Vasilios Priskos was “a true champion” of downtown Salt Lake City, so erecting a larger-than-life statue of the real estate developer was “not only fitting, it was appropriate,” said the city’s mayor, Jackie Biskupski.
In one of her last acts as mayor before her term ends Monday, Biskupski on Friday took part in the unveiling of an 8-foot bronze statue of Priskos, near the entrance of a walkway named after him that links Main Street to the McCarthey Plaza by the Eccles Theater.
Priskos, who died in 2017, was the founder of InterNet Properties and a major property owner and developer in downtown Salt Lake City. Priskos was an advocate for historical preservation and for downtown’s continued development.
The statue and walkway, Biskupski said, will be “a place for Vasilios’ spirit to be a part of the comings and goings of the city he loved and nurtured.”
In a statement, Priskos’ family called the statue “a tremendous honor for our family. … This statue represents the vibrancy of downtown, Main Street and our community at large. When people see this statue, we hope they think of Vasilios’ vision for downtown and the role our city plays on a national scale.”
Utah sculptor Daniel Fairbanks said it was “a great privilege” to create the sculpture, which depicts Priskos standing bolt upright, arms crossed and smiling slightly. “His contributions to the renaissance of downtown Salt Lake City are legendary," Fairbanks said, “and this monument will ensure that his memory endures for generations to come.”
Priskos was born in 1964 in Evia, Greece, and he and his family moved to America in 1966. The family settled in Salt Lake City and opened the Royal Eatery at the corner of Main Street and 400 South. That building, the former New Grand Hotel (and now an Apollo Burger franchise), was one of many locations Priskos later owned as founder and principal broker of InterNet Properties.
The properties Priskos handled included the Neumont College of Computer Science site at 143 S. Main in the former headquarters of The Salt Lake Tribune, and the One/Main Plaza, the office tower at 111 S. Main, next to the Eccles Theater.
Priskos died Oct. 9, 2017, at age 53, after a long battle with cancer.