The Mormon Church Purchases Another Hotel, This Time In Park City

I wrote last June about the Mormon Church purchasing a Marriott Residence Inn in Maui for $100 million.

The Mormon Church’s real estate division, Property Reserve Inc., has purchased another hotel – this time in Park City, Utah.

The Peaks Hotel is valued at a little over $6 million according to property records.

The former manager of the Peaks Hotel stated that the property will go through a renovation and become a Marriott property.

Stephanie Lee Samuels, a former manager and representative for the Peaks Hotel, confirmed that the sale occurred in April. It was purchased by Salt Lake City-based Property Reserve Inc., which is the real estate arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Samuels, who has since moved to South Carolina, said the hotel will undergo a remodel next year and become a Marriott property.

The strategy behind owning property

Lots of people want to know why the Mormon Church would be acquiring hotels as well as running a $1.5 billion mall in downtown Salt Lake City? The faith had several bouts of near bankruptcy prior to 1960.

At one point, the federal government confiscated all its properties, withholding them for nearly a decade. Thereafter, the Utah-based faith endured cycles of near bankruptcy every 20 to 30 years until it finally found its economic footing in the 1960s.

The American-born movement has always seen its mission as serving both the spiritual and physical needs of its people. It doesn’t distinguish between the two.

“It’s as spiritual [for Latter-day Saints] to give alms to the poor,” D. Michael Quinn (a Mormon historian) told Bloomberg Businessweek in 2012, “… as it is to make a million dollars.”

The Mormon Church has now amassed at least $150 billon according to conservative estimates and apparently hotels in Maui and Park City are part of that strategy.

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