Sundance business: good, bad or normal, Main Street asks |

Sundance business: good, bad or normal, Main Street asks

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD
Traffic was heavy on Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival in January. Leaders on Main Street are conducting a survey to learn about the festival's impacts on business and a survey centered on employee parking plans during the festival in 2015. File photo by Christopher Reeves/Park Record

Main Street leaders are conducting two surveys in an effort to learn about the effects of the Sundance Film Festival on the street.

One of them is broad in nature while the other one centers on planning for parking for employees during the 2015 festival. The Historic Park City Alliance is conducting the online surveys, which are not scientific. The survey was distributed to approximately 200 businesses along Main Street, Heber Avenue, Swede Alley and Park Avenue.

While the festival stretches from Kimball Junction to the Eccles Center, much of the hubbub of Sundance occurs along Main Street. One of the festival’s screening rooms — the Egyptian Theatre — is on the street and there are other official locations on Main Street, including corporate setups by sponsors, the Music Café and the Filmmaker Lodge.

There has long been mixed opinions on Main Street about the festival’s impact on business. Some sectors, particularly restaurants and nightclubs, enjoy gangbuster days and nights during the festival. Other businesses, though, do not have the same success.

Some of the questions on the broader Historic Park City Alliance survey include:

  • the impact of the festival on business during the opening weekend of Sundance, the festival’s midweek and the closing weekend. Multiple-choice options include a "major increase," defined as business climbing by 25 percent or more, and "badly affected," meaning that business was down by at least 25 percent.
  • the impact eliminating parking had on Main Street. The multiple-choice options include that the parking elimination "started too early" and whether one or both sides of the street should have been reopened to parking after the opening weekend.
  • the impact of street musicians. Multiple-choice answers include that they were not noticeable, they "added great atmosphere" and "musicians add atmosphere to the area, but should not be located outside my front door."

    The survey, meanwhile, inquires whether a business was rented during Sundance. Festival rentals, typically lucrative, have for years been a popular option for businesses along Main Street. The rental question’s multiple-choice answers include the amount of time a place was rented and whether the rental was made to an official Sundance sponsor or another sort of organization.

    The survey centered on employee parking in 2015 inquires about how employees got to their jobs. The multiple-choice answers include walking, driving, carpooling, taking a taxi or driving and parking in places like Deer Valley Resort, the China Bridge garage or lots at The Yard or in Prospector.

    It asks for details about the number of employees who start or end shifts on an hour-by-hour basis at various points during the festival.

    "As you know, there have been little to no plans to accommodate employee parking during the Sundance Film Festival. Through the answers provided in this survey, the (Historic Park City Alliance) will work with the City’s Events Department to plan for adequate employee parking based on the demand per hour," the survey says in an introduction.

    The Main Street surveys are two of an unknown number of Sundance-centered questionnaires meant to gauge the impact of the festival, the largest special event on Park City’s busy calendar. Sundance organizers distributed a 62-question survey covering a range of topics like the theater experience and the ticketing process. Festival organizers, meanwhile, commission a closely watched survey that estimates the impact Sundance has on the economy each year.

    Anyone on Main Street wishing to take the survey may contact Alison Butz, the executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance, by email at

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