Imagine a ski beach with world-class dining and a cozy tequila yurt when you head down from some of the country’s best slopes at the Canyons Village in Park City.
Brentwood based developer Brian Shirken of Columbus Pacific Properties, who hails from Durban, South Africa, is bringing those perks and more to the mountain ski town just a short one hour and twenty-minute flight from Los Angeles.
As the first luxury national brand to enter the Park City marketplace in the past nine years, Pendry Residences Park City will fully open in 2021 but has already released part of the collection for 2020.
Yes, Hollywood flocks to Park City around Sundance film festival time but the growth spurt really began about six years ago when Vail Resorts entered the local market and connected Park City and Canyons Mountain, creating the largest ski mountain in the United States. With the world-class mountain primed for more ski tourism and vacation homes, they needed the accommodations to match.
According to Shirken, who has been skiing here with his family for decades, “Its exactly what was missing. People love Park City but they needed something accessible and family-friendly. It will be cool with variety for everyone from high-end to casual.”
Shirken and his wife Kirsten, who has been building homes in the area for the past six years, were apparently right on the money. They sold more than 50 percent of the 152 Pendry units in the first 90 days. “Historically most of the accommodations in Park City are mid-market and then high- end in Deer Valley.”
Before you think this will become yet another high-priced development out of financial reach for most locals, this is not the plan. “Park City was lacking the 5-star experience but at an accessible price point,” Shirken told the Courier. “We wanted to create something more accessible but not sacrificing luxury and experience. We are right in the center of all the action and will have a new ski lift that will provide access into the heart of the mountain. We are creating the new ski village for the Canyons base.”
The Shirkens decided to build smaller units and develop a wider range of properties so that people had access at various price points. The range is from $595,000 for studio to $3.5 million for a penthouse and everything in between.
“We wanted it to be luxurious, architectural, high-service but accessible and hip, cool and energetic,” said Shirken. “We were introduced to the Pendry, Edition and One Hotel and it became clear that is what we wanted out position to be.”
“It was time to build this type of project,” confirmed Shirken. “For us, Montage was the company that we wanted to work with and their Pendry brand. We felt like they could be our partner and because it’s our first hotel we wanted a partner that could engage with us in a way that would have them looking at the project from our perspective as well as theirs.”
This meant partnering with Alan and Michael Fuerstman, the dynamic father-son duo behind the Montage and Pendry brands in Southern California and Deer Valley. Alan is the founder, chairman and CEO of Montage International, and Mike is the co-founder and creative director for the Pendry. “Mike has humility and a sense of style and a strong sense of the vision for the brand,” Shirken told the Courier. “Montage has some of the best professionals working in the industry whether it be in construction or design, marketing or sales and they brought all of those resources to the table to enable us to create what we think is a really spectacular project.”
Those resources include renowned architects SB out of San Francisco with IBI Group and top notch designers KES out of L.A. This team enabled them to create the lobby bar and a signature Japanese steak house with Montage that will lead to the only rooftop pool and bar in the area.
“We wanted to hire the best of the best with the same passion and energy for the project that we have,” said Shirken. “And to have a very well respected, recognized brand like Pendry-Montage running the property.” This includes when people aren’t using their unit, Pendry will be renting it for them to offset cost of ownership.
The ski in-and-out resort is fully furnished turn-key down to kitchen utensils marrying modern elegance and rustic mountain charm, with Italian Bertazzoni appliances in the open kitchens and a palette of warm woods, stones and metals, creating inviting interior spaces. Guests and residential owners will also have access to Spa Pendry with eight treatment rooms; a fitness center; Kids Club, video arcade and more. Plus, this development is closer to the airport than Deer Valley.
With a handful of other projects being built in the area, one can’t help but wonder how laid back and understated Park City will escape the peril of becoming another Aspen or Vail. “We are building a work-force housing project so that people can afford to live here,” said Shirken.
“One of the biggest problems of ski towns is people that work in the resorts can’t afford to live there, but this is being done in a master plan kind of way with all levels of affordability and environmentally sensitive as well,” he added.
There is a city plan in place for Park City to be carbon neutral by 2030. “Climate change is an existential risk to the ski industry,” said Shirken, “So all of our energy will be renewable.”
“This is an amazing quality of life. Many ski towns aren’t real. We have great restaurants, bars and clubs. We have it all but it’s understated. We are not Aspen,” Shirken concluded.
While L.A. is flocking, so is the next generation of Mexico City. For Shirken it’s not just the winter sports but also the amazing summers with hiking, biking, waterskiing, fly fishing and golf. “It takes you away from all the problems of the world when you are here.”
Back in Los Angeles, Pendry Hotels & Resorts has already announced the first release of Pendry Residences West Hollywood by Montage Hotels & Resorts for purchase. Together with AECOM Capital, the investment adviser of global infrastructure firm AECOM, and Combined Properties Chairman Ronald S. Haft, the Sunset Boulevard corner in the old House of Blues space is still in full construction mode but scheduled for a fall 2020 opening. At this location, the 40 residences will range from $3 million to $30 million and will include a 149-room hotel with multiple Wolfgang Puck concepts and a membership only club called The Britely.
Architectural residences by EYRC feature floorplans ranging from 2,900 to 6,000 square feet with large private verandas. Select homes include landscaped terraces of up to 3,400 square feet with private pools, spas, and outdoor kitchens with incredible views. Designed by Martin Brudnizki, the interiors include custom kitchens, floor-to-ceiling windows, white oak floors, Poliform walk-in closets and dressing rooms, and private elevator access from a secured parking garage.
Swiss-born Estelle Lacroix who worked for Thomas Keller in New York, and opened the NeueHouse in Hollywood, was brought in as the Managing Director of Lifestyle for the private club that will only be accepting 2,000 members. “We are trying to build a community,” said LaCroix. “A lot of social clubs and co-working spaces have opened in the area but we want to focus on being a place for fun and an intimate community with lots of amenities and programming.”
Part of that programming will include a private garden entrance, an L.A. focused retail store, a rec room with a bowling alley and screening room, plus a private elevator that will take you to the spa, 24-hour gym, pool or private rooftop with a Hollywood Hills view. There will be a music venue programed several times a week with a 200-person capacity and hopefully, the popular Live at Montage concert series from Deer Valley will continue at this location. Lacroix added, “What music venue in LA gives you access to great food and drinks?”
Five Questions with Mike Fuerstman, Co-Founder and Creative Director for Pendry
BHC: How are you splitting your time between locations in West Hollywood and Park City?
Mike Fuerstman: My family and I lived blocks from where Pendry West Hollywood is located for almost 10 years, and while we reside most of the year in Orange County, will
still own our home in West Hollywood. It is one of the most exciting, dynamic, and walkable neighborhoods in the world. We plan to spend much of the year at Pendry West Hollywood as the epicenter for our social life and business lives. I’m sure we will host lots of dinners, entertain in the social club and on the rooftop, and generally be around to mingle with guests and friends, making sure the hotel feels amazing.
Pendry Park City will be our winter escape. The summer in the mountains is lovely as well, but we wait all year for the snow and the chance to ski and make memories together. Between the festive season, Sundance, ski week, and a couple of long weekends, we will be there plenty in the winter. We will usually go for at least a few weekends in the summer as well.
What was your vision for Pendry Park City and why did you want to expand in that market?
We envision Pendry Park City to be a modern ski resort, one of the first in North America with a contemporary architectural point of view. The design is elegant and chic, yet comfortable. We will have unique venues that aren’t typically featured in a ski resort, such as a rooftop pool and event space, disco parlor, several boutiques for shopping, a variety of interesting restaurants, and some other surprises.
We have always loved Park City (and personally it’s where I learned how to ski) and we have had great success with our Montage Deer Valley resort. But we’ve always been on the lookout for the opportunity to create another type of mountain resort, one that is much more contemporary in design and programming, to push forward the idea of what a North American ski hotel can be. When we met Brian and Kirsten Shirken, our visionary partners, and began to hear their ambition for a modern resort in the middle of The Canyons, we knew this was the perfect fit for Pendry.
Are there plans to expand the Live at the Montage music concept to the West Hollywood or Pendry Park City or how will music be infused in the properties?
Live at Montage is awesome! I’m really proud of the program our team at Montage Deer Valley has put together. We would love to do something similar for Pendry Park City, we’re just starting to explore what a collaboration would look like and are talking to a few artists. Fortunately, we have the venues to create something spectacular. Live music is in our DNA as a company, so our guests can almost certainly expect some sort of cultural music series.
There are similarities but how will the audience and programming of events differ from Sunset strip to Park City and the forthcoming La Quinta location?
Every Pendry property offers bold and sophisticated design and caters to guests that want a stylish, luxury experience, but yes, West Hollywood, Park City, and La Quinta are all very different. And each Pendry Hotel has an entirely unique collection of offerings that are reflective of its destination. Pendry West Hollywood, for example, has a Social Club with bar and bowling alley, a screening room, a music venue, and some glamorous and intimate bars. And all of the culinary offerings are in partnership with LA’s most acclaimed chef, Wolfgang Puck. The vibe is very glamorous and very LA, and the venues and programming reflect as much.
Pendry Park City is the center of a ski village, with a ski-in, ski-out location and jumping off point for outdoor experiences, an amazing Après ski bar and lounge, multiple restaurants, a disco parlor, a collection of shopping boutiques. The style is contemporary and fresh, with offerings that are active and bustling.
With Pendry La Quinta, we are bringing to life a modern desert resort experience. The architecture is mid-century, the interiors
are clean and sophisticated, and both take advantage of the sweeping views of the Santa Rosa mountains. The grounds are serene while the pool scene is buzzing. We have an incredible golf course that wraps the base of the mountain, as well as our neighboring Montage property with a signature Spa Montage. The whole setting allows for this amazing escapism, just a few hours’ drive from LA.
All three properties, West Hollywood (city), Park City (mountains), and La Quinta (desert) feature amazing spas and fitness centers, resort pools, and some of the best assortments of bars and restaurants in their destinations. And all offer truly spectacular residences available for purchase, which allow our guests to live more permanently with us and enjoy this lifestyle year-round.
With so much competition in L.A. – especially on Sunset – how do you plan to keep things interesting for the Pendry project? What do you see as key differentiators for the brand in the West Hollywood location?
We’re really fortunate at Pendry West Hollywood. We have a world class location on Sunset, with views of all of Los Angeles. We have world class architecture and interiors, with AIA architect of the year Ehrlich Architects and esteemed designer Martin Brudnizki, respectively. We have one of the all-time great chefs, Wolfgang Puck, a Los Angeleno, overseeing all of the culinary destinations on property. On top of that, we are introducing a Social Club, screening room, music venue, rooftop pool, and a tremendous spa. And as a Southern California luxury hospitality company, this is a home market for us, and our team is so excited to bring our gracious service culture to West Hollywood and make our guests and residents feel amazing. This should be a winning combination of team, product, place, and culture – we can’t wait to bring it to life.