Sundance turns ignition on deal with Lyft
The Sundance Film Festival intends to turn the ignition on a sponsorship deal with the ride-sharing firm Lyft, an agreement that is important as festival organizers and City Hall finalize the details of the January event.
The deal between Sundance and Lyft would follow two years after the festival officially teamed with Uber. It is expected to be completed shortly.
City Hall addresses the Lyft sponsorship in a report drafted in anticipation of a Park City Council meeting on Thursday. The elected officials are scheduled to consider a package of modifications to the operations of the festival that addresses Lyft and a series of other issues. Park City and Sundance organizers annually craft what is known as a supplemental plan for the festival that encompasses the changes.
The Lyft operation would be centered at a building at 1665 Bonanza Drive, the former location of a clinic. City Hall intends to acquire the land in early January as part of the broader purchase in Bonanza Park. Park City would lease the space to Lyft from Jan. 10 until Feb. 3 for $7,500. The location would house an operations center and a driver lounge.
The City Hall report notes the proposed Lyft location “will act as an operations hub, lounge for riders and drivers keeping them fresh and rested.” It also says the location provides “centralized access” to a series of Sundance venues, including the Eccles Center and screening rooms in Prospector.
Lyft, meanwhile, has agreed to closely monitor surges in prices and consider geographic grids that could reduce the number of circling drivers in Old Town, according to the report.
“Provide a centralized platform that may allow a higher degree of ‘control’ over drivers which should minimize impacts on the system,” the report says.
Lyft would also be allowed to manage a staging area on Swede Alley in back of Dolly’s Bookstore. The company has also secured space to operate a Lyft Lounge at a building at 509 Main St., the report says.
The presence of Lyft in an official capacity will likely be of interest to Park City’s transportation firms. There was concern in the industry when City Hall allowed Uber to occupy the flagpole lot on lower Main Street in 2016. The transportation firms worried the agreement involving the flagpole lot provided a competitive advantage to Uber.
City Hall, though, also intends to set aside space for transportation firms with vehicles carrying decals issued by the municipal government. The locations would be at the trolley turnaround on lower Main Street, the west side of Main Street between the pedestrian bridge and 9th Street, 12 spots in the Brew Pub lot on upper Main Street and five Main Street parking spaces outside the post office 8 p.m. and later.
The City Council is scheduled to discuss the overall package of operational modifications at a meeting starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Marsac Building. Public input will be accepted.
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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.