Park City has evolved from a mining town to an enclave of startups and entrepreneurs.
Since the very beginning, Park City has always been a destination town. Yet, the reasons for the destination have shifted; silver mining made way for skiing and resorts and now new businesses are sliding right in. Here we take a look at how Park City is currently enjoying a boom of entrepreneurs.
A few big names come to mind when you think successful business and Park City. The first, Skullcandy, makes action sports audio equipment. Originally starting in Park City a few years ago, they made the decision to close all Los Angeles offices in 2013 and continue in PC exclusively. They felt that their consumers needed to be in the same location as their sales and marketing operations. Currently 175 full-time employees report to their headquarters.
A second success story is Backcountry.com. The e-commerce recreation equipment retailer, which began in 1996 in a garage in Park City, has evolved to be considered one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Currently they manage an impressive array of outdoor gear sites and have expanded to Western Europe.
Access to Capital
Business insiders nod toward the Park City Angels when talking success. This angel investment network is the largest in Utah, with 45 dues-paying members. The group invested a whopping $6.55 million in Utah startups in 2015 alone. In respect to access to capital, this puts area businesses ahead of those in the more urban tech centers of Salt Lake City and Provo.
Access to Talent
Capital isn’t the only asset that Park City is close to. Easy access to Salt Lake and Utah County programmers are a huge bonus for a new company. Since Salt Lake and Provo have an active tech talent pool, it’s easy to lure neighboring engineers and programmers to new and exciting projects. Many commuter employees don’t mind the 50-minute highway drive and public transportation options are always improving.
Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Lifestyle
For years Park City has welcomed startup and technology growth. In 2012 The Boyer Company built The Park City Tech Center, a state-of the art business and technology research park located just 30 minutes from the Salt Lake City International Airport. 10 minutes from the closest lift chair and steps away from nordic skiing and mountain biking trails, it was just announced that a new tenant is moving in to the center, Skullcandy.
The Effect on Real Estate
What does the changing dynamic of our economy mean for Park City real estate? It means that Park City is diversifying from a seasonal resort community to a place where people can find high paying, professional jobs. Currently, many of Park City’s skilled workers commute to Salt Lake for jobs and many of Skull Candy, Armada, and Rossignol employees commute from Salt Lake City to Park City for work. The increased availability of full time employment in Park City allows Park City to transition from a resort community, to a vibrant community where people live, work and play. The skilled employees in Park City’s tech community will create an increased demand for homes priced under $1 million. We will always have the resort community, but the diversification of employment, especially high paying, skilled jobs, is great for our community and real estate market.