Sundance corporate rentals, a lucrative festival side business, could return to Park City |

Sundance corporate rentals, a lucrative festival side business, could return to Park City

Main Street business group readies a survey about interest in subleasing during 2022 event

The ride sharing firm Lyft temporarily leased space along Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival in 2019. There is early talk about the possibility of corporate interests securing space on Main Street for Sundance in 2022 after the festival this year was moved online.
Park Record file photo

There could be a set change on Main Street in the days before the Sundance Film Festival in 2022, like those that typically occurred before the festival this year canceled all live events in Park City out of concern of the spread of the novel coronavirus.

There is early talk about the possibility of corporate interests securing space on Main Street for Sundance in 2022. The corporate setups have for years been a highly visible element of film festival week.

The corporations lease space along Main Street on a temporary basis, providing a marketing opportunity with the Hollywood crowds in Park City for the festival. The leases can be lucrative propositions for building owners or business owners. It is believed some of the leases run well into six figures.

Some of the corporate setups involve official Sundance sponsors while others are organized by firms that want the visibility even without ties to the festival. The streetscape is transformed, especially during the first weekend of Sundance, into a collection of national and international firms from industries like film, technology, media and brewing.

The Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents the interests of businesses in the Main Street core, is readying to distribute a survey to members inquiring whether they are interested in subleasing space during Sundance in 2022.

Alison Kuhlow, the executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance, said Sundance typically contacts the organization seeking a list of places that could be available. She said the results of the survey will be a list of individual businesses with an interest in a sublease. The list will not be made public.

The Historic Park City Alliance survey is a signal that the various interests with a Sundance stake are starting to weigh the possibilities for the festival next year. Sundance this year first designed a scaled-back live event before moving the festival to an online platform. The market for corporate leases was never expected to be strong in 2021, but it did not materialize at all as the festival plans were finalized.

The level of interest by the corporations for 2022 is not known, and it is not clear what sort of prices any leases would command as compared to previous festivals. It is believed some of the deals are typically reached in the spring before Sundance while others are negotiated in the weeks before the event.

Sundance provided a prepared statement in response to a Park Record inquiry about upcoming Historic Park City Alliance survey.

“Our interest in sublets is for both our own events and our partners’ and is a normal process we go through in a normal year, so that we can best grasp the local business and venue landscape. As always, our community of official sponsors look forward to continuing their long-standing partnerships with the Festival once we finalize our plans,” a Sundance spokesperson said.

The statement also said: “After an unprecedented ’21 Festival, we’re collaborating closely with a number of partners to determine the optimal shape for the 2022 edition — and yes, that announcement will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.”

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