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What to know as the Sundance Film Festival approaches

Parker Malatesta
The 2023 Sundance Film Festival will run from Jan. 19 to Jan. 29.

After a break, many may need a refresher on event logistics including the many transportation changes around town.

The Sundance Film Festival, one of the busiest times of year in Park City, is fast approaching.

Sundance has been solely an online event for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Park City Special Events Manager Jenny Diersen said she understands that after a break, many may feel they need a refresher on event logistics.

“We know it’s been two years and we know many people have forgotten how it happens or there’s a lot of new folks in town not quite sure what happens," Diersen said. "And so we are doing extensive community outreach.”

The city has published a how-to guide for the event.

Additionally, people can text “filmfest” (one word) to 888777 to sign up for Sundance alerts. Diersen said the city uses the text line a few times throughout the festival to make sure the public is aware of things like traffic backups.

She said the event brings along with it some major transportation changes around town.

“This year, what we’re doing is we’re going to have some additional one-way streets," Diersen said.

"So Swede Alley will be one-way headed south, which is uphill. So if you come in on Swede Alley, you will drive up past the post office and go up towards the Grappa intersection.

"Main Street as well as Park Ave. will be one-way headed north, which is out of town or downhill. And so all traffic starting on the 19th, will need to follow those traffic patterns.”

Starting Thursday, Jan. 19, parking in the China Bridge parking lot will cost a flat rate of $40. The following Friday and Saturday the price jumps to $50. Midweek, it drops down to normal rates and the second weekend it will be $30.

Diersen said drivers should enter the China Bridge at the top of the lot off Marsac Ave.

A permit to get in and out access to China Bridge for the entire festival costs $550.

All parking will go back to normal rates on Jan. 29.

Diersen said she recommends visitors use the Richardson Flat park and ride, as the city plans to boost public transportation options there during the festival. It has 750 spaces; during the festival, the 50 Teal bus route will run there every 20 minutes from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Pick-up and drop-off areas throughout Sundance include the south Marsac parking lot at City Hall, the lot by Wasatch Brew Pub, the turnaround loop on Ninth St. and on Heber Ave. by Courchevel Bistro.

Diersen said locals should expect Park City to be poppin’.

“It’ll be a busy time," she said. "I don’t like to use the b-word often, but it will be a busy time. I think especially as the festival has not been here.”

Along with the in-person crowds, corporate sponsors are also set to return. Acura will set up its swanky tent at the Bob Wells Plaza again. Apple TV and other media companies like The Hollywood Reporter and Vox will set up shop on Main Street and Park Ave.

The festival runs from Jan. 19 to Jan. 29.

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