Sundance 2015: do this before doing that in Park City |

Sundance 2015: do this before doing that in Park City

Preparing for the Sundance Film Festival is hardly glamorous for the people who are readying for a variety of activities or functions that are planned in Park City later this month.

Before the celebrities arrive, the film-goers grab tickets and Park City puts on its Hollywood outfit for 11 days, an extraordinary amount of behind-the-scenes work is necessary. Much of that centers on City Hall’s rules and regulations.

The municipal government regulates different sorts of activities on a year-round basis, but the regulations are especially noteworthy during Sundance. The festival each year attracts a crowd of official Sundance sponsors, corporate interests without official ties to the festival and a menagerie of others who want to operate in Park City alongside the Sundance, one of the top film festivals on the global circuit. The festival opens on Jan. 22 and ends on Feb. 1.

City Hall recently drafted a ‘Rules of the Road’ document for Sundance, outlining licensing, processes and other information someone would need if they want to operate in Park City during Sundance. The 13-page document is designed for people wanting detailed information about municipal permitting and related subjects. It is not something drafted for an audience interested in general information about Sundance.

"The Sundance Film Festival is the sole Master Festival License holder from January 22 through February 1, 2015. All other screenings and related business and sponsor activities are strictly regulated and must obtain applicable Park City business licenses and building permits in person or through an authorized representative," the document says.

It cautions that someone could receive a criminal citation or licenses to operate in Park City could be revoked if the rules are not followed.

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Some of the highlights of the ‘Rules of the Road’ include:

  • regulations governing gifting, hospitality or similar suites, which pop up during Sundance. The document says those sorts of activities are banned in neighborhoods. Organizers must obtain a license.

    "Promotional activities such as gifting and hospitality suites, promotional meals or gatherings, whether private or open to the public, are considered ‘engaging in business’ under Park City Municipal Code. All persons engaging in such activity must obtain a license and abide by all applicable laws and regulations," the ‘Rules of the Road’ says.

    It also provides information about the types of licenses available and in what situations they would be required. The document, as an example, details the requirements if someone operates temporarily in a hotel, a convention space or a restaurant compared to those if the setup is in a store or an office.

  • an explanation of City Hall’ rules that "each separate person or entity occupying a booth, table, or other defined separate area within a gifting (or) hospitality space is a separate business and requires its own license." It says a promoter can seek an umbrella license for each business in a space. Individual businesses must make sure it has a license, either on its own or through an umbrella one, the Rules of the Road says.
  • an update about City Hall-issued convention sales licenses, which are used to regulate some of the temporary activities during Sundance. According to the Rules of the Road, the Park City Council must approve the licenses. The latest the City Council is able to approve the licenses is a meeting scheduled on Jan. 15. Applications must be filed by Jan. 8 to appear on the City Council agenda on Jan. 15.
  • the rules about renting homes or condominiums for private parties. The document says City Hall prohibits commercial uses in rentals, including gifting or marketing setups.

    "Nightly rentals may not be converted to corporate sponsor or business houses which are used primarily to distribute retail products or personal services to invitees for marketing or similar purposes, regardless of whether such products or services are charged for," the Rules of the Road says.

  • an explanation of the rules about serving alcohol if a setup is not located inside a business with an existing license to serve alcohol. It indicates permits from state alcohol regulators and Park City are required.
  • details about City Hall’s policy allowing temporary signs to be placed over permanent signs on spaces that are leased.

    Kayla Sintz, who is the planning manager at City Hall, is the first point of contact for many festival-related inquiries like those outlined in the Rules of the Road. She is reachable at 615-5062 or The Rules of the Road are posted on City Hall’s website, The direct link is: