Parking spots: tougher than tickets to Sundance screenings?
A parking spot is perhaps one of the only things tougher to get during the Sundance Film Festival than a ticket to a premier screening.
Well-placed parking spots on and close to Main Street will be tightly regulated during the film festival, with City Hall restricting parking in some places and charging for spots elsewhere that are normally free.
Park City officials hope the parking charges will encourage more people to use the free buses — both City Hall routes and Sundance’s theater route — instead of driving to Main Street and then paying to park. Parking on Main Street will be especially restricted. City Hall will designate Main Street between the Brew Pub lot and 9th Street a drop-and-load area, meaning that people cannot park on that stretch of the street for more than 15 minutes.
The west side of the street will remain a drop-and-load area throughout the festival. The east side of Main Street could revert to a paid-parking zone available to anyone as early as Jan. 26 if City Hall determines the conditions warrant loosening the restriction.
Meanwhile, some of the highly desirable places to park during the festival include:
Swede Alley, which will cost $20, cash only, from Jan. 22 until Jan. 26. The price drops to $10, cash only, on Jan. 27.
China Bridge, which will be priced the same as Swede Alley.
The Yard off Kearns Boulevard, where parking costs $10. People heading to screenings at Temple Har Shalom must board buses at The Yard.
Parking on Swede Alley and in the China Bridge garage is normally free.
Privately held garages close to Main Street will advertise their own prices.
Festival-goers who park on neighborhood streets surrounding Main Street risk a ticket. City Hall restricts parking on streets like upper Park Avenue, Woodside Avenue and Norfolk Avenue to people who live there, requiring them to obtain decals to put on their cars.
People who park in privately held lots risk being towed, and some of the lots post signs warning drivers that festival-related parking is prohibited.
Outside of the Main Street area, free parking is available at City Park, which is situated close to the screening room at the Park City Library and Education Center and is within walking distance to Main Street and Holiday Village. There is a bus stop at City Park as well.
Parking will also be available at the giant lot outside Snow Park Lodge at Deer Valley Resort. The lot opens to festival-goers at 5 p.m. to allow skiers to leave. Buses will run to the Snow Park lot until 2 a.m.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opens the parking lot outside its building on Monitor Drive to festival-goers Mondays through Saturdays at 3 p.m. It is located on the bus routes and is close to the Racquet Club screening room.
Sundance also encourages people to walk between many of the festival sites. Many of the theaters are within a 30-minute walk of each other.
Maps of the City Hall bus system and the Sundance routes are available in The Park Record’s "Film Week 2010" special section inserted in the Jan. 20 newspaper.
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When it comes to the U.S. census, let’s just say Park City has… room for improvement.