Tony Hsieh did not come to Park City for anonymity. During his stint here earlier this year, the billionaire and former Zappos CEO and his entourage were easy to spot, cruising around town in tour buses, throwing loud and frequent parties in homes, restaurants and bars, and above all, sending the already sizzling real estate market into the stratosphere.
Even by Park City standards, where the median single-family home price hit $2.03 million this year, Hsieh’s home-buying left many speechless. Through his limited liability company Pickled Investments, Hsieh bought between 10 and 20 homes and commercial properties in 2020, spending well over $50 million.
Following his tragic death at 46 in a Connecticut house fire last month, his real estate portfolio may be gradually liquidated as his estate is sorted out, said local realtors. Hsieh apparently did not have a will, and it is unclear how many of his purchases will eventually return to the market.
Any selloff from his buying spree is unlikely to cause hardships among other Park City sellers, realtors said, because inventory is at historic lows. Some buyers have already begun inquiring about the properties he bought. What might take longer to sell are his commercial acquisitions, including 657 Park Avenue next to High West Distillery. Covid restrictions could make some buyers wary of getting into a costly retail space.
Hsieh’s presence in Park City provided an infusion of cash and business for local merchants and services at a time when that was desperately needed due to the Covid shutdown. While his parties and pyrotechnics sparked rumors and raised eyebrows, his spending was welcome, and he is missed.