figure in carbon emissions in the city within a generation." These are very bold goals, and at this stage are just goals, but with a  number of far-reaching implications for Park City in terms of governance, policy, and the effects on local development and quality of life.  Read the full article here: http://www.parkrecord.com/city/ci_29066391/park-city-determined-to-aggressively-combat-climate-change The strategies considered range from the obvious (city fleet efficiencies, procurement changes, purchasing offset credits) to the necessary (partnering with local  businesses, amending planning and zoning rules) and on to the wildly speculative (banning gas vehicles in the city, or the city starting an energy company).  Much like related far-reaching discussions about traffic, affordable housing, and open space preservation, setting such goals is a  complex issue involving different constituencies with competing economic priorities: tourism, affordability, traffic issues, and the like.  With Park City's dependence on the ski industry, and the ultimate possible impacts climate change could have on the local economy, it is reassuring that Park City's leaders are opening the discussion on the issue.    

Park CIty Third Quarter 2015 Statistics

By Mark Sletten
Oct 29, 2015

The Park City Board of REALTORS® today released its report on statistics  for the third quarter of 2015.  In brief summary, sales indicate a continuing strong market, with a 12% increase in quantity sold and 10% increase in median sales price compared to the previous four quarters, with condominium sales accounting for half the closed transactions.  Year-over-year the total dollar volume was also up 20% reaching $1.85 billion. Notably, in the Single Family Home category, dollar volume in the Greater Park City area for the first nine months of this year was the highest since 2006. To see the full report, click here.

As the report notes, our local market continues to be highly segmented with micro-markets divided by price, inventory, property type and demand, so if you need local expertise, do not hesitate to contact me.
   

Sundance Tickets on Sale

By Mark Sletten
Oct 13, 2015

egyptiantheatersundance Sundance 2016 will run from January 21st through January 31st and sales of festival and ticket packages will start tomorrow (Wednesday October 14th).  Individual tickets for specific films will then go on sale on January 14th of 2016. The website for packages is www.sundance.org/festivals/sundance-film-festival, and the website for individual tickets is http://sundance.org. More complete information is available in an article from the Park Record’s October 10th edition and here is a link: http://www.parkrecord.com/scene/ci_28947557/sundance-film-festival-2016-passes-and-packages-go.  

Thoughts on the Epic Pass

By Mark Sletten
Oct 11, 2015

I was struck by a recent article in EPIC LIFE magazine entitled “Park City’s New Dawn.”  I live here in Park City and religiously follow the local news and gossip but guessed I missed the full impact of Vail Resorts’ coming to town.  It is way more thanjust  the new 2-way Quicksilver Gondola on Pinecone Ridge which connects the Park City side with the Canyons side of the resort. According to the article, the resort will now consist of" 7,300 skiable acres, 17 peaks, 14 bowls, 38 lifts, all accessible with Vail’s Epic Pass…”  making it the largest winter resort in the US. The “way more” I mentioned above includes a high speed quad replacing the old fixed grip Motherlode lift, a new six-pack lift at King Con, upgrades to both the Summit House on the Park City side and Red Pine Lodge on Canyons side, and a completely new restaurant at the base of the new gondola and the Silverlode high speed. This new restaurant will be named Miners Camp and will offer indoor seating for 500 guests and another 200 seats on the restaurant’s deck. Great on-mountain meals were something missing at the old resort.   I don’t care if, like me, you’ve already bought your tickets or season’s pass at Deer Valley - it may be well worth shelling out another $599 to get your hands on the Epic Local’s Pass.  I’ve got both and especially if Mother Nature comes through with the predicted epic El Niño  winter snows (no pun intended), I’ll get my money’s worth at both Park City and Deer Valley.  If you are thinking about getting an Epic Pass you should hurry as the cut off date is soon and the same for Deer Valley.

Mortgage Rate Update

By Mark Sletten
Oct 11, 2015

As of late August, the average mortgage rate nationally for the purchase of an existing home was 3.99 percent, down 3 basis points from July. The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans dropped in similar fashion — declining two basis points to 4.15 percent in August. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage. According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates have remained in a range between 3.8 percent and 4.1 percent since May. The late-September data showed that 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.08 percent and the 5-year treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.91 percent, while the 1-year treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.53 percent.

Jordanelle Activity

By Mark Sletten
Sep 28, 2015

I am struck by the extraordinary amount of activity taking place surrounding the Jordanelle Reservoir, and anyone looking to buy or sell a home, condominium, building lot in this area should take a look at this data. In 2015 year to date, there have been 149 transactions which have closed escrow (20 single family homes, 87 condominiums, and 42 building lots). Another 108 properties (24 homes, 73 condominiums, and 11 building lots) have gone under contract since January 1st. Altogether, that is 257 transactions in all 3 categories. By way of comparison, if you add in the 1,204 transactions which occurred over the same period for all property types in Park City’s city limits and the Snyderville Basin, the Jordanelle represented 19.25% of the total - remarkable in that the Jordanelle is so much smaller than the other 2 areas. The differences are that the Jordanelle area properties are newer (in fact, in most cases they are brand new) and less expensive than similar properties in the other areas in and around Park City. As for the building lots, for the most part these represent the developers’ inventories at Hide Out, Victory Ranch, and Tuhaye, the latter two being gated golf communities. Focusing in on just the single family homes and condominiums, the inventory to sales imbalance in the Jordanelle overall equates to an inventory of less than 2 and a half months. Of the 20 homes which closed escrow this year, they did so at an average price of $1,047,921, although you should note that this average was significantly impacted by a few sales in Victory Ranch and Tuhaye which closed escrow over $2,000,000. The average price of the condominiums over the period was $395,993, although here you should note this average was impacted on the low side by a number of sales in Fox Bay and Blackrock Ridge which closed escrow at prices less than $250,000, and as low as $191,000. Looking at the 42 building lots, here the average price was $294,504, although the delta was quite large with the low price being $75,000 (Star Harbor) and the high at $900,000 (Victory Ranch). Given this disparity, the median price of $355,000 might be the more relevant number. If you would like to have a copy of all the data (10 Excel pages), please let me know and we’ll be happy to send you a copy. Just call or text me at 435.640.0930, or send an email to msletten@bhhsutah.com. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Jordanelle Reservoir

Mortgage Rate Update

By Mark Sletten
Sep 25, 2015

In response to an anticipated increase in the Federal Funds Rate, mortgage activity across the country accelerated.  That said, the Fed is talking about a rate increase of just ¼ of 1% (25 basis points). Most pundits have stated the Fed should have done so at its September meeting, and just the hint of a rate increase sent the Dollar higher and the Dow was up as well today, although the S&P and NASDAQ were off.  Here is the data:

  • Mortgage applications increased 13.9 percent from one week earlier during the week ending Sept. 18, 2015.
  • The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 58.4 percent of total applications from 56.2 percent the week prior.
30 yr. fixed rate 3.91% 0.01%
15 yr. fixed rate 3.11% 0.01%
5 yr. adjustable rate 2.92% 0.01%
1 yr. adjustable rate 2.56% 0.07%

New Condo Development in Empire Pass

By Mark Sletten
Sep 04, 2015

I recently met with the agent representing East West Partners on their new condominium development in Empire Pass.  By way of reference, this new building will be constructed and built just below the existing Silver Strike Lodge.  The building will be what the developer is calling “Modern Organic” meaning there will be lots of wood, stone and glass in a more contemporary style than other buildings in the area.  The building will be all concrete allowing for 10’ 6” ceiling in all of the residences, excepting the top floor which will likely have some taller elements. In addition, to maximize views and light (all units will have Lady Morgan/Empire views), all residences will be “see through” with no central hallways or corridors, and each have direct elevator service to the front door. The outdoor common areas will have a large, rectangular “infinity’ hot tub, along with two other private hot tubs and lots of lounge/deck chairs. While Talisker Club membership will be included, this building will also have fitness and kids rooms, a big “club house” type great room, and Inn Keepers who will live onsite and provide 24/7 services to owners and guests.   As presently designed, the building will consist of 27 total units as follows:  

  • Two, 2-bedroom units of approximately 1,350 square feet;
  • Eleven, 3-bedroom units between 1,900 square feet and 2,266 square feet, and the larger units also having media rooms;
  • Twelve, 4-bedroom units with from 2,400 square feet to 3,200 square feet and as with the 3’s, the larger units also having media rooms; and
  • An ADA unit that can also be utilized by through prior reservations by owners for overflow guests when otherwise not being occupied by an ADA guest, plus in Inn Keepers’ unit.
  • Also of note is that the two 4-bedroom penthouse units on the fifth floor come with huge rooftop patios and there is also the possibility of combining these two into one very large penthouse.
  The timing is that the opening of the marketing process is scheduled to being with the opening of Deer Valley’s 2015/2016 ski season on December 12th.  They expect to have the plat recorded and be able to take purchase contracts in mid-February and will time their reservations to commence between 30 and 45 days prior to contracts, so early to mid-January. They will commence construction in the spring of 2016 and expect an 18 month construction schedule so everyone will be moved in prior to the 2017/2018 season. They expect average pricing will be around $1,250 per square foot so that should be a range of $1,150 PSF to $1,400 PSF, depending on location in the building and view.      

Mortgage Rate Update

By Mark Sletten
Sep 04, 2015

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased slightly over last week’s 3.84 percent to 3.89 percent, which is a slight decrease over last year’s 4.10 percent. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was reported at 3.09 percent, up slightly from 3.06 percent last week and down from last year’s 3.24 percent. The 5-year adjustable rate averaged 2.93 percent this week, up from 2.90 percent last week and down slightly from 2.97 percent last year.

Construction in Park City - Up or Down?

By Mark Sletten
Aug 07, 2015

BuildingPic The Park Record reported in the July 18th edition that building permits in incorporated Park City for June of this year dropped dramatically to $7.3MM from $25mm in May and $14.5MM in June of 2014.  My take is this drop is completely a function of the low inventory of developable land in the City limits – it’s almost all gone as evidenced by the tear downs now occurring in the Park Meadows neighborhood.   Here’s what the Park Record went on to say: The construction industry is continuing a strong rebound from the depths of the recession. The Building Department this year has issued permits for large developments, including for work at Stein Eriksen Residences in Deer Valley and the Park City Medical Center, as well as numerous permits for significant additions or remodels. The Building Department has credited a strong economy and Park City's desirability for the construction comeback. What are your thoughts?

Vail Update on One Park City

By Mark Sletten
Aug 05, 2015

Vail Resort's recent announcement of One Park City, its new brand which combines the Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons, has been very well received by locals and frequent guests alike. The Resort is spending $50 million in capital improvements over the summer and fall and all elements will be completed in time for operations this winter.  Then, skiers and boarders will have access to 7,300 acres of ski terrain, 17 peaks, and a resort that extends 6.5 miles in length.  Its becomes the largest resort in America and the new Quicksilver Gondola will transports riders from the base of on the old Park City Mountain Resort side at the base of the Silverlode lift, to the Flatiron Lift on the old Canyons side via Pinecone Ridge in just 8 minutes.  Here is a link to 3 minute or so video Vail Resorts produced about One Park City:

http://www.parkcitymountain.com/mountain/resort-master-plan.aspx/

A common question I get from clients is “…what is the Vail Effect on real estate in the area?”  That is a complex answer in that some areas like The Colony, where the Quicksilver Gondola’s base will be on the old Canyons side of Pine Cone Ridge will be greatly impacted.  Why? Because The Colony’s ski-in/ski-out home and home sites are now right smack in the middle of the nation’s largest winter sports resort.  Areas like Park Meadows will be less impacted in that the majority of its residents live there more or less on a permanent basis. And I believe real estate in Deer Valley’s four principal areas (Snow Park, Deer Crest, Silver Lake, and Empire Pass) will also be positively impacted as Vail’s 400,000 plus Epic Pass holders decide to check out Park City.  And if they become interested in real estate, in short order they will find that Deer Valley resembles the quality they have become accustomed to in Vail’s Colorado resorts.  

A Great Bike Ride

By Mark Sletten
Jun 22, 2015

    BlogPic   Sunday mornings in the summer are a great time to head out for road rides the outlying areas around PC.  One of our favorites actually starts in our car with our bikes on the rack. First stop, Bill White’s bakery in Iron Horse for coffee and fresh scones to go.  Next out to Kamas and park in Mark Fisher’s lot just as you are coming into Kamas on 248 from Park City (don’t tell Mark!).  Onto the bikes and off for an incredibly scenic loop of about 25 miles through Woodland by the upper Provo, then onto the bench road and back passing by the Wolf Creek Ranch entrance, and then back through Francis to the start.  The photo was taken on the stretch of the ride on Lower River Road between Woodland and Francis.  The only real climb comes just after turning off Lower River Road onto 2200 S but its relatively short and once on top, smooth sailing back to the car. Then to top it off, typically by the end of the ride Volkers’ Bakery is open for business just at the end of the parking area and you can buy a loaf of their wonderful bread .  I’d appreciate knowing about any of your favorite rides – road or mountain!

Park City Mountain Trails

By Mark Sletten
Jun 02, 2015

6.2.15 Blog photo This photo was taken this morning at the Round Valley Trail Head as I was headed out for a run.  Round Valley is one of those jewels which make the Park City area such a wonderful place.  Mountain Trails Foundation maintains the trails winter and summer – and I should also mention they created most of the trails as well.  In winter you’ll find people cross country skiing, running, and hiking and in summer substituting cycling for skiing. And year round many of these folks are accompanied by their dogs.  There are many “not-for-profits” in Park City, but at the end of the day we are a mountain community and most all of us are outdoor enthusiasts utilizing some aspect of our area’s trail system.  If you’re not already a member of the Mountain Trail Foundation, you really should join.  Their website says it all “Members Today = Trails Tomorrow” and their web address is www.mountaintrails.org.

What return can I expect on a condo investment in Park City?

By Mark Sletten
Jun 02, 2015

1343857_Exterior_800x600 I frequently am asked by clients “…what kind of a return can I expect to be making on an investment in a Park City condo.”  I pretty much answer it the same way to all and that is “…the investment should first in your family’s fulfilling their dream of owning property in ski country and the years of wonderful memories that will generate for young and old alike.”  If that’s not the primary motivation to own a vacation home here in Park City, or really in any resort area for that matter, then they are better off renting different places when they are in ski country and buying a true investment property back home.  There, they can likely generate a capitalization rate of maybe 5% or 6%, where here in Park City that would be a 2% cap rate at best when factoring in all of the true costs of ownership.

 
 
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