When the Sundance Film Festival is parked in Park City, finding a spot can be difficult.
Festival organizers and City Hall have long encouraged Sundance-goers not to bring cars to Park City, but not everyone heeds the advice. Park City is instead jammed as drivers head toward Main Street or the festival theaters not realizing that many parking spots are barricaded off and the price increases dramatically in some of the spots that are open to public parking.
Some of the restrictions started early in the week, as City Hall barricaded the west side of Main Street. The east side of Main Street will also be made into a no-parking zone during Sundance. Officials see the parking restrictions on Main Street as being important to traffic flow on what is very often a clogged road during the festival.
Park City will allow drivers to park along Main Street for up to 15 minutes to drop people off or pick them up. Deliveries are also allowed. Violations carry a fine of up to $150. The restrictions along Main Street run from Thursday until Jan. 25.
Just off Main Street, in public parking lots, people must pay to park starting on Friday. The lots include Swede Alley and the China Bridge garage. The price is $20, and drivers must pay again if they leave and return. The price drops to $10 starting on Jan. 21.
People who hold a City Hall-issued Main Street employee parking permit, designated CB, may park for free on the top level of the old China Bridge garage, in the lot on the north side of the Marsac Building and in designated spots in the Gateway Center garage. People with the CB permits may also pay $250 to upgrade the permit allowing them to park inside the China Bridge garage.
There are private garages and lots on or just off Main Street as well. Prices vary.
Parking on neighborhood streets surrounding Main Street is restricted to people who have residential parking stickers for their street. Many businesses tightly regulate parking in their lots during the festival. Signs are normally posted prohibiting festival parking and indicating those vehicles will be towed.
There will be free parking available in lots outside the hubbub of Main Street for festival-goers and others in Park City for the Sundance scene. After 5 p.m., Lot 5 and Lot 6 outside Snow Park Lodge in Deer Valley will be opened for festival parking. Vehicles must be removed by 3 a.m. The last bus of the night from the Old Town transit center to the Deer Valley lots leaves at 2:30 a.m. During the weekends, parking will be available at Treasure Mountain Junior High School. Buses run to the school until approximately 2 a.m.
There will also be festival parking at The Yard, priced at $15, Lot F and Lot G along Prospector Avenue, priced at $10, and at a lot along Monitor Drive. The Monitor Drive lot will be available for free festival parking weekdays between 3 p.m. and midnight and all day on Saturdays. Parking there is prohibited on Sundays. Parking in the Brew Pub lot on upper Main Street costs $16 for three hours.
Park City officials and Sundance suggest people take buses instead of driving private vehicles. The City Hall bus system runs until the early morning hours, and the routes extend from Park City into the Snyderville Basin. A festival bus loop, meanwhile, runs between the Sundance theaters and other important Sundance locations.
They also suggest people walk if the weather is nice. Many of the Sundance theaters are within a 30 to 45 minute walk of each other.
Additional information is available on the websites of City Hall and Sundance. The municipal website is www.parkcity.org. The direct link to City Hall's Sundance page is: http://parkcity.org/index.aspx?page=1083. The Sundance website is www.sundance.org.