Money Matters | Urban Living

Money Matters



The glitterati are arriving for the Sundance Film Festival to see movies, be seen talking about movies or just be seen. The bigger names generally come for the second half of the festival and stay for the awards ceremony on the final day. There will be much talk about the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, Harvey Weinstein and the impact money and power has on the film industry. It's a great event for Utah's economy—the Daily Herald reported this past June that the festival brings in $151.5 million into our private and public coffers. Hundreds of members of the press cover its 10 days, drawing many eyes to our state. The value of these small- and big-name visitors impacts all of us, but especially Park City.

The U.S. Census Bureau released its American Community Survey in December 2017, showing Park City as the second-most wealthy "micropolitan" area (towns 10,000-50,000 in population) in America. The No. 1 spot was, oddly, Los Alamos, N.M., which has a high amount of millionaires per capita because of its tech centers and laboratories. The third slot went to Williston, N.D. (another place I wouldn't think of as a bastion for rich people). But an energy boom there created a median income is $90,080. Park City beat them with a median income of $91,470.

I don't know who the richest person living in Park City is, but according to, the celebrities with the highest net worth as of September 2017 are Steven Spielberg ($3.7 billion), Oprah Winfrey ($3.2 billion), Paul McCartney ($1.2 billion), J.K. Rowling ($1 billion) and Jay-Z ($900 million). Will any of them show up to Sundance this year? One could hope. I do know that none of them bought the most expensive home sold in Park City last year listed at $11.4 million ($1,176 per square foot). The ski-in/out home in Deer Valley with 9,693 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and 6 fireplaces was on the market for 581 days. They could drop a few dimes on the 22,000-square-foot home and land originally owned by Edgar Stern, the founder of Deer Valley. The asking price is $24.9 million for its 12 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms and 22-car garage, all sitting on about 64 acres. If you were to put 20 percent down and got a mortgage at 5.5 percent for 30 years, your principal and interest per month would be $113,331. Folks in that price range usually pay cash, though. If you have that many Hamiltons in your pocket, call me! I'd love to sell that beauty to you—any day, any time.

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