Fodor’s Travel: Utah the Top Destination in the World to Visit in 2016

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Feb 09, 2016

Photographer on the Canyon Rim Trail of Bryce Canyon National ParkPhotographer on the Canyon Rim of Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah, December 8, 2015 — Fodor’s Travel, a leading name in travel recommendations for almost 80 years, for the first time ever has selected a top destination for the year: Utah. Fodor’s annual Go List highlights 25 can’t-miss spots around the world that should be on every traveler's radar for the next year, and places Utah on top.

“It has been a big year for the state with record numbers visiting our Mighty Five national parks and the opening of the largest ski resort in the nation, Park City, and 2016 is looking to be even bigger.” said Vicki Varela, Managing Director of Utah Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding.

While there are hundreds of reasons to visit Utah year-round, in honor of this exciting distinction, here are ...

25 must-do 2016 activities in Utah

1. Find Out Why The Bird Is The Word In Box Elder CountyBear River Migratory Bird Refuge’s 74,000 acres of marsh and upland habitats offers some of the most phenomenal waterbird watching in the United States, with mind-boggling numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds from March to November.

Wetlands of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

2. Go See Goblins — Located along the San Rafael Reef, Goblin Valley State Park is a place that captures and stretches the imagination, with its landscape covered with sandstone “goblins” and fascinating formations often compared to Mars.

Hikers in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park

3. Explore the Cosmos of Utah’s Dark Skies — Utah is home to five officially designated Dark Sky Parks, meaning that it’s one of the best places for stargazing — and beyond. At Cedar Breaks National Monument, observe swirling nebulae, twinkling star clusters, and distant galaxies through powerful telescopes.

Stars of the Milky Way over Utah's Double ArchDouble Arch • Arches National Park

4. Reel in the Big One at Trophy Lake Trout ParadiseFlaming Gorge Reservoir is legendary for its trophy lake trout with huge fish caught regularly every year, including the Utah record — a trout weighing in at a whopping 51 lb, 8 oz!

5. Get Your Zoom On at Utah Motorsports CampusUtah Motorsports Campus (UMC) recently announced plans for a driving school and racing series featuring the new Formula 4 racecar, promising high speed thrills year-round.

6. Discover the Real Big Chill at Midway’s Ice Castle — Built by hand from more than 20,000,000 pounds of ice, the gotta-see-it-to-believe-it Utah Ice Castle in Midway is started by "growing" more than 5,000 icicles each day that are then harvested and sculpted together to create large towers, tunnels, archways, caves, caverns and safe pathways for pedestrian exploration. Explore off-the-slopes winter experiences.

7. Welcome the Bard to Utah — The Emmy- and Tony-award winning Utah Shakespeare Festival (June 27 through October 22, 2016) attracts more than 100,000 theater lovers to Cedar City’s Southern Utah University campus each year, for three months of world-class works by Shakespeare.

Merchant of Venice at Southern Utah University's Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival

8. Say “Prost!” in Snowbird — Snowbird hosts one of the most authentic — not to mention longest — Oktoberfest events in the nation, taking place every Saturday and Sunday from mid-August through mid–October (yes, three months!), including over Labor Day Weekend.

9. Walk With Dinosaurs — Jurassic Park for real? Well, this is safer. Northeastern Utah’s dinosaur legacy comes to life at Dinosaur National Monument, where geological and climatic forces have tilted, warped, and eroded the earth’s crust to reveal a treasure trove of fossils.

Sightseers gaze over the vast Canyonlands National Park

10. Feast Your Eyes on an Island in the Sky — Resting on sheer sandstone cliffs over 1,000 feet above the surrounding terrain, the Island in the Sky mesa in Canyonlands National Park offers spectacular views along a paved scenic drive.

11. Take a Jeep Tour of Monument Valley — It’s not a covered wagon, but it’ll do. A Jeep Tour of the iconic Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park will take you amid the towering rock formations that have captivated visitors (and Hollywood filmmakers) for decades.

12. Soak in the Sights on Scenic Byway Highway 12 — Scenic Byway Highway 12, Utah's nationally designated All-American Road, offers motorists twisting canyons, red rock towers, pine forests, and pioneer towns, not to mention breathtaking panoramas, national parks and monuments, recreation areas, and state parks.

13. Hike Bryce Canyon’s Rim Trail — This popular trail above Bryce Canyon National Park connects all the scenic overlooks from Fairyland Point to Bryce Point, offering hikers the opportunity to see Bryce, encompassing the main amphitheater, from “on top.” In the winter, the Rim Trail is a great snowshoeing and cross-country skiing destination.

14. Navigate Through The Narrows of Zion National Park — This day trek through The Narrows takes you to where the North Fork Virgin River runs beneath thousand-foot walls of Navajo sandstone, where centuries of erosion have been sculpted into some of the most beautiful rock forms in all of the American Southwest, and one of Utah's most iconic slot canyons.

Hikers in The Narrows of  Zion National Park

15. Glide Into the Only Ski-in Gastro-Distillery in the World — Not a bad way to finish off a ride down the mountain. Located in Old Town Park City, High West Distillery & Saloon is an intimate gathering place serving small plates of nouveau Western fare, a full selection of fine wine & spirits, and its own small-batch, award-winning whiskeys & vodkas.

16. Have a SUP Yoga Session in the Homestead Crater — The Homestead Crater (located at the Homestead Resort in Midway, near Heber) is a geothermal spring, hidden within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock, 100,000 years in the making. Swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, even paddleboard yoga classes are all available.

17. Take A Ride On the 2002 Olympic Bobsled Track at the Utah Olympic Park — The Olympics may be over, but you can still live out your gold medal dreams at Utah Olympic Park, where the bobsled track is offering the ride of your life, as a pro pilot guides you on a thrilling journey.

18. Ski the Largest Resort in the U.S. at Park City — With the mammoth Park City Mountain Resort and famed Deer Valley just minutes apart, you'll find a playground of more than 9,300 skiable acres. Revel in The Greatest Snow on Earth and see why the 2002 Winter Olympic Games were held on these legendary slopes.

Skier kicking up snow at Park City Resort

19. Float the Provo River — Regarded as many Utah’s “home water,” the famous Provo River offers multiday river-rafting trips on both whitewater and flatwater runs, sandy beaches beneath colorful, sculpted canyon walls miles from anywhere.

20. Dig Up Fossils in Delta — This private quarry located an hour west of Delta, contains one of the world's richest deposits of trilobites some of which are more than 550 million years old. The best part? You get to keep what you find.

21. Play Cowboy For a Day at Blue Sky Ranch — Experience rustic luxury at Blue Sky Ranch, a 3,500-acre hospitality and recreational paradise, just minutes from the fabled ski town of Park City. Horse riding lessons for all skill levels offered.

22. Check out the Longest Art Gallery in the World — Utah’s Nine Mile Canyon has been referred to as the “world’s longest art gallery” thanks to the thousands of Native American petroglyphs that adorn the rock walls here — the largest concentration of rock art in the United States. See an itinerary to Nine Mile Canyon here.

23. Hang Out with the A-List at Sundance ResortSundance Resort, founded by Hollywood legend Robert Redford, features casually elegant accommodations, year round mountain recreation, award winning dining, spa, and an art studio. Skiing, snowboarding, fine dining — and of course, celebrity watching — are all offered.

24. Discover the Spiral Jetty — The massive earthwork sculpture Spiral Jetty by famed artist Robert Smithson is in a remote but accessible area of the Great Salt Lake. The earth art is popular with photographers and travelers who enjoy exploring off the beaten path and is an internationally known earth art piece.

25. Experience Cute Overload at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary — Can you handle all of the cute? Located just five miles north of Kanab, off of Highway 89, the sprawling Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, home to about 1,700 animals, is open for year-round tours.

Pups at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Large increase in home sales expected in 2016, report says

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Feb 05, 2016

Ravell Call/Deseret News

Large Increase in home sales expected in 2016, report says

By Jasen Lee   |  Posted Feb 5th, 2016 @ 9:46am

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake area housing market experienced near historic growth in 2015, and this year is predicted to be another "very good year," a new report says.According to the Salt Lake Housing Forecast, 2016 is primed to be another year of double-digit increases in the volume of existing homes sales.The Salt Lake Board of Realtors Friday reported that 13,323 existing single-family homes were sold last year in Salt Lake County — the highest level in nearly a decade and the third highest in the county's history. Only 2005, when 15,317 units sold, and 2006, when 15,283 units sold, registered higher sales levels.The number of single-family homes sold in 2015 represented a value of $4.1 billion — a 22 percent year-over-year increase, the report states.

"The gains achieved in 2015 were driven primarily by exceptional market fundamentals, strong job growth, improving income and wages, solid demographic growth and, of course, very favorable mortgage rates," said the report's author, James Wood, Ivory-Boyer senior fellow at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah.

He said local market fundamentals and conditions will likely continue to be favorable for the area real estate market in 2016.

The strong demand for housing was not limited to single-family homes, Wood noted. The sale of multifamily units such as condominiums, town houses and twin homes set an all-time record of 3,800 units and accounted for 22 percent of all residential sales last year — the highest share ever. The value of multifamily units sold last year was $774 million — an increase of 36 percent above the prior year, the report states.

In addition to the increase in the number of properties sold, the price paid for them also rose in 2015. The median sales price of a single-family home climbed to $272,000 — up almost 7 percent compared to 2014. Similarly, the median price of a multifamily unit climbed 8 percent year-over-year to $189,000.

Wood said the recent rise in housing prices also benefited homeowners with underwater mortgages. In 2010, 21 percent of all home mortgages in Utah — about 80,000 homeowners — had negative equity, owing more than their home was worth, he said. However, the number of homeowners with negative equity has now dropped to around 4 percent of all home mortgages, or 15,000 households, which has put upward pressure on prices.

Affordability Factor

Meanwhile, the market has maintained a relatively high affordability factor, according to the report. In 2014, the median household income in Salt Lake County was about $63,000. Assuming a household with a median income devoted 30 percent of their income to a mortgage payment — including taxes and insurance — that household could carry a mortgage of about $290,000.

Last year, approximately 56 percent of the single-family homes sold in the county were priced under that amount.

Economists have predicted interest rates moving between 4 percent and 5 percent this year, said Cheryl Acker, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. For 2016, the Salt Lake Board of Realtors predicts that total countywide residential home sales will surpass 19,000 units sold — an 11 percent increase over last year.


With demand for housing continuing to outpace available inventory, the price of a single-family home will rise 5 percent to 7 percent this year to a median price of $290,000, the report states. The price of a multifamily home is expected to increase to a median value of 8 percent to 10 percent to around $205,000.

"There is still room for moderate house-price increases provided mortgage rate increases are gradual," Acker said. "In Salt Lake County, housing prices over the past 15 years have increased at about 1.8 percent annually in inflation-adjusted dollars."

Third Quarter Stats

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 31, 2015


We are pleased to share the third quarter stats for the Park City area. Check out our blog this week for more information and upcoming events in the Park City Area.


Quarter Three Stats Fall 2015 housing stats suggest market complexity and shifts in both buyer and seller mentality. Property types under $1 million continue to sell at unprecedented rates. The interest in condominiums across the board is one of the most outstanding features of the latest reports. Condominiums in Prospector and Kimball Junction for example are garnering more interest than any other property type. Prospector sales went up by an astounding 146%; Kimball Junction condos went up by 77%. New building at Kimball Junction now accounts for a 55% price increase in Redstone condominiums, which have proven very popular among Millennial and investment buyers. Old Town condos have witnessed similar, if not quite so robust, buyer interest. Jordanelle condos are also being sold as they are built. Snyderville Single Family homes saw 200% more sales than those in Park City limits, and prices have appreciated at bullish rates. However, it is likely that--due to dwindling inventory and increasingly selective buyers--we will see a stabilizing of both number of sales and prices in Silver Springs, Trailside, and other Basin neighborhoods. Heading into the ski season, we will be monitoring Vail's arrival and its potential effect on new buyers and development interest.

You can check out all the listing on the MLS via our website to see the homes that are currently available for sale in the Park City area.

Remember our Halloween Special! This is not a Trick... Just a Treat... $100,000.00 off if under contract by November 3rd 2015 on these two homes!!!

Halloween sale6

Park City Altitude Training

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Oct 27, 2015


Athletes from all over the country come to Park City to train and to rehab after surgery. Check out The Players Tribune article and video.

Why did Kevin Love travel to Park City, Utah to rehab his shoulder at 7,000 feet above sea level? Why does his training program include hiking and paddle boarding? In Singular Focus, Kevin Love takes The Players’ Tribune inside his training and rehab ahead of the 2015-2016 NBA season.

Richest Small Towns in America

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Aug 25, 2015

Park City, Utah otherwise known as "Summit Park, Utah" in this BloombergBusiness article tops the charts for the richest small town in America.

Park City Mountain Resort - Video Launch

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jul 30, 2015


Park City Resort just released the following news and video, see you on the slopes.

Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort have combined to create the largest single ski and snowboard resort in the United States. A new 8 passenger gondola connection, along with the new King Con Express six-pack and Motherlode Express Quad make up just some of the improvements totaling over $50 million for the 2015-16 season. With over 7,300 acres, 300+ trails, 38 lifts, seven terrain parks, six natural half pipes, one super pipe and one mini pipe, plus many diverse ski-in/ski-out and village adjacent lodging properties, Park City is an easily accessible, world-class mountain destination located in an authentic and historic western town.

Growth in Park City

By Ramon Gomez, Jr.
Jun 22, 2015

Check out this article from The Park Record about our booming construction market "Growth Expected to Grow Unabated in Greater Park City".

Growth expected to continue unabated in Greater Park City

How the changes are handled will define the community, crowd told

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD
Posted:   06/19/2015 04:39:50 PM MDT0 Comments
Park City Heights, situated just off Quinn s Junction, is one of the larger developments underway as Park City leaders start a  broad discussion of growth.
Park City Heights, situated just off Quinn s Junction, is one of the larger developments underway as Park City leaders start a broad discussion of growth. City Hall at one point was a partner in the Park City Heights project. The development will have an outsized number of restricted affordable units as a result of City Hall s involvement. Jay Hamburger/Park Record
Greater Park City, stretching from the Snyderville Basin, through the city limits and to Wasatch County, will continue to grow, a Park City crowd was told Tuesday night as City Hall leaders held an important event in the early stages of what is expected to be a wide-ranging discussion about the topic.

The gathering, held in the Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library and Education Center, drew a mixed crowd of 167 people. Mayor Jack Thomas and Park City Councilman Tim Henney represented City Hall as presenters while Robert Grow, the president and CEO of Envision Utah, provided a series of statistics and forecasts about growth.

Park City launched the discussions amid concerns about a post-recession construction boom, traffic complaints and housing issues. The event on Tuesday was held just before another set of talks, advertised as community conversations, is scheduled to begin.

City Hall hired Envision Utah to assist with the growth talks. It is a not-for-profit organization crafting plans for growth in the state. It has been involved in numerous other discussions at the local level elsewhere in the state.

Grow told the crowd on Tuesday the Wasatch Front is filling up as it grows. Easy highway access, though, makes it easier for someone to move to Wasatch Back locations like the Park City area, he said. Growth could involve vacation-home owners moving to Park City on a year-round basis as well as new development.

Grow said state officials project the population of Park City in 2020 will be 9,358, up from 7,547 in 2010. The 2060 projection for the population of Park City is 17,722, he said.

"Is Park City going to grow? It's almost shocking to think that you could do anything but grow with all that's going on around you. But how you grow is really what this is about. How you grow, the choices you're going to make, are going to be really important," he said.

The growth is also expected to continue in Summit County and Wasatch County. The Summit County population sat at 36,324 in 2010. The number is projected to reach 45,491 in 2020 and 107,671 by 2060, Grow said. The growth in Wasatch County will put the population there at 96,696 by 2060, according to the numbers. He noted there are already development rights attached to numerous pieces of land.

"Much of the growth will be in these surrounding areas, but they're not going to leave you alone. They are going to want to take advantage of all the things you love about Park City," he said.

Henney was especially stark in his comments to the crowd. His tone regarding growth has appeared more urgent in recent months. He said there is confusion and anxiety about growth in Park City, explaining that "there will be potential impacts and possible benefits" to growth.

"How we deal with today's development and growth has the potential to define the culture, fabric and character of Park City well into the future," Henney also said.

Henney, like Grow, presented numbers as he spoke of the anticipated growth in the region. He said there are approximately 3,400 units of development that are approved but not yet built inside Park City. He cited numbers from Summit County and Wasatch County that showed there are 14,000 unbuilt but entitled units of development in the Snyderville Basin and approximately 20,000 such entitlements in Wasatch County.

"Today, with our built environment, we are very close to meeting or exceeding our ability to carry additional development and growth. And we feel the effects in our traffic congestion, our event fatigue, our construction impacts, air quality and general noise level around town. And that's just to name a few of the impacts," Henney said.

The mayor, meanwhile, talked about growth in Park City and in the surrounding area. He said vacation homes and condominiums are rising alongside more shops and restaurants. Growth ideals elsewhere, such as in Summit County, Wasatch County and the Wasatch Front, may be different than those in Park City, he said.

"We need to understand more about growth with regard to Park City because it threatens our core values. We need to be clear what the appetite for growth is around us," Thomas said.

He also noted that the population of permanent Park City residents is not growing at the same clip as elsewhere in the state.

"We're losing residents in Old Town. We've lost people who work here and now commute. We're losing seniors who are downsizing and moving out. And most of the children of our community, as they go away to school, never return to live here," Thomas said.




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