Sundance 2020: It may seem like there are no rules in Park City, but there actually are
Sometimes it may seem like there are no rules in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival each January.
But City Hall, known for tightly controlling activities and the look of the community, has numerous regulations and processes that are important to the goings-on during the festival. There are processes that are required before someone can open a temporary corporate setup on Main Street like the ones during Sundance as well as before someone can film in the city, as examples.
The municipal government has published the annual Rules of the Road guide in anticipation of the opening of Sundance. The guide is drafted for people who are preparing to conduct business of some sort in Park City during Sundance, but it offers a look at the City Hall processes that could be intriguing to rank-and-file Parkites as well.
The festival opens Jan. 23 and lasts until Feb. 2. The Rules of the Road provides a deadline calendar for the various categories of permits and licenses that someone conducting business commonly seeks. City Hall also publishes a community guide to Sundance and a map of the festival impacts. Those are expected to be released later in January and offer important information for Parkites who want to learn about the potential hassles during Sundance as they go about their everyday lives.
The Rules of the Road includes detailed information about some key processes, such as the steps necessary to secure what is known as a convention sales license. A convention sales license permits a firm to operate a business inside Park City on a temporary basis. There are numerous such operations in Park City during Sundance, such as gifting suites. Some of the convention sales license steps outlined in the Rules of the Road include a pre-inspection prior to the submittal of an application and the actual application submittal. Information like floor plans are required. The Park City Council must approve the convention sales licenses.
The Rules of the Road also outline the process to secure a liquor permit good for a single event and the permitting process if someone needs to use public parking spaces to load and unload a venue in the Main Street area. The publication includes the steps to secure film permits, building permits, fire permits and sign permits.
The information is critical as the numerous corporate interests and others planning to have a presence in Park City during Sundance prepare their blueprints. The corporate interests arrive in Park City in an effort to create buzz about the firms during what is one of the top film festivals on the international circuit. The corporate presence is especially notable along Main Street with national and international brands temporarily leasing storefronts and restaurants and, in many cases, creating elaborate gifting suites, special-event rooms and product showcases.
The corporate presence is particularly pronounced during the celebrity-heavy opening days of Sundance. Some of the setups are dismantled after the first weekend of the festival while others are kept intact until the closing day.
The calendar produced for the Rules of the Road is noteworthy for people who work, shop or dine along Main Street. The calendar provides information about the scheduling for the loading and unloading of the festival and the accompanying setups on the street. The calendar indicates the loading is prohibited Jan. 18, Jan. 19 and Jan. 20, which covers the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend, a typically busy stretch for the ski industry. Loading is allowed from 4 a.m. until 10 a.m. from Jan. 21 until Jan. 24. There is no loading or unloading allowed on Jan. 25, Jan. 26 and Jan. 27. Unloading is allowed from 4 a.m. until 10 a.m. Jan. 28 until Feb. 2. The prohibition on loading and unloading on Jan. 25, Jan. 26 and Jan. 27 coincides with the first Saturday and Sunday of Sundance, normally the busiest days of the event, as well as the Monday of Sundance.
The Rules of the Road are available on the City Hall website. The link is: parkcity.org/home/showdocument?id=64767.
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The Park City lodging industry in recent weeks experienced an uptick in projected occupancy numbers during the dates of the Sundance Film Festival, but the figures remain depressed from a typical year during the largest special event on the city’s calendar.