Highstyle Profile

Connie Barnhart is a true, self-made woman. And if you ask her, she’ll tell you that she never thought any of it would amount to anything. She was just enjoying the experience. But it sure did amount to something. Here’s how it happened.

Although Connie calls Park City home today, her story begins in Salt Lake City — in the Rose Park neighborhood, to be specific. From the start, community has always been her top priority.

“I remember calling all my friends in the neighborhood to find out what they were having for dinner,” she says, adding that her mother was a single mom and worked multiple jobs. “It took a village to raise Connie.”

She also remembers that everyone in her neighborhood would get together and drive to Park City for ski lessons on Saturdays.

“Park City really has been part of my life since I can remember,” Connie says. “I’ll never forget those Saturdays … ever.”

Skip ahead a few years, and, after graduating from the University of Utah with an undergraduate degree in health education and behavioral science and a master’s degree in social work, she worked as a health educator for the Salt Lake County Health Department, as a fitness instructor, and eventually as a personal trainer, helping clients with weight loss, fitness training and nutrition.

Having spent a great deal of time in Park City, Connie and her husband, Keith, decided to move there in 2002.

“From a very young age, Park City has been intriguing to me. This is where I feel like I grew up and hung out — it’s been part of my life since I can remember,” she says. “When we decided to move up here full time in 2002, I told my husband we weren’t going to commute to Salt Lake. I wanted to commit to doing the whole Park City thing.”

So they did. They got their kids deeply entrenched in the ski community and school system and made Park City their new home. Connie took a job managing group fitness at the Silver Mountain Sports Club and helped open the fitness facility at the Waldorf Astoria, where she worked until 2015.

Meanwhile, having successfully flipped several houses in Salt Lake City, Connie and Keith purchased a home in Old Town, remodeled it and sold it, continuing the trend with homes in Park Meadows, Deer Valley and Kamas.

“We never meant to flip these houses — we truly remodeled every home, even the ones in Salt Lake, like it was going to be ours for- ever, and then we always found a reason to sell and find something else for ourselves,” Connie says. “It was never about making money. I just thought it would be fun. It became a job and lucrative business that really, I never saw coming.”

In 2014, Connie purchased a small property management com- pany from a friend and grew it to 45 properties in eight years. And although she claims to be fully retired today, she and her husband have bought another property to remodel. This time, it’s a 14-acre parcel on Bitner Ranch Road. And this time, Connie says it’s the one.

“Well, hopefully this is the final one,” she laughs. “We absolutely love this property and are fully transforming it.”

Looking back, Connie says, “I think my success comes from taking chances; I just kind of went for it … I never bought a home to flip, I always bought to live in for the rest of my life. Didn’t realize how much fun I had remodeling and building.”

Connie is grateful for her childhood Park City experiences, which inspired her family’s move in 2002 and enabled her children to grow up in the community.

“We’re so fortunate here because so many people come into this community and are so dedicated to making Park City a truly wonderful place. People really are the backbone of Park City,” she says. “The experiences my kids have had growing up here have been wonderful. Park City Mountain helped raise my kids, just like it did me.”