A Park City Home Inspired by a James Bond Movie Asks $33.5 Million
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A Park City Home Inspired by a James Bond Movie Asks $33.5 Million

By LIBERTINA BRANDT
Tue, Sep 6, 2022 9:25amGrey Clock 2 min
At Utah’s Deer Valley Resort, the property has a sleek, modern design based on a glass house in the 2015 spy film ‘Spectre’

A James Bond-inspired home under construction at Utah’s Deer Valley Resort is asking $33.5 million.

The mountaintop home in Park City will measure about 15,000 square feet, said the developer, Matt Alcone of Alcone Ventures. With floor-to-ceiling glass walls and a flat roof, the house will have a sleek, modern design inspired by a glass house seen in the 2015 James Bond film “Spectre,” Mr. Alcone said.

The house is the most expensive home ever listed for sale at Deer Valley, according to listing agent Steve Jury of Keller Williams Park City. It is also among most expensive homes on the market in Utah, Mr. Jury said.

At about 9,000 feet above sea level, the roughly 2-acre property overlooks Park City and the Wasatch Mountains. The home has access to Deer Valley ski trails as well as backcountry skiing, Mr. Alcone said, and sits in the middle of hiking and biking trails. The nearby Provo River is ideal for fly fishing, according to Mr. Jury.

Mr. Alcone said he bought the land in two separate transactions in 2020, but declined to say how much he paid. He broke ground on the project last November and expects it to be finished by late 2023 or early 2024, he said.

The house will have four bedrooms, all with private bathrooms and patios, as well as a media room and roughly 16 fireplaces, Mr. Alcone said. Intended as a multigenerational family retreat, the house will have an 11-person bunk room with two private bathrooms, two walk-in closets and a patio.

Amenities will include a rooftop deck and a 44-foot-long heated outdoor lap pool. An office complex in the house will have a videoconference room, an executive office and a bathroom. Plans also call for a fitness centre with a sauna, a steam room and a massage room that opens to the pool deck. The property will have a motor court and multiple garages, including one for ATVs and one for snowmobiles. But the home is still in the early stages of construction, he said, so the design can be modified at the buyer’s request.

The house will be constructed from hand-cut Montana Moss stone, he said, paired with reclaimed timber along the ceilings and walls to give it a warm feel.

Mr. Alcone, who lives primarily in California, said real-estate development is a passion of his. He has built and sold homes in Hawaii and California, he said, and this is his first project in Utah.



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Why Prices of the World’s Most Expensive Handbags Keep Rising

Designers are charging more for their most recognisable bags to maintain the appearance of exclusivity as the industry balloons

By CAROL RYAN
Tue, Mar 5, 2024 3 min

The price of a basic Hermès Birkin handbag has jumped $1,000. This first-world problem for fashionistas is a sign that luxury brands are playing harder to get with their most sought-after products.

Hermès recently raised the cost of a basic Birkin 25-centimeter handbag in its U.S. stores by 10% to $11,400 before sales tax, according to data from luxury handbag forum PurseBop. Rarer Birkins made with exotic skins such as crocodile have jumped more than 20%. The Paris brand says it only increases prices to offset higher manufacturing costs, but this year’s increase is its largest in at least a decade.

The brand may feel under pressure to defend its reputation as the maker of the world’s most expensive handbags. The “Birkin premium”—the price difference between the Hermès bag and its closest competitor , the Chanel Classic Flap in medium—shrank from 70% in 2019 to 2% last year, according to PurseBop founder Monika Arora. Privately owned Chanel has jacked up the price of its most popular handbag by 75% since before the pandemic.

Eye-watering price increases on luxury brands’ benchmark products are a wider trend. Prada ’s Galleria bag will set shoppers back a cool $4,600—85% more than in 2019, according to the Wayback Machine internet archive. Christian Dior ’s Lady Dior bag and the Louis Vuitton Neverfull are both 45% more expensive, PurseBop data show.

With the U.S. consumer-price index up a fifth since 2019, luxury brands do need to offset higher wage and materials costs. But the inflation-beating increases are also a way to manage the challenge presented by their own success: how to maintain an aura of exclusivity at the same time as strong sales.

Luxury brands have grown enormously in recent years, helped by the Covid-19 lockdowns, when consumers had fewer outlets for spending. LVMH ’s fashion and leather goods division alone has almost doubled in size since 2019, with €42.2 billion in sales last year, equivalent to $45.8 billion at current exchange rates. Gucci, Chanel and Hermès all make more than $10 billion in sales a year. One way to avoid overexposure is to sell fewer items at much higher prices.

Many aspirational shoppers can no longer afford the handbags, but luxury brands can’t risk alienating them altogether. This may explain why labels such as Hermès and Prada have launched makeup lines and Gucci’s owner Kering is pushing deeper into eyewear. These cheaper categories can be a kind of consolation prize. They can also be sold in the tens of millions without saturating the market.

“Cosmetics are invisible—unless you catch someone applying lipstick and see the logo, you can’t tell the brand,” says Luca Solca, luxury analyst at Bernstein.

Most of the luxury industry’s growth in 2024 will come from price increases. Sales are expected to rise by 7% this year, according to Bernstein estimates, even as brands only sell 1% to 2% more stuff.

Limiting volume growth this way only works if a brand is so popular that shoppers won’t balk at climbing prices and defect to another label. Some companies may have pushed prices beyond what consumers think they are worth. Sales of Prada’s handbags rose a meagre 1% in its last quarter and the group’s cheaper sister label Miu Miu is growing faster.

Ramping up prices can invite unflattering comparisons. At more than $2,000, Burberry ’s small Lola bag is around 40% more expensive today than it was a few years ago. Luxury shoppers may decide that tried and tested styles such as Louis Vuitton’s Neverfull bag, which is now a little cheaper than the Burberry bag, are a better buy—especially as Louis Vuitton bags hold their value better in the resale market.

Aggressive price increases can also drive shoppers to secondhand websites. If a barely used Prada Galleria bag in excellent condition can be picked up for $1,500 on luxury resale website The Real Real, it is less appealing to pay three times that amount for the bag brand new.

The strategy won’t help everyone, but for the best luxury brands, stretching the price spectrum can keep the risks of growth in check.

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