The Sundance Film Festival stage will return to Main Street in January, but it’s unclear whether the change of scenery to shopping, dining and entertainment will look like it did in the past.
With Sundance slated to be an in-person event in Park City in January, discussions begin on the type of imprint – official and unofficial – the festival will be one year after all live events were canceled in 2021 for the sake of the spread of the novel coronavirus.
On Thursday, Mayor Andy Beerman and Park City Council received limited information on the topic as part of a larger discussion regarding the ongoing transportation planning for the festival.
Jenny Diersen, Economic Development Program Manager at Town Hall, briefly touched on the temporary facilities during Sundance, which are concentrated in the heart of Main Street. Sundance itself manages some of the locations while the official festival sponsors usually also have locations along Main Street or just across the street. Many other companies without official ties to the festival also traditionally operate venues in Park City during Sundance, seeking exposure as the film industry enters the largest independent film market in the United States.
Diersen told elected officials that the facilities should be dismantled earlier than before. She did not provide details. In many cases, corporate interests are generally drawn to the particularly busy opening days of Sundance, when celebrity and media presence is most important, and facilities are removed a few days before the festival ends.
Diersen also said corporate interests continue to weigh their plans for Sundance.
“Since we all have staff, supply and cost issues, I think a lot of sponsors, as they come back to the market, just try to figure out what’s affordable and come back carefully,” she said. declared. .
Much of the discussion at Town Hall about corporate interests usually involves official sponsors, as they have direct ties to Sundance. The list of official sponsors includes major companies like Chase Sapphire, Acura and Canada Goose. Park City officials, however, also have to deal with other business interests unrelated to Sundance. City council is traditionally asked to approve many licenses in the lead-up to Sundance that allow businesses to operate inside Park City.
Some in the business community will welcome the return of corporate interests. Building and business owners along Main Street can make expensive deals to lease space to businesses, providing a source of income at a time when typical customers are less likely to stop by Park City, so busy with Sundance crowds. Some of the leases from previous years were considered particularly lucrative.
Thursday’s meeting took place just over two months before the scheduled opening of Sundance. The dates in 2022 are January 20 to 30. Elected officials are expected to meet with Sundance shortly to finalize the plans. Although the festival must be held in person, the event should not be like the show from previous years. Earlier in November, organizers eliminated three screening rooms in the Park City area for the 2022 event, further indication that the festival in January will be a reduced affair compared to those in the pre-coronavirus era.