As a doddering older person born in the USA in upstate New York in the last century, I did not, and was not ever around this game called soccer/football.  I never even saw a soccer ball until I traveled with my family south of the border after we moved to Arizona. My dad was a serious baseball and football fan and also a scratch golfer, and a soon to be bull fight patron.  Soccer never entered our paradigm. I only now know about soccer when Ross my intern comes in wearing his REAL sweat suit jacket and he’s in a happy place because his REAL won. Honestly, I’ve tried to be a fan and forced myself to watch games on the TV box. Alas, it’s just not my game.

However, I am a fan of REAL owner Dell Loy Hansen. I met this smiley guy a few years back and assumed he was just your average looking Zions Bank manager or a Church official, or maybe a professor of animal husbandry at his alma mater, Utah State. I didn’t know what he did for a living, just that he was into making Salt Lake City a better place. That got my attention.  Low and behold, slap my head and call me stupid, Dell Loy not only is the main REAL owner, but the CEO of the Wasatch Group.

Never heard of his other company? They/he owns huge interest’s downtown, in the Wells Fargo high rise, the historic/retro/restored Ken Garff Building and Questar’s Corporate Center.  They own almost 17,000 apartments in five states, too.  When Dell Loy’s group bought the shares in the Wells Fargo Building on Main Street he also brought life on the street back to that particular block. He convinced KUTV to move downtown to the ‘sidewalk’ of his little purchase so they could have a Today Show visual format. If you’ve tuned into Channel 2 News you know that anyone can walk up behind the talking heads at 6 and 10 PM and wave at the cameras. He also took an old bank building on 300 South and turned it into one of the finest broadcast studios in the Western US. He bought out most of the assets of Simmons Media and acquired U92, X96, Rewind 100.7, EAGLE 101.5, Mix 107.9 radio stations. He already owned ESPN 700 (the old KALL radio station) and got SLC to approve an electronic billboard over the stations headquarters.

Dell Loy was unable to convince the Utah State Legislature and Salt Lake City that we could use another soccer stadium for his minor league team, the “Monarchs”, out at the State Fairgrounds this past session. He’s still hunting for build options. To dispel rumors, he and the Wasatch Group just purchased 2.3 acres on the southwest corner of 600 So. State for $5.82 million to build ‘mid-priced housing for the city’s regular workforce’…not a stadium.  GOOOOOAAAAAAAL for housing!

The Master


Ever since the 1950’s we’ve been in love with our automobiles. After WWII ended soldiers came back wanting their own cars and auto manufacturers were ready to please. Before then people used to walk in hoards downtown to shop and socialize but that disappeared with the opening of suburban  malls in the ‘60’s. Luckily biking, walking and downtown has come back. Now people hang above State Street on 200 South at Bar X, Cedars of Lebanon and Taqueria 27 or mosey down Main Street for yummies from Evas, chops at Lamb’s or breakfast at the Royal Eatery. If you’re one of the folks who have rediscovered strolling downtown then you’ve certainly walked past the corner of glass windows of The Violin and Bow Making School of Peter Paul Prier. There you see beautiful unvarnished instruments being made or hanging on the walls in various stages of creation. Just imagine making a fine instrument yourself-hundreds of hours of designing, carving, sanding, gluing, varnishing, drying wood into a thing of beauty. Peter Prier was one of the world best at making violins, cellos and violas. Sadly our city has lost him, as he passed June 15th at the age of 73.

   Peter was born in Germany and began playing the violin at seven years of age. He loved the instrument and entered the Violin Making School in Mittenwald and worked making violins in a shop Stuttgart. In 1960 after graduating from school, he immigrated to the U.S. to work at the Pearce Music Company in SLC and play violin with the Utah Symphony. He had to give both up after enlisting in the military during WWII but came back and picked up his fiddle with the symphony and began caring for the instruments and needs of the string section of his fellow musicians.  He opened his own violin shop in Salt Lake City and in 1972 he established the Violin Making School of America and also a Bow Maker’s school. Prier made constructed 160 violins, 17 violas, 29 cellos, 2 basses, and 3 guitars of classical design. Musicians and concert soloists such as Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Joseph Silverstein, violinist and conductor, and solo violinist Daniel Heifetz as well as many others play Peter Paul Prier’s instruments.

    His sons will carry on the family tradition and we will continue to see intensely focused men and women in the windows of the school making lovely creations. A friend told me once that during their interview for enrollment at the school Peter asked an unusual question: “What did the doorknob look like when you entered the room?”  The master luthier was a necessary and proud stickler for details.

Patriotic Utah


Where’s the most patriotic pack o’ people in Utah? If you didn’t notice last month, Sugar House held the biggest fireworks show in the Salt Lake Valley in Sugar House.  BYU’s ‘Stadium of Fire’ is the by far the biggest booms for your buck and always sells out because the show features hours of music beforehand. This year the wrinkled old band Journey was the headliner with washed-up emcee Montel Williams and Disney Channels’ Olivia Holt.

    I’m awarding the biggest claim to fame for patriotic celebrations in the entire state to the little town of Willard, which is located just seven miles south of Brigham City.  This tiny town of 1772 people (2010 census) claims the oldest continuous 4th of July celebration in Utah that features a baby contest, a melodrama, bingo, a 5K, parade, basketball tournament beginning with a Fireman’s Ball the night before, races and booths that day with picnics and fireworks (although drought fireworks restrictions are in effect).  I’m admit it: I love little Willard (aka ‘lil Willy). It was named after Willard Richards, a counselor to Brigham Young in 1859.   Decades ago I came home from a long day at work and yelled out to my (now deceased) wife, “Honey, I’m home. Guess what? We have a ski boat now!”  Her reply: “We don’t ski.”  You see, sometimes we real estate brokers don’t always get paid in cold hard cash. We can accept a myriad of payment types for our services, and in this particular case I accepted a ski boat as payment rather than commission because the sellers were upside down in their home and didn’t have enough equity to pay the brokerage fees. I worked under a broker at that time and had to call her to ask if “we” could accept a commission of a boat. She replied, “I’ll take 10% of the value as my share of the commission.”  I got it appraised and handed over my broker $600.

There’s a relevant adage: “The greatest day of your life is when you get a boat. The even better day is when you sell the boat.”  Out adventure into boating began and it was terrific for a few summers. Who knew that the Great Salt Lake had a fresh water bay where you could fish, boat and swim? We’d haul the little red speedboat up there on Sundays and tow friends around the lake in inner tubes. If we were lucky enough to get time off on a weekday or Saturday we could make an extra stop at the voluminous Smith & Edwards sporting goods store to see what treasures we could find.  Alas, when the season is over the boat has to be properly stored. Our back yard in Sugar House was small and could barely fit the trailer and the boat. Storing it at a professional facility close-by cost $120 per month.  We sold it to a couple of wide-eyed happy kids who wanted their own first boat.  I still love going up to lil Willy in the Winter to watch the eagles hunt for fish up on the ice and still love shopping at Smith and Edwards.