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Every January, Park City, Utah draws in tens of thousands of movie fans to attend the annual Sundance Film Festival. This influx of nonresidents creates a huge opportunity for real estate agents to up their game and attract potential buyers.

Park City is the lesser-known Hollywood ski town when compared to Aspen, Colorado; however, many celebrities choose Park City because they can keep a low profile there. Celebrities from Michael Jordan to Katherin Heigl own homes in this ski town.

While many locals see the Sundance Film Festival as two weeks of crowded restaurants and paparazzi, real estate agents see the festival as a boost in business. They find ways to turn the thousands of nonresidents who visit into potential buyers––especially those who are looking for an escape from Hollywood.

“I love Sundance. I have sold so many homes through Sundance. At least one person will fall in love with Park City. They may not buy that week but they come back,” says Paul Benson, an agent at Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, who sold three homes for a total of $27 million last year to people exposed to Park City through Sundance. Mr. Benson says the potential buyers aren’t just in the entertainment industry, they are also the investors and the corporate sponsors. He hosts dinners and events to get to know them.

According to a study by the University of Utah Bureau of Economic and Business Research, of the more than 30,000 nonresidents who attended Sundance last year, some 40% said they would return to Utah during the following year.

As far as the real estate market in the Park City area goes, nearly 70% of homes are second homes. The average price for a single-family home in 2013 was $929,000 up about 6% from the previous year, according to the city’s department of economic development. Last year, 34 homes sold for over $4 million and the number of building permits for new homes was up 50%.

In the end, wining and dining festival attendees seems to pay off for real estate agents.

Source: WSJ

Photo: World Ski

Before Stephenie Meyer spawned a tween revolution with Twilight and before Charlaine Harris’s The Sookie Stackhouse Novels were even a blip on HBO’s radar, author Anne Rice was the reigning queen of vampire fiction. From Interview With a Vampire to Queen of the Damned, Rice has had a successful nearly 40-year literary career––much of which was spent in her hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. For our Househappy Property of the Week, we’ve selected Rice’s former home, a 130 year old Victorian mansion located––fittingly––in the heart of one of the most haunted cities in America.

With 9,545 square feet of interior living space, this incredible 6 bedroom, 6 bathroom estate features soaring ceilings, beautiful mahogany and cypress woodwork, and stained glass windows dating back to the 1800s. Though the gourmet kitchen has been updated to include all the modern amenities, the home has retained most of its historical charm; And the elaborate moldings, mantles, medallions, and crystal chandeliers throughout the grand entryway, double gallery, parlor, dining room, and study, make it the perfect setting to inspire a spooky work of fiction.

Anne Rice

Author Anne Rice

In fact, it wouldn’t be the first time one of the author’s homes found its way into her novels. The Rosegate House, another former Rice residence in New Orleans, is reportedly haunted by its original owner and eventually became the setting for The Witching Hour. The 3711 Saint Charles Avenue house, on the other hand, is pleasantly less haunted (thus far) and could be yours for $2,650,000.

For more information, contact listing agent, Brook Arthurs with Latter & Blum Inc./Realtors.

This property post can be found in its original form by clicking here, or view complete gallery below.