Experts Report: Park City

Utah is known for its top-rated ski slopes, mountain resorts, and vast natural landscape that lends itself to a slew of outdoor activities.

Park City in particular, located east of Salt Lake City, especially optimizes the exhilarating outdoors, housing three of the best ski resorts in the world as well as Utah Olympic Park. However, skiing doesn’t fully encapsulate the essence of Park City. The terrain also allows for mountain biking, horseback riding, golfing, and paddle boarding, just to name a few.

Park City also specializes in luxury resort living, which blends sumptuous indoor facilities with the expansive outdoors. Promontory Club, a private residential community that is the epitome of luxury living, spans over 6,400 acres and offers a myriad of indoor and outdoor amenities. Chris Messick, the director of real estate sales at Promontory Club, describes it as a four-season private club, with relatively less humid summers and lighter winters.

“As people started spending more time here in the summer, people figured out Park City has more of a four-season feeling than some of the other spots. Summer is as important to us as winter,” Messick explained.

Messick credits Promontory’s appeal to its diverse selection of amenities, all of which occupy 190,000 square feet. Among them are a world-class equestrian center, a clubhouse and spa, multiple golf courses, a beach club, an Outfitter’s Cabin, from which members can embark on a number of outdoor adventures, and over 30 miles of trails.

According to Kerry Oman, associate broker at Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, this lifestyle along with the ongoing pandemic has yielded a booming real estate market in Park City.

“Because of COVID-19, we’ve seen an increase in out-of-state buyers coming and spending longer periods of time or even relocating to Park City. The last 12 months in Park City has been phenomenal with unprecedented growth. The demand has
been extremely high and properties sell really fast,” Oman said.

Along with Promontory Club, Oman speaks highly of Glenwild Country Club, which is rated the No. 1 golf course in Utah, and Deer Valley Resort, one of the world’s best with breathtaking mountain views. The opulence of these resorts are juxtaposed with Park City’s small-town charm. Visitors can venture to Main Street for quality shopping, fine dining, and historic attractions. Both Messick and Oman reiterate that Park City surprises people with its beautiful summers and the accessibility of outdoor activities during the season, making it an ideal, year-round retreat.

Photos courtesy of Promontory Club.

This story originally appeared in Unique Homes Fall ’21 issue. Click here to see the digital version.

The perfect home finds a balance between style and substance.

Style or substance? The perfect home finds a balance between both of these concepts, and this newly built mountain residence is no exception. 1548 Explorer Peak Drive, located inside the Red Ledges residential development in Heber City, Utah, was carefully sited on a dynamic hillside to optimize unobstructed views of Mt. Timpanogos. Its architectural design pairs with hand-selected materials and luxury finishes, perfect for retreat seekers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. 

Every detail of this home creates a seamless transition from indoors to out. Abundant natural light is cast through the home’s soaring windows, while the vast outdoor living areas are situated to connect the home to nature’s beauty. The expansive indoor/outdoor living spaces, featuring a custom spa, fire pit, fireplace, and more, make this home perfect for both entertaining and relaxing, with stunning mountain views as the ideal backdrop. Interior features that capture attention as much as the surrounding beauty include French oak flooring, a gourmet kitchen with a waterfall quartz island, and a large main-floor master suite.

With its coveted location in the Heber Valley in the heart of Utah’s Wasatch Back mountain recreation mecca, Red Ledges offers an active outdoor lifestyle, according to Mitchel Burns, Red Ledges chief operating officer. “Members come together and immerse themselves in some of the most beautiful — and accessible — natural habitats in the world.” Red Ledges offers such outdoor attractions as world championship mountain biking, world-class fly fishing, boating, hiking trails and more. 

Management at Red Ledges agrees that those who find a place at Red Ledges not only share in the coveted mountain lifestyle, they also form close kinships with their neighbors. “Lifelong friendships develop as members laugh and play together and create the real personal connection for which Red Ledges is known,” says John “JJ” Johnson, Red Ledges Club general manager. For $3.595 million, one can find peace of mind at this contemporary mountain haven with enough style and substance for all. 

     

 

This editorial originally appeared in Unique Homes Winter 2020.

 

Courtesy of Explorer Chick.

Women are influencing all facets of the travel industry as they acquire more spending power.

Not only are women earning and spending more in 2019, but they’re traveling differently — from the activities pursued, to the destinations visited, to the companions chosen. And they’re making an impact. Women currently make 70 percent of all travel decisions, according to Bridget Brennan’s “Why She Buys.”

“It’s a really interesting time for women globally — more and more women are getting an education, having careers, managing their own finances and disposable income. As a result, these women are beginning to seek travel experiences that are purely for themselves,” says Lauren Bates, founder
of Wild Terrains — a women-only group travel company that supports female-owned businesses.

Although it’s not the case for all women, more female travelers are breaking away from “stereotypical” female-catered trips. Instead of yoga retreats, spa weekends and relaxing getaways, women are pursuing high-intensity travel experiences, driving the rise of Adventure Travel — travel that typically involves physically challenging outdoor activities.

Seventy-five percent of travelers pursuing nature, adventure, or cultural trips are women between the ages of 20 and 70, according to the Travel Industry Association of America.

“Women have always been a force in the travel industry, but social media has really brought that to light,” says Nicki Bruckmann, founder of Explorer Chick, an adventure travel company for women. “It’s moving from a dream to a reality for many women. Women who may have daydreamed about world travel are seeing that yes, they too can travel the world and have incredible experiences.”

Whether it’s supporting women who want to explore the Grand Canyon, cruise along the Nile River or float in the Dead Sea, the travel industry is shifting as it begins to focus on women, and their increasing desire for exploration. A growing number of female-catered travel companies are popping up, curating female-focused group travel experiences.

“A generation ago, women-only travel was an oddity,” says Debra Asberry of Women Traveling Together, a female-
catered travel tour company. “That is no longer true, but it is not widely known that 
women-only travel exists. Only when a woman starts searching for a travel solution for herself does she discover the myriad of choices out there.”

The growing desire for female-catered travel is closely tied to the type of trips women are pursuing.

“I could only find women’s group trips that were activity-specific, focusing on things like yoga and trekking,” says Bates, of her experience prior to launching her business. “That frustrated me on a personal level, because I’m a more dynamic traveler…. It also frustrated me on a broader level, because I believe globally we tend to market to women in a very one- or two-dimensional way that misses the mark on what women are really craving in terms of experiences.”

Mexico

“Nothing like [Wild Terrains] existed when we started. There were women-only travel companies, but none of them were actively supporting women hotel owners, artists, chefs, designers, architects, and historians in the destinations they visit. We’ve seen a surge in women-owned businesses globally in the last decade. The only way to ensure they keep growing is to support their businesses.” — Lauren Bates

Photo courtesy of Wild Terrains.

Horseshoe Bend, Utah

“In 2014, I found myself in the wake of a divorce. My break-up presented me with ‘the greatest gift of all’ — a do-over. There I was, an athlete, an adrenaline junkie, and rearing to go experience the world but I was out a travel buddy…. I chose to use my second chance at life to create a company that empowers women to be adventurous. There was no way I was the only other woman out there in this predicament.” — Nicki Bruckmann

Photo courtesy of Explorer Chick.

Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland

“I wanted to do more than just offer trips for women. I wanted to focus exclusively on the woman traveling solo. I wanted her to feel like a priority on our tours, not an afterthought. I had been a solo traveler on a traditional couples tour and felt like a 5th wheel. It was depressing and lonely, but my other option at the time had been to plan my own trip and go by myself, something I did not feel safe doing alone.” — Debra Asberry

Photo courtesy of Women Traveling Together.

West Virginia

Courtesy of Explorer Chick.

Old Havana, Cuba

Courtesy of Damesly.

Dominican Republic

Courtesy of Explorer Chick.

“I often hear (and as was my case as well), that women just don’t have friends or family they can travel with in the way in which they want to travel,” says Bruckmann. “This is especially true for our adventure trips, since the itineraries are more challenging. So, instead of downgrading their vacation or compromising, women are booking group trips that meet their travel needs.” 

Plus, these female-led businesses are not simply offering one-of-a-kind travel experiences, they are connecting and empowering women across the globe.

“When you have the non-judgemental support of 10 cheering women as you stand on the edge of a waterfall 35 feet in the air, your fears shrink, your courage grows, and you make that leap,” Bruckmann says. “Women overcome their fears on these trips, which often carries over into their daily lives.”

Kelly Lewis, CEO of Damesly — a boutique tour operator for women, says “it is very rare, in my experience, that women will find us just because they want to go to a specific destination. I think women find us when they need to, because they want to travel and they want to make friends.”

“Wild Terrains exists for women from all walks of life, in all stages of life. We want to give women not only a safe space to explore the world, but also a space to nourish their creativity and build relationships with each other,” Bates adds.

These U.S. West Coast resorts are lauded for their outstanding views, stellar dining options, and luxurious vacation packages and amenities.

 

POST RANCH INN, BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA

 

A serene retreat along the California coastline, the Post Ranch Inn offers both beautiful ocean and mountain views. None of the rooms include televisions or alarm clocks, so a vacation here really is one for relaxation and retreat. Available to all guests are nature walks, stargazing, infinity pool spas, and spa packages.

 

Courtesy of Kodiak Greenwood

 

THE RITZ-CARLTON, HALF MOON BAY, CALIFORNIA

 

Escape the hustle of San Francisco and Silicon Valley and retreat to this resort, just 30 minutes from both. The Ritz-Carlton offers secluded cliff-top views of the Pacific and an opportunity to enjoy the California woods. With a luxury spa, tennis and other amenities, this resort proves Half Moon Bay is not to be overlooked.

 

Photo by Veronica Werhane

 

AMANGIRI, UTAH

 

The 5-star Amangiri is smack in the middle of the Colorado Plateau, offering unbeatable views of Canyon Point, Utah’s geological masterpieces. With an emphasis on wellness, this resort will rejuvenate guests with opportunities for hiking, climbing, and relaxing at the spa. Explore the canyons by hot air balloon or kayak Lake Powell; the expeditions are endless.

 

Courtesy of Aman

 

BOULDERS RESORT AND SPA, ARIZONA

 

Travel + Leisure voted Boulders Resort and Spa the Best Hotel in Arizona, and with good reason. For the most luxurious and private getaway this resort has to offer, choose the Villa Retreat. This package includes two expansive villas, complete with a private infinity pool, Japanese soaking tub, barbecue pit and kitchens, and large master bedroom overlooking massive rock formations.

 

Courtesy of Boulders Resort and Spa

 

This originally appeared in Unique Homes Fall ’18

Click here to view the digitial edition.

 
State capitals are oftentimes thriving cities with a lot of economic and cultural value. In fact, they can be some of the best places to live in America. But not all state capitals are created equal. WalletHub has put together a list of 2018’s Best State Capitals to live in. And though 17 of them are the largest cities in their states, the biggest population doesn’t always represent the best quality of life.
In order to determine which state capitals make the best homes, WalletHub compared all 50 across 51 key indicators of affordability, economic strength, quality of education and health, and overall living standards. Our data set ranges from cost of living to K–12 school-system quality to number of attractions.

Best State Capitals to Live In

  1. Austin, TX
  2. Madison, WI
  3. Boise, ID
  4. Lincoln, NE
  5. Bismarck, ND
  6. Raleigh, NC
  7. Denver, CO
  8. Salt Lake City, UT
  9. Juneau, AK
  10. Concord, NH
  11.  Columbus, OH
  12. Helena, MT
  13. Olympia, WA
  14. Oklahoma City, OK
  15. St. Paul, MN
  16. Cheyenne, WY
  17. Montpelier, VT
  18. Pierre, SD
  19. Des Moines, IA
  20. Phoenix, AZ

Pictured above: Columbus, OH waterfront; Oklahoma City, OK

Out of these places:

  • Juneau, Alaska, has the highest median household income (adjusted for cost of living), $67,310, which is 2.6 times higher than in Hartford, Connecticut, the city with the lowest at $26,264.
  • Bismarck, North Dakota, has the lowest unemployment rate, 1.7 percent, which is 4.6 times lower than in Hartford, Connecticut, the city with the highest at 7.8 percent.
  • Providence, Rhode Island, has the lowest share of state-, local- and federal-government employees, 8.4 percent, which is 4.6 times lower than in Juneau, Alaska, the city with the highest at 38.4 percent.
  • Madison, Wisconsin has the highest share of adults 25 years and older with at least a bachelor’s degree, 56.3 percent, which is 4.7 times higher than in Trenton, New Jersey, the city with the lowest at 11.9 percent.

For the full story, and the entire list of best small cities, visit WalletHub.com.

Phoneix, AZ

Denver, CO

A fantastic location demands visionary architecture. Few properties illustrate this concept better than the residence featured on our Unique Homes Global 2017 cover.

By Camilla McLaughlin

After searching for an ideal mountain setting in prime resort locations in western states, the owner settled on a mountaintop in Promontory, which offers some of the best views in Park City, Utah. An added incentive came from Promontory’s extensive amenities and services, including two 18-hole golf courses as well as the privacy afforded by the setting. To ensure that this level of privacy would not be disturbed, an additional 35 acres of ranchland near the site were added to the property. “You never need to put the shades down except to block the sun,” shares Alan Long, president of Rising Star Realtors in Park City, who is listing this estate.

Such a singular site also calls for equally significant architecture, and designer Walter Cunningham, who is noted for a cutting-edge aesthetic, was brought onboard. The end result is a dramatic geometric composition that unfolds organically along the mountaintop setting. The intricate design has 30 to 35 different elevations that interrelate, something Cunningham has deftly executed. But what transforms this residence from architectural masterpiece into a work of art are the materials. Serpentine Verde Stone from a quarry in Italy was used extensively throughout, appearing in three different finishes — rough on the walls, brushed on the floors and polished for the countertops. Long says the stone was prized by the Romans, who believed it had healing powers. The use of the same material throughout also creates a subtle continuity.

Expanses of glass under the roof create an interior panorama of sunlight and moonlight. “Every time I walk through the house, I notice something different and that doesn’t happen with other houses. It is more a piece of art than it is a structure,” says Long. Another important facet is proportion, which makes this home eminently livable. The home is listed for $19.5 million.

As a host to such renowned attractions as the annual Sundance Film Festival, Utah Olympic Park, and Daly Canyon, Park City, Utah is known to be a scenic location to visit or to call “home.” We at Unique Homes researched the top properties and discovered 10 luxury homes that exude Western charm that feels both classic and refreshing. Whether it’s a $26 million estate in the illustrious Deer Valley Ski Resort or a contemporary home framed by mountain vistas, Park City has much to offer.

$26,000,000
5000 Royal Street
Some 63 acres in the heart of the Deer Valley Ski Resort surround this residential masterpiece of 20,000-plus square feet.
Engel & Völkers

$25,000,000
“Cascade”
A cutting-edge contemporary of steel, concrete, glass and stone, this 4-bedroom home was 6 years in the making.
Rising Star Realtors

$17,900,000
174 White Pine Canyon Road
Understated elegance is a hallmark of this 9-bedroom ski-in/ski-out contemporary, which was designed for lavish entertaining.
Keller Williams Park City Real Estate

$17,500,000
2189 White Pine Canyon Road
White Pine Canyon Ranch, with over 100 acres, is one of the original iconic properties in the Park City area.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties

$14,900,000
1401 West Two Creeks Circle
This ranch delivers an authentic Western experience, and the residence and grounds come together to produce a legacy property that will see no aging of style.
Engel & Völkers

$14,000,000
217 White Pine Canyon Road
This new ultra-contemporary designed by architect Michael Upwall, is perfectly situated on 4.5 acres in the highly sought-after Colony at White Pine Canyon.
Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

$13,500,000
7 Roamer Court
In the gated Bald Eagle Club, this 14,000-square-foot home enjoys security, privacy, and ski-in/ski-out access to your own ski lounge.
Engel & Völkers

$12,900,000
2 Ruby Hollow
With 8 bedrooms, 12 baths and more than 11,000 square feet, this new mountain contemporary has 6 fireplaces, an enormous great room, and true ski-in/ski-out in 2 directions.
Keller Williams Park City Real Estate

$12,900,000
91 White Pine Canyon Road
This deluxe 9-bedroom estate home on almost 8.5 acres is located in The Colony at White Pine Canyon.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties

$10,900,000
7815 Falcon Court, Unit 39
Brilliantly renovated, this Alpine chalet-style home by architect Mark Walker is in Bald Eagle with direct ski access to both Silver Lake and Snow Park.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties

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