Today kicks off the reimagined 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Normally, Park City is abustle this time of year with festival-goers, filmmakers, and celebrities, dashing from screenings to the slopes, to panels and activations, and on to parties and concerts, with Historic Main Street as the festival epicenter. At Sea to Ski, we are usually knee-deep in the hustle and bustle, welcoming our homeowners and their guests, preparing their homes for festival celebrations, stocking refrigerators and bars, arranging reservations, and coordinating a calendar full of cleanings!
This year, of course, the pandemic has caused Sundance to pivot and reimagine the festival experience. For the first time, the festival is going virtual (primarily) with viewers able to stream films and happenings from the comfort of their own homes and devices.
It’s certainly a bittersweet moment. While this virtual format allows the show to go on and opens the festival to a wider audience around the world, the void created by the festival’s physical absence in the Park City community cannot be understated. Sundance Film Festival is a major boon to the Utah economy and is critical to the small business community in Park City. Last year’s festival brought almost 120,000 people, who went on to spend over $150 million (KUER). Many of our beloved Park City businesses are already reeling from the pandemic and losing Sundance is another major blow to revenues.
With that in mind, we wanted to share a few ways that you can show your support for Park City businesses during this virtual Sundance:
FOOD // If you are here in town, add some flavor to your home film screening by ordering out from one of your favorite Park City restaurants. Or, if you’re feeling up to it, make a reservation! Many local eateries are offering safe dine-in experiences. If you’re not currently in the area, purchase a gift card from your favorite spot for the next time you visit.
• Check out Park City Restaurant Association and Dishing Park City for more information on the best places to dine-in or take-out.
• A few of our favorites: 350 Main, Courchevel Bistro, Firewood, Five5eeds, Freshies Lobster, Handle, Harvest, Riverhorse on Main, The Spur Bar & Grill, The Viking Yurt, and Yuki Yama Sushi.
DRINK // Sip on some local libations as you discuss your favorite scenes from this week’s films. Enjoy a socially distanced glass at the bar or grab a few bottles to-go! If you’re out of town, see about shipping or buy a gift card to redeem later.
• What we’re sippin’ on: Old Town Cellars, Alpine Distilling, or Highwest Distillery.
SHOPS + SERVICES // Historic Park City and Visit Park City are both great resources to find information on all sorts of shops and services around town. If you can’t make it in to shop, visit their online stores. Perhaps you could send a gift or two to your favorite Sundancers, in lieu of this year’s trip? While you’re at it, you could start planning for next year’s fest too!
While we’re missing the in-person event, we commend the innovation of Sundance to continue its tradition of celebrating independent film, visionary artists, and unique perspectives. Here are some resources for navigating the virtual format:
Although we can’t gather in-person, we hope you enjoy the reimagined festival. Here’s hoping we’ll be back to Sundancing down Main Street again next year!