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Cottages called Sundance

An Old Town designer, acknowledging he wants to generate buzz for one of his projects, has dubbed the small development The Sundance Cottages, harkening to the famous film festival that brings scores of visitors to Park City each January.

Don Bloxom, the designer, says Sundance is a marketable name and claims people are interested in purchasing real estate in Park City so they have a place to stay during the film festival, when lodging usually is tight.

"I’m getting as (many) calls for houses for the Sundance Film Festival as I am for skiing or anything else," Bloxom says.

He says the project is named after the film festival and says he did not visit with officials at the Sundance Institute, which organizes the festival, before choosing the name.

"We’re not partnering with them. Why would I approach them," Bloxom says, describing the name ‘Sundance’ as a "big word out there."

The Sundance Cottages are slated for 1450-1460 Park Ave. Bloxom wants to rehab two houses on the property and build two new ones. He hopes to build them in 2007 and 2008, calling them "big nice houses," and expects the owner will make them available for rentals for two years. He plans to build home theaters inside.

Bloxom says the property owner provided the name and he says other projects in Park City use well-known names in their own. Deer Valley is used in names other than Deer Valley Resort, for instance, Bloxom says. He indicates the word ‘Sundance’ is from American Indians and was established before the institute adopted the name. Bloxom says the name of the project would be changed if it is necessary.

The Park City Council on Thursday is scheduled to consider combining the lots needed for the project to proceed. Such votes are typically procedural in nature and do not draw much interest from regular Parkites.

The Planning Commission earlier recommended that the combination be allowed. More approvals would be needed before the developers are allowed to start construction. Bloxom says officials have not questioned the name.

A Bend, Ore., firm owns the property, which is valued at a combined $717, 840, according to the Summit County Assessor’s Office.

Patrick Hubley, a spokesman for Sundance, says officials there are not aware of the cottages.

"We’re not very familiar with this project and it has nothing to do with the Sundance Institute," Hubley says.

The festival and the institute’s other programs, a cable-television channel, a catalog and a mountain resort in Provo Canyon are within the Sundance family but each operates separately.

The word Sundance is seen in other industries and a search of the World Wide Web shows spas, boats and a Palo Alto, Calif., steakhouse using the word Sundance in their names.

Sundance, which is scheduled during the last third of January each year, is seen as the top domestic marketplace for independent films and one of the most prestigious film festivals on the world circuit. The festival is lucrative for many Park City businesses, especially restaurants and lodging properties.

The institute in 2006 moved its Utah headquarters to a renovated mining-era building in Silver Star, a development on the edge of Thaynes Canyon.


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