Ira Sachs, real estate developer, skier, and father of nine, passed away at 85 on October 19th, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Sachs is credited with opening The Yarrow at Park City (now DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Park City) in 1978, one of the major early lodging facilities located at Park City Mountain Resort and one of the venues for the Sundance Film Festival.
Sachs first made his way to Park City in 1972, eventually moving to the area permanently in 1983. He fell in love with skiing almost immediately after arriving and explained his early experiences to the Salt Lake Tribune back in 1979.
“I was skiing at Snowbird just after it opened. I skied off a run and fell about 300 feet. I finally stopped near a girl who said, ‘I’m a Mormon and I prayed for you all the way down.’ I knew I had come to the right place then.” – Ira Sachs to the Salt Lake Tribune
Sachs is also credited with installing the Park City area’s first cellphone tower, a move that, according to his daughter Lynn Sachs, was inspired by his want for a slope side office.
“A man of many contradictions, he spoke little (living by the mantra ‘Be more, appear less’), but built countless warm friendships using very few words. Though he claimed a fear of heights, he always preferred the trails that took him to the edge of cliffs. Ira was a Jew who loved Eastern philosophy and practiced Transcendental Meditation. … In the 1970s, he became a vegetarian, though he ate caviar whenever he got the chance. He failed at marriage (twice), but built kind and respectful divorces. He was an only child who fathered nine children.” – Lynne Sachs, according to the Salt Lake Tribune
Two of Sachs’ children, Ira Sachs Jr. and Lynne Sachs, became filmmakers. In 2005 Ira Sachs Jr. won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for his film Forty Shades of Blue. He’s the director of the non-profit arts organization Queer/Art and a 2013 Guggenheim recipient. Lynne Sachs is an experimental documentary film maker and has produced over 40 films that have screened all over the world. In 2020, she released Film About a Father Who, a documentary shot over 35 years that focuses on Ira Sachs Sr.
Image Credit: The Cinema Guild via YouTube