Sundance set change: move-in, move-out underway in Park City |

Sundance set change: move-in, move-out underway in Park City

The Sundance Film Festival move-out, move-in drill was well underway by Monday afternoon.

Erin Evans, the director of operations for the Mountain Trails Gallery, a Western-themed fine art seller, was with three gallery staffers and a moving crew on Monday readying the space for a temporary tenant for the festival.

A corporate interest has rented the space and the artworks needed to be moved out. The staffers and moving crew carefully loaded the art before taking it to a secure location. It is the second time in the past six years the gallery has rented out the space for Sundance. It takes 1 1/2 days to move the artworks out and another 1 1/2 days to move the pieces back in and prepare to reopen, she said.

"It’s a lot of work. We have to move all our art out," Evans said, adding, "They make it worth our while. We wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t beneficial to us."

She added that Sundance crowds typically do not shop for fine art, one of the factors that the gallery weighs when deciding whether to rent the space.

Main Street was packed on Monday and Tuesday as crews transformed the streetscape for Sundance. Some of the workers were readying Sundance’s official sites, such as the Sundance House at the Kimball Art Center, but many others were hired by Sundance’s official sponsors or other corporations that do not have official ties to the festival.

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Main Street is the hub for parties, concerts, celebrity gawking and the overall Sundance scene. The temporary corporate setups, many of them elaborately built, add to the pizzazz of Main Street even if they are open to the public only at certain times.

The street was bustling on Monday and Tuesday as work continued at the temporary locations. The SundanceTV festival headquarters, in space normally occupied by an art gallery, was decorated with a large banner. The Sundance Film Festival store on Main Street had moved into what is typically a gift shop. Painters were working on a setup called the Airbnb Haus. Some of the places required heavy machinery while crews were seen manually loading the spaces.

There were signs in several windows indicating that the normal tenant would be closed for Sundance. A sign in one window advertised the space was available for a temporary lease during the film festival in 2016. Businesses and building owners oftentimes reach lucrative rental agreements with corporate interests during the festival, opting for a rental instead of normal operations.

At City Hall on Tuesday morning, meanwhile, the Park City Council approved a final set of licenses for corporate setups during Sundance. The elected officials started approving them in December and scheduled the special meeting on Tuesday to take action on a final clutch of applications. The licenses approved on Tuesday included spaces on Main Street, Park Avenue and Deer Valley Drive among several other streets.

It is almost certain that many of the crews will still be working as Sundance opens on Thursday. The first full day of the festival is Friday, and the setups should be in full operation for what is usually a jammed opening weekend on Main Street.

The executive director of a business group that represents Main Street said there were some concerns this year about corporate interests securing space later than normal. Alison Butz, who is with the Historic Park City Alliance, said, though, "logistically it’s going fairly well." By Tuesday morning, Butz was not prepared to offer a gauge of how Main Street will be presented during Sundance.

"I never have a good sense, unfortunately, until that Friday . . . of what it looks like, feels like," Butz said.