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Party-loving Zappos founder Tony Hsieh went on a $50 million property buying spree in Utah before his death — using a company he named “Pickled Investments,” according to reports.
The 46-year-old tech mogul who died in a Connecticut house fire last month, appeared to be creating a community of like-minded hard-partying friends in Park City, the ski resort that is home to The Sundance Film Festival, the Wall Street Journal said.
It included a series of condos close to his own home there — a 17,350-square-foot mansion with a private lake that he bought for around $16 million earlier this year, broker Paul Benson told the paper.
The eccentric businessman was so enamored with the place, he wanted to move in immediately — and struck a deal so that the sellers would never return after his first visit, Benson said.
When Benson returned to collect the sellers’ property, he said Hsieh’s obvious affinity for fire was immediately apparent — estimating that there were at least 1,000 candles strewn around the mansion.
Hsieh “explained to me that the candles were a symbol of what life was like in a simpler time,” Benson told the WSJ.
Fire was also at the center of near-nightly parties at the mansion — with many featuring a flamethrower shooting 25 feet in the air “like a dragon’s breath,” one local told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Hsieh also started getting deeper into drink and drugs, experimenting with mushrooms and ecstasy, and pushed boundaries by trying to go without sleep, oxygen and food, getting to below 100 pounds, the WSJ said.
“Things were falling apart for him,” Philip Plastina, the founder of an electronic dance music group that moved to Utah to perform at Hsieh’s parties, told the paper.
Hsieh appeared to be “the leader” of “a group of people that had said they were moving to Park City because of Tony, Benson said.
One friend, Scott Roeben, told DailyMail.com that Hsieh’s life in his final months was a cross between Howard Hughes and a cult leader.
“He went down the same rabbit hole as Hughes and truly lost his way,” Roeben said. “He had built a cult around him.”
His Grey Goose-loving lifestyle appears to be reflected in his decision to use the name “Pickled Investments” to buy up other properties around his mansion, which DailyMail.com said amounted to more than $50 million.
They included a property abutting his mansion and at least seven other condos for friends, the cheapest of which was listed at $2,995,000, the outlet said. He also invested in businesses, including a club.
He even gave several Park City restaurants $10,000 each as a down-payment on meals that his friends would eat in the future, the Mail said.
“He saved Park City’s butt during the pandemic,” one source told the outlet, saying he “spread the wealth.”
“He hadn’t finished buying when he died. There were other deals in the works which sadly will never now come off,” one real estate source told the outlet.
The Hsieh family told the WSJ they wouldn’t comment on the specifics of his life but were “deeply grateful for the outpouring of love and respect shown in the wake of Tony’s passing.”
“It is clear to us he had a profound impact on countless people all over the world,” the family said,
They planned to “carry on his legacy by spreading the tenets he lived by—finding joy through meaningful life experiences, inspiring and helping others, and most of all, delivering happiness,” they said.
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