New president to take over Park City Board of Realtors
Of all the things Rick Shand thought he’d do in his life when he moved to Park City 25 years ago, becoming the president of the Park City Board of Realtors was not on the list.
But that’s how life goes.
Shand has a degree in mechanical engineering and became a Realtor only after tiring of driving to Salt Lake City every morning to open the furniture factory he was in charge of at 6 a.m. But just seven years after forging a new career in real estate, he finds himself at the helm of one of Park City’s largest business organizations.
"I just got involved, you know?" said Shand, an associate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties. "For most of my adult life, I had always been the person that didn’t get involved. And I decided that this was going to be different. Before I knew it, I was nominated to be a director at the Park City Board, and the next thing I knew I was asked to be the president."
Shand said he is excited to step into the role. One of his primary goals is to give Parkites a clear look at who Realtors are. He wants to remove the misconceptions some carry about the profession and let people know Realtors, by and large, are invested in making Park City a better place.
"We would like the public to know how involved the Realtor community is in our community," he said. "We have 1,000 Realtors — I’d say probably 700 of them, which is just a guess, live up here — and we’re all involved to some extent in the community. We all have kids, we’re neighbors and a lot of us volunteer. I want people to know that Realtors are pretty plugged in and a lot of us have been here for a long time."
Shand takes over as president during a time of transition for Park City. Like his predecessor, Nancy Tallman, he believes Vail Resorts’ presence in town — and the marketing power the company carries — means more people than ever will be interested in buying property here in the coming years.
He acknowledged that, for some, that notion carries anxiety. But he believes the good will outweigh the bad as the area grows. One benefit will be that local government agencies will have an even larger tax base to tap into for projects that improve Park City and Summit County.
"It just seems like whoever gets here, they want to shut the door behind them," he said. "I’ve been here for 25 years, and I think this is a better town now than it was 25 years ago."
Shand believes most of the development in the coming years may be centered near the Canyons Village area. That would mean that some of the effects of the growth — such as increased traffic — on those who live in Park City proper might be mitigated.
And it helps that the Park City area has the room to grow, unlike some of its ski-town counterparts in places such as Aspen and Telluride, he said.
"We’re boxed in to the west, but we’ve got the east, we’ve got the south and the north," he said. "The area can grow. We have some space, hopefully, for some employees and people who can’t afford the big house up on the hill."
Another issue related to the expected growth is the area’s dearth of affordable housing. Shand said it’s a hot topic among Realtors, who have a variety of opinions. Some think new affordable housing units should be developed, while others believe all current homes, condominiums and apartments that could possibly be used for affordable housing should be exhausted first.
Regardless, it’s an issue Shand will be watching closely as president of the Board of Realtors, though the Board itself is unlikely to take a stand either way.
"I think that’s more of a personal belief among the Realtors," he said. "As a group, we would normally not take a position on that. But I can tell you that as Realtors, we’ve got a pulse on properties that could be affordable housing properties. Affordable housing is definitely something we talk about."
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