How to Live a Normal Life during Sundance
With holiday traffic barely a memory, Parkites are preparing for one of the busiest times of the year, the Sundance Film Festival. To ease the frustrations that are inevitable when 65,000 festival goers come to town, we’ve put together a sampling of ways for locals to try to live a normal life during Sundance.
Grocery shopping: It’s best to avoid the Albertsons in town unless you have time on your hands or want to stargaze. Instead head to Smiths at Kimball Junction, being sure to avoid the daily (4-6pm) traffic congestion. If you’re an Albertsons loyalist, their new store at Quarry Village is clean, quiet and worth the drive to avoid long checkout lines.
Errand running: Hit the dry cleaners, drug store and post office in the morning or before 3pm. Even with a limited number of skiers in town, adding the post-lift ski traffic to the already crowded roads can result in long delays.
Books, clothes & shoe shopping: If you can’t stock up before the Festival, consider the outlets (weekdays only) or the NoMa business district (steering clear of the Prospector Convention Center). Redstone offers a wide variety of stores and restaurants, but plan your shopping accordingly since festival films will be shown at the Redstone Cinema at 6:30pm & 9:30pm.
One of the quietest times at Park City’s ski resorts is during Sundance. Typically festival goers ski only for a day or two between movies. While some savvy tourists have discovered the secret of no lift lines during the festival, the slopes (and parking lots) remain blissfully calm.
For a traditional health club workout, Sundance can prove challenging. Instead of fighting for parking at the Silver Mountain in Prospector, consider their Redstone location. The Racquet Club is open throughout the festival with only the gymnasium closed for films. Another alternative is the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse at Kimball Junction which features all new equipment.
If it’s a bright, sunny day grab some snowshoes and head over to Round Valley or Glenwild. Both trails have lots of sun exposure to keep you warm even on cold days. Enjoy the serenity of a hike and restore both body and soul.
If the Festival is putting you in a movie mood, but you don’t have tickets to one of the films, consider hosting your own Sundance party at home. While catering may prove elusive without prior planning, pizza with rentals of past festival films or recent releases can be fun and relaxing. Movie rentals from Red Box (located in Smiths or McDonalds at the Junction) are quick and easy, but for better selection try Blockbuster at Quarry Village.
While it’s best to avoid Kimball Junction late in the day, Good Thymes Bistro located by Smiths is a perfect breakfast spot. Offering a wide selection from cinnamon French toast to Eggs Benedict, Good Thymes provides complimentary biscuits and honey butter and free refills on their French press coffee.
Another breakfast suggestion away from Main Street is the No Worries Café in Summit Park. Favorite menu items include Dante’s Inferno, a frittata loaded with sirloin, Italian sausage, vegetables and cheese or Bullwinkle pancakes for the kids. Owner Dante Eggan’s Chocolate Mousse beats an ordinary cup of coffee by mixing double espresso, hot chocolate & fresh whipped cream made with crème de cacao.
Eye Opening Breakfasts
Good Thymes Bistro
6300 N. Sage Wood Drive
7am-11am weekdays (until noon on weekends)
No Worries Café
Exit 140 off I-80 at Summit Park
7am -11:30am weekdays; 7am-noon Saturdays, 7am-2pm Sundays
For a light lunch or après ski option, try the new Powder Daze Café at the base of the Canyons ski resort. Featuring a wide array of sandwiches and crepes, owner Jesse Renfors has created a dining alternative with names as unique as the food itself. Try his soon-to-be famous First Chair crepe with peanut butter, banana, honey and Nutella chocolate. For a heartier crepe consider the aptly named Mountain Man with ham, cheddar cheese, mushrooms, onions and green peppers.
If you’re willing to drive a bit, Dick’s Drive Inn in Kamas offers old fashioned diner food and milkshakes so thick that you have to eat them with a spoon. Stop in just for lunch or become "parent of the year" by taking your kids to the South Summit Aquatic Center (just around the corner) afterwards.
Light (and not so light) Lunches
Powder Daze Café & Creperie
Canyons Forum in the Sundial Lodge
Dick’s Drive Inn
235 E. Center Street (Kamas)
Closed for the holidays until Jan. 15th
Just because most dinner reservations have been sold out for months, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy dinner off the beaten path. Ahh Sushi at Quarry Village features fresh sushi in a contemporary, Asian atmosphere with a full bar. Manager Ben Rosch, says "reservations aren’t usually required, but we’re going to suggest them during Sundance." Try their Funky Charlie, a fried shrimp roll with tuna and spicy wasabi sauce or the Jazz Pick ‘N Roll featuring crab, cucumber, eel and avocado.
For Park City caliber food, it’s worth the trip to Heber to the Snake Creek Grill. Former executive chef of Riverhorse and Zoom, Barb Hill, recommends the Crispy Corn Cakes with Sweet Pepper Cream and Spiced Grilled Shrimp or "Belle Isle" Baby Back Ribs named after her native state of Michigan. Co-owner, Michael Hill says, "reservations are highly recommended and we are almost sold out for Saturday, the 27th."
No Ordinary Dinners
Quarry Village, next to Blockbuster
Snake Creek Grill
650 West 100 South (Heber)
5:30pm 9:30pm (Wed-Sun)
The important thing to recognize is that Main Street is the epicenter of the Film Festival. Starting January 19th the only way to get there is via Park City’s free bus system. Still, it’s worth the effort to feel the energy of the festival and sneak a peak at your favorite stars.
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