Even at up to $50 a pop, parking in Park City is tight during Sundance | ParkRecord.com

Even at up to $50 a pop, parking in Park City is tight during Sundance

Sundance Film Festival veterans understand that parking spots are sometimes as difficult to get as a ticket to a star-studded movie premiere.

Many drivers during the opening weekend of the festival left their vehicles in places where parking was either prohibited or restricted. The Park City Police Department logged numerous reports about parking problems over the first few days of Sundance.

Parking is a premium across Park City during the festival. Sundance organizers do not want film-goers to park at screening rooms. Parking on residential streets in Old Town is by permit only. City Hall restricts parking in public lots close to Main Street and charges a premium for parking in spaces that are available to the public. Privately held garages also charge premium rates. One lot in the Main Street core on Saturday advertised parking for $50. A sign indicated the lot was full that afternoon.

Property owners elsewhere sometimes post signs prohibiting Sundance-goers from parking in those lots. They want the spots free for customers.

The Police Department fielded numerous calls about parking issues. Parking problems are common during Sundance, but the ongoing issues over the years illustrate the crush of drivers jockeying for a space.

Wade Carpenter, the Park City police chief, said tickets were written in some cases while others were warned. Police officers provided directions to parking garages or lots, he said. Carpenter was not sure how many vehicles were towed as a result of a parking violation.

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He said drivers cannot park vehicles in a manner that blocks a driveway and parked vehicles cannot obstruct police and fire vehicles. There are other restrictions in place for Sundance, including no-parking zones along Main Street and paid parking in public lots close to Main Street.

The Police Department reported numerous parking issues between Thursday, which was the opening day of Sundance, and Sunday. During one stretch, between 10:29 a.m. and 3:05 a.m. on Sunday, 33 parking problems were reported. The reports included issues on Main Street, Sullivan Road, Evening Star Drive and the Old Town transit center. Public police logs did not provide details.

During a 37-minute stretch during the 1 p.m. hour on Saturday, the police logged approximately 22 parking problems on Rossie Hill Drive. There were also issues that day on the 1500 block of Empire Avenue and on Sullivan Road, a small street that borders City Park.

Some of the notable cases involving parking issues during the early part of the festival included:

  • on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 2:10 p.m., the police received a report of an argument about a parking spot in the Sandridge lot. One vehicle barricaded the other one into a spot, the police were told. The suspect was gone by the time the police arrived.
  • on Jan. 24 at 4:43 p.m., someone on King Road contacted the police requesting permission for party guests to park in a no-parking zone. The police told the person they could request a variance from City Hall to do so. The police indicated vehicles parked there could be ticketed or towed if a variance was not granted.
  • on Friday, Jan. 23 at 10:12 a.m., the police received a report that a person who lives on Sidewinder Drive posted a sign in front of a driveway advertising parking for $20. The person removed the sign after the police explained laws prohibiting the practice.

    City Hall has posted information online about parking during the Sundance Film Festival. It is available at: http://parkcity.org/index.aspx?page=1083. Useful links on the page include ‘Sundance Parking Regulations & Hints’ and ‘Sundance Parking Map.’