Park City sees ways to extend Sundance hubbub to closing credits | ParkRecord.com

Park City sees ways to extend Sundance hubbub to closing credits

There could be ways to extend the hubbub of the Sundance Film Festival until the event's closing credits.

Park City officials, Sundance leaders and others in the community in coming months could discuss possibilities meant to ensure the festival remains buzzing throughout the annual 11-day run.

The opening four days of Sundance, from Thursday until Sunday, are typically jammed in Park City as large numbers of film lovers, celebrity gawkers, journalists and industry figures crowd into the community. Corporate interests, meanwhile, rent temporary space along Main Street, in many cases for the opening days only.

But the scene starts to wane on Monday even as the festival screenings remain packed throughout Sundance. Some temporary setups on Main Street are dismantled in full view of the festival-goers and business generally trends downward.

The Park City Council is scheduled to meet with Sundance officials on Thursday as part of an annual post-festival review of operations. The discussions after each festival typically stretch over several months as the sides craft a package of operational changes to the next event.

The talks this year could involve ideas to extend the revelry throughout the festival. Details have not been proposed, but documents compiled since the end of this year's festival could provide a preview of the overarching ideals. The documents are generally reviews of the 2018 edition of Sundance with early concepts for future festivals described. The documents were forwarded to Mayor Andy Beerman and the City Council in anticipation of the meeting on Thursday. A desire to extend the hubbub throughout the festival is mentioned several times in the documents.

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In one instance feedback from the business community was cited, indicating a group "expressed concern about the Festival having two distinct parts, the first four days and the rest of the Festival."

"In summary, the group wanted to focus on the use of carrots to promote additional activity vibrancy for the second ½ of the Festival. The group was aware of and appreciative of the ongoing awareness and efforts of the Institute to address this issue," one of the documents says, using the term institute to refer to Sundance organizers.

It says some of the ideas involved increasing public accessibility to Sundance venues, encouraging people to ski and scheduling additional public concerts.

City Hall staffers want to evaluate new venues as well as the existing ones "and will coordinate to look at possible 'carrots' to encourage sponsor activations throughout the 10 day festival," one of the documents says.

Staffers also say they plan to reconsider parking rates in the Main Street core after the opening weekend. City Hall increases paid parking prices during Sundance, and a change in the rate structure to further decrease prices after the opening days could draw more people to Main Street. The staffers note, however, traffic may become worse if parking prices are cut further.

The City Council meeting on Thursday is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. at the Marsac Building. The discussion about Sundance is tentatively slated to start at 4:15 p.m. and last an hour. The mayor oftentimes allows public input even though a hearing is not scheduled.