Planning Ahead ~ What You'll Need In Park City
There are lots of different ways to experience Park City. Those who are serious about their Sundance know that housing decisions are key. Long before you can even buy a festival package, you need to think about how much you can spend on lodging, whether or not you plan on inviting people back and entertaining, and exactly how many people you are comfortable living with for two weeks.
The Sundance Film Festival – who's 10 days run the second half of January - is held at venues in four different locales: the Sundance Resort, in Salt Lake City, Park City, and Ogden, Utah. Even though the festival has spread out the concentration of their venues, hotels are still at a premium, especially in the areas around the heart of the action - Park City. A Park City hotel room can range from $225 to $750 a night, and lodging throughout the area fills up early, so if you can swing it, you want to book your housing at least six months in advance.
When on a budget, there are Airbnb options, often pretty reasonable as some locals will open their homes for some extra cash. If you're a young broke artist - coming to the fest for the first time - think about teaming up and pitching in as a big group to rent a house where you can entertain. At the end of a long day of movie watching, when everyone is looking for a place to get together, you can invite people back to your space and be the talk of the town the next day. If all housemates are on the same page - with everyone pitching in for alcohol and party snacks - just make sure you bring some great playlists for background party music, invite some poets to entertain, and you're good to go. You really haven't seen all of Sundance until your stepping over snoring cinematographers in sleeping bags to end up crawling under the covers - three to a bed - exhausted, and happy. Most importantly, beware. Annually there are crashers, so if you throw a party, watch for the guy passing out on your couch, and keep some cab company numbers handy.
Festival Passes are non-transferable, there are no name changes, and Festival Credentials include a photo of you, making sure the pass is only used by you. For answers to all sorts of commonly asked ticketing questions go to the Insitute's website. Of course you could always email them at: CustomerService@sundance.org, and for more urgent needs during the festival itself, there is a customer service hotline: 888-285-7790 or 435-776-7878, Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. MT. (Hotline only active during Festival Season)
Grappa, featured below,
is the most romantic restaurant in Park City.
Whether you have a film in the festival, or you brought a clip of your personal masterpiece to show off on your tablet, 'leave behinds' are your friends. If you want to do the festival right, you will be arriving in town laden down with postcards, posters, stickers, temporary tattoos, buttons, hats, T-shirts, DVDs, and laminates ready to share with the masses. All those festival attendees are potential walking advertisements for your brand or film, so you might as well take advantage. For some seasoned Sundancers, those take back home items are the only way of remembering exactly who you met, and how to reach them after the festival is over.
Making Dinner Reservations
There are lots of fabulous choices to sit down and negotiate your big deal right in the heart of Park City. We love Grappa with its romantic views of the town, always enjoy Riverhorse for their nightly cocktail events with divine hors d'oeuvres, and Robert Redford's own place Zoom located at the bottom of Main Street in a restored Train Depot. Reservations often require a deposit, so make them early before getting to town. Check out photos and videos on our FOODIE page.
You Will Get Sick
If you are at the festival for any period of time, and you are also sipping on the night life nector, it is just a matter of time. It's so common to get a chest cold that turns into Pneumonia during Sundance, that festival regulars have a name for it...the Sundance Crud*. Take care of yourself. Bring Emergen-C and probably pack some Airborne as well. Most importantly, as soon as you start to cough, treat it. Drink lots of hot liquids and take some Alka Seltzer Cold & Flu, or whatever cold medicine you prefer, but do what you need to do to keep it out of your chest until you get back to a regular sleep schedule. You will thank us later.
You Will Be Cold
With so many visitors coming from warmer climates, sometimes we lose sight of what cold really is. It definitely gets below 20 degrees at night in Park City, so don't just bring a scarf & a sexy jacket. Bring layers, a really warm hat, and serious gloves. It's much more fun to be warm, trust us.
If you do happen to arrive without the right winter gear in tow, no worries. There are some excellent shopping opportunities at the Tanger Outlets - COACH, FOSSIL, CALVIN KLEIN, UNDER ARMOUR, and even a MICHAEL KORS - located about 20 minutes away from Park City at Kimball Junction, which is also on your way into town from Salt Lake City. There are lots of stores, great deals, and an awesome environment all around.
On Main Street you'll find one-of-a-kind art, incredible collector's pieces, a furrier, fabulous eyewear, and plenty of take-home nick-nacks to keep even the most avid shopaholic satisfied.
You Are At Altitude
This is a much bigger subject than this blog will allow, so make sure you do your own research, and just consider this a friendly warning. Altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness is a group of symptoms people can experience when at higher altitudes with low oxygen levels. Park City is one of those places on earth with low oxygen levels.
To be clear, low oxygen levels begin at about a mile high or 5,280 feet. The lowest point in Park City is at 6,900 feet, and depending on where you find yourself during the festival, you could be well over 8,000. To make matters worse, the very things you may be doing - drinking alcohol, taking sedatives, smoking and schlepping around in the snow - are said to just make symptoms worse.
It is recommended to increase fluid intake regularly while at higher altitude, and because it is also very, very dry, just make sure you always have a water bottle on you and hydrate often. In fact, we also recommend bringing tons of body lotion, and lip balm, because you will absolutely find your skin dryer.
People can feel shortness of breath when exercising or with any exertion. Some people describe it as “feeling hung over.” Since it's likely, with all the free flowing alcohol at Sundance, that you might actually be hung over most days, you might miss the signs. The most common symptom is a headache. Less frequently, it can be accompanied by stomach upset, fatigue/weakness, dizziness, and/or difficulty sleeping. The symptoms usually start 12-24 hours after reaching the altitude. This may be just the time you find yourself at the bottom of Main Street, about to take the hike, or at the end of the day when you have just had a glass of wine. Anyone can feel the symptoms and it can happen to people at any age, gender or fitness level.
Is it dangerous? It can be. If the symptoms are ignored and the person continues on to higher altitudes, a dangerous progression can develop leading to swelling in the lungs or the brain. These conditions are life threatening. But they're also rare.
It is extremely helpful to settle in and rest - when you first arrive - before exerting yourself with strenuous activity. The cost of housing is generally less expensive for the days before the actual festival. That's why, if you have the time and the budget, we often suggest arriving there a day early - getting the lay of the land - so your body can adjust to the lower oxygen levels at higher altitude before you start taking on the industry with all the vim and vigor you're used to.
Pack a Bathing Suit
It may sound crazy, but after a long day of snowmobiling and watching films, your bones can start to ache in the chilling cold. Most of the chateaus come with a hot tub, standard, so you're sure to be invited in, and there's nothing like a hot jacuzzi to get your body back on track.
So don't forget to pack a bathing suit, or you might just find yourself baring it all in the name of fun.
It Is a Very Sexy Festival
Sundance is, for some reason, extra sexy.
People are uber friendly, the city is lit up with mini bonfires, and the crowds are full of heady anticipation. Alchohol flows freely, everyone is open to conversation. There are alot of really smart people who have everything in common - the love of film - concentrated in a very small area. Actresses look gorgeous, the latest winter fashion is being worn by the bold and the beautiful, and sensual new music is being played - or performed - everywhere at all hours. It's sort of like the holidays kept going, and everywhere you go, it feels like mistletoe is hanging over your head.
I don't make the rules. It's just the way it is.
So if you're going, and you're single, bring condoms. Nuff said.
My Sundance Packing List
By Lisa Lindo
To Bring With
Extra Portable Wireless Chargers
1000 Business Cards
Great waterproof boots
Nice bag/backpack to carry giveaways and water
Flaxseed Oil (To combat the dry climate in Park City)
Cash For Cabs and Coat Checkers
EmergenC and Airborne
Lots of 5 hour energy
Leave Behinds ~ Promo Hats, T-Shirts, etc.
To Do Before
Book Our Housing
Buy Festival Pass
Make Massage Appointments at Spa in Park City
Get The Overall Party List
RSVP to all appropriate Sundance Parties
Contact Industry Friends for their arrival and departure days