Many tourists visit Park City every year. Among the many sights and events Park City has to offer, the Sundance Film Festival is one of the most well known. The festival takes place in the month of January over the course of 10 days during which more than 200 films are shown to upwards of 45,000 people. These numbers make it the highest attended venue for independent films in the United States. As a result, foot traffic in and around commercial real estate in Park City tends to spike during the time of the Sundance Film Festival.
The history of the Sundance Film Festival dates back to 1978 when Robert Redford chaired its first incarnation in Salt Lake City. At that time the name of the festival was called “The US Film Festival” then renamed “The Utah/United States Film Festival.” In 1981 the film festival moved from Salt Lake City to Park City supposedly because of Park City’s relatively less strict alcohol regulation and proximity to ski resorts. Ten years later the festival was again renamed “The Sundance Film Festival” in honor of Robert Redford’s role as the Sundance Kid in the 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
Many well known directors of independent films launched their careers at the Sundance Film Festival. For example, Quentin Tarantino showed Reservoir Dogs in 1992 and Kevin Smith showed Clerks in 1994. Both directors have gone on to extremely successful careers and commercial success.
The Sundance Film Festival is infuses approximately $80,000,000 into Park City’s economy every year. Because Salt Lake City International Airport is only a 45 minute commute away, Park City is a convenient location to get to. For this reason along with other tourist attractions including world class skiing contribute to making tourism one of the main economic drivers for Park City. As such, it is no wonder why most commercial real estate in Park City is connected to the tourism industry in some way.