WSJ Debuts New Luxury Real Estate Section

By Jim Barth
Oct 23, 2012

Picture of Wall Street Journal Mansion SectionIndicative of the post-recession growth in the luxury housing market, including the Deer Valley real estate market, The Wall Street Journal launched its new Friday stand-alone print section - “Mansion.” The Journal will also feature select luxury real estate content in European and Asian editions of the print publication and on Users may also access content through iPad and iPhone mobile applications.

The new section will cover luxury market data, trophy property and celebrity transactions, an international buying guide, information on financing, and more. Sotheby’s International Realty, with offices in Park City and Deer Valley, Utah, has already committed to the “Mansion” section, as well as other luxury brokerages.

Plans also include a daily segment on real estate on WSJ Live as part of its Lunch Break show. Real estate reporter Lauren Schuker Blum will host a luxury home market chat Fridays on

In a related move, former Conde Nast executive Nina Lawrence, who served as publisher of W magazine, was announced as the Journal’s new vice president of global ad sales. Lawrence’s responsibilities will include marketing and business development for print, digital and special events. She will also lead a planned expansion of the Journal’s custom advertising and creative services operations.

How Big is the Second Home Market?

By Jim Barth
Sep 20, 2012

Graph of Second-home Real Estate MarketAccording to recent statistics from the Census Bureau, about 3-5% of the housing inventory falls into the seasonal, recreational or occasional use category. These numbers are based on the 2010 Census and are the most current stats available.

The states that lead the list with the highest number of properties in these categories are Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Alaska, Delaware, Montana, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona and Idaho.  According to these statistics, approximately 4% of the housing inventory in Utah falls into this category.  However, this percentage is much higher in the Deer Valley real estate market.  According to a 2010 Park City Housing Market Assessment prepared by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, over 80% of the new residential units built in Deer Valley and Park City during the last decade were second homes. 

For more information on housing data and statistics concerning the second home market, please click this Census Bureau link.

Barron's Magazine picks Park City for second-home buyers

By Nancy Barth
Mar 11, 2012

Barron's Magazine, a subsidiary of The Wall Street Journal, recently named Park City and Deer Valley as one of the best places in the country to buy a second home. The article listed Park City for the its winter and summer attractions.

According to the article, “skiers love Park City and Deer Valley for its powdery winters, but homeowners relish the summers, too. The crowds thin out, life slows down and the tall aspens lining the nearby Wasatch Range shimmer in the breeze," the article read.

Among other top second home options, the article listed Maui, the Hamptons and Aspen. To read more, click here.

Interconnect Receives Positive Federal Vote

By Jim Barth
Mar 06, 2012

According to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune, skiers moved a step closer to riding a gondola from Solitude to Canyons Resort late last week after a U.S. House Committee advanced a measure that would pave the way for the Forest Service to allow the new skier connection.

The House Natural Resources Committee voted to send the Wasatch Range Recreation Access Enhancement Act to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

As I have reported previously, while this federal legislation does not in and of itself directly affect Deer Valley®, if the proposal receives final approval from both houses of Congress and passes environmental muster, it will mark a first step toward the long awaited connection of the seven resorts of the Wasatch Range, including potentially Deer Valley.  In my opinion, an interconnect would have a very positive financial impact on the resorts of the Wasatch Range and most significantly, the greater Park City area resorts. We will continue to bring our readers and clients updates as the legislation moves forward.

Sotheby’s International Realty Brand Strengthens Presence in Aspen, Colorado

By Jim Barth
Mar 03, 2012

Just a few days ago, Sotheby’s International Realty published a press release announcing that Morris & Fyrwald Sotheby’s International Realty in Aspen and Carbondale, Colo. has combined with Chaffin Light Real Estate in Aspen, Snowmass Village and Basalt, and now will operate as Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty.

 “Morris & Fyrwald Sotheby’s International Realty has a reputation as a strong leader in the Aspen market while Chaffin Light Real Estate and its predecessor, Snowmass Real Estate Company, have been market leaders in Snowmass Village and the Mid-Valley,” said Philip White, president and chief operating officer of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. “The combined strength of these two companies and the Sotheby’s International Realty brand will provide clients with extraordinary opportunities in one of the world’s most high-end markets.”

 This is further evidence that the Sotheby’s International Realty Brand is continuing to increase its focus on the luxury mountain resort areas of the western United States with additional offices located in Park City, Deer Valley® Resort, Vail Resort and Lake Tahoe.

Utah Senate Resolution Pushes Ski Interconnect

By Jim Barth
Mar 01, 2012

This week the Utah State Senate passed a resolution promoting a system to link Salt Lake County’s four ski resorts (Alta, Snowbird, Solitude and Brighton) and a trio around Park City/Deer Valley® (Deer Valley Resort, Park City Resort and Canyons Resort).  This could be very encouraging news for Deer Valley Resort/Park City property owners and skiers.

 The resolution encourages Salt Lake and Summit Counties, along with the U.S. Forest Service and the Town of Alta, to “fairly consider the benefits of connecting the various resorts and expeditiously approve a low-impact inter-resort transportation system … based on sound research and public input.”

 This could be big news for skiers at Deer Valley Resort.  We have been discussing this since my days on the Park City Planning Commission.  Could you imagine waking up in the morning and deciding if you would like to get on the Wasatch Lift in the morning, ski some Bald Mountain trails and then end your day at Alta Resort?  We will definitely keep you informed.

National Geographic names Park City among world 25 best ski towns

By Nancy Barth
Feb 23, 2012

National Geographic has identified Park City as one of the world’s best ski towns, stating it the best for “cinephile families with a range of abilities.”  In addition to lauding Park City as home to the Sundance Film Festival and the United States Ski Team, the article mentions Park City’s vibrant sophisticated bar scene and easy accessibility to and from Salt Lake City.

The article goes on to note, “Park City Mountain Resort is the “right there” option, with access from town, four terrain parks for snowboarders and freestylers, night skiing, a cutting-edge ski school, and remarkably well-rounded terrain, from gentle beginner runs to powder-filled bowls that rival fellow Wasatch Mountain areas Alta and Snowbird. Deer Valley Resort, only one mile away, is unapologetically upmarket. Deer Valley’s skier numbers are capped, grooming is scrupulous, on-mountain restaurants are gourmet, and snowboards are not allowed (no word on baggy pants, but suffice it to say, there is no terrain park). Canyons Resort, four miles from town, is the ever-expanding upstart that has quickly grown to become the largest ski resort in Utah. Impressively, each of Park City’s resorts offers a hundred or more runs, bevies of high-speed lifts, and around 3,000 feet of base-to-summit vertical.”  To read the entire article, go to this link.

Beethoven’s Fifth in Park City

By Jim Barth
Feb 16, 2012

Last week, Nancy and I had the opportunity to attend the Utah Symphony performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony at the George S. & Dolores Dore Eccles Center located in Park City.  Over the years, we have enjoyed attending the summer concert series held at Deer Valley® Resort, however this is the first year that the Symphony has held a winter series of two concerts, both of which I am happy to report were extremely well attended.  The performance was excellent, and the highlight of the evening was the solo performance by Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma, who Thierry Fisher, the Symphony’s new Music Director reportedly invited after hearing her play just once.  Ms. Lamsma has been described as one of the leading violinists in the world.  Prior to the performance, the President and CEO of the Utah Symphony, Melia Tourangeau, provided a sneak peak of the Symphony’s schedule for this summer’s Deer Valley Music Festival held at Deer Valley® Resort. Stay tuned for complete details and a link when the schedule is finalized.