For 10 days during January, Park City’s ski town atmosphere is briefly overshadowed by the presence of the world’s largest independent film festival. Whether you plan to take advantage of blissfully empty lift lines or event-hop your way into a celebrity photo op, use this guide to make the most of your Sundance Film Festival experience.
Find Luxury Lodging
Savvy travelers can still land luxurious accommodations with a little flexibility. The upscale Silver Star at Park City resort, located less than a mile from Main Street, offers 2- to 5-bedroom condos with private hot tubs and a complimentary shuttle, making the slope-side community an ideal option for larger groups. Hotel rooms, though limited, are still available at the Washington School House near Main Street and Waldorf Astoria at Canyons Resort.
Score Film Tickets
For film-goers who seek access to official events like the ASCAP Music Café and Awards Party celebration, a pass is the best option. Eccles B Passes, which include the full slate of screenings at Park City’s largest venue from January 22 to 26, are still available through Sundance Institute for $1,500. Passes also include credentials to the Filmmaker Lodge, Music Café, Awards Party and Sundance House. Visitors hoping to see specific films can buy tickets any time between Jan. 14 and 26 at the Main Box Office.
Although Sundance event access is notoriously closed-door, some traffic-seeking brands have opened their hospitality suites to the public. The “Acura Lounge” on Main Street promises Festival news, music and gourmet snacks, while “Chase Sapphire on Main” hypes sample dishes from local restaurants and Sundance memorabilia. A high-stakes celebrity poker tournament for late actor Paul Walker’s charity, Reach Out Worldwide, is open at a $2,000 buy-in.
For coveted gifting suites and premier parties, veteran fest-goers know that one list can mean a chance to RSVP to the best of them. Distributed by Los Angeles-based promoter Chris Ryan and managed by Teresa DeWilde of Dubb Media, the official Sundance Party List details hundreds of official parties taking place throughout Park City, from A-List lounges to small-scale hospitality suites. Only industry professionals receive the list, so having a professional angle – or a keen ability to make fast friends – is the best way to snag access.
Dine and Unwind
Although Park City offers dozens of fine dining restaurants and lounges, the most sought-after dinner invitation for the wealthy and well-connected is undoubtedly to ChefDance, a five-day event featuring celebrity chefs and even more celebrated attendees, from Claire Danes to Peter Gallagher. For a slightly more inclusive dining experience, try Robert Redford’s Main Street restaurant, Zoom, or the trendy SILVER restaurant, a progressive American bistro with a seasonal menu, chic staff and live DJ. To unwind, head off Main to the growing NoMa district for a drink at the Boneyard, Park City’s newest upscale saloon, or try a cocktail at Canyons Resort’s outdoor Ice Lounge at newly opened restaurant Powder, a novel way to revel in the ski town atmosphere.
Hit the Slopes
For skiers, the Sundance Film Festival is a sneaky time to score fresh tracks as town fills up with film purists. Given Park City’s ease of access, guests can stay at any of Park City’s ski areas, including Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain and Canyons, and easily enjoy screenings at nearby venues. To avoid Festival crowds, aim for an early start or consider staying ski-in/ski-out and avoid shuttling altogether.