A Sundance Itinerary: Doing Sundance the Right Way

Posted in Discover the Areas
by Kim-Marie on January 18, 2012

sundancestreet (sundancestreet)

Thinking of jetting to Sundance this year?  It's the best time to both ski and celeb watch in Park City.  With over 200 films set to screen at this year’s Sundance Film Festival you can catch all sorts of fresh tracks on the mountain while everyone else is munching popcorn.

Sundance is coming to Park City January 19 – 29, 2012.  It’s a skier’s dream come true, hotel rooms are full of celebutantes too busy figuring out how to navigate the icy sidewalks downtown in their Jimmy Choos to get in your way at the lift lines.  

Before you travel, ok, actually, right now if you’re really thinking you want to do this.  Go to the Sundance Festival website and pre-register for tickets.  The options range from Festival Passes (pricey and get you in to everything) to Individual Tickets (cheap but you need to be really flexible with timing).  The Festival Pass allows you to bypass the lines, see any film you would like and even attend one of the swanky parties.  It won’t however get you in to the swag suites, you need to be a real celebrity for that.

Getting to the Mountain:

I suggest renting a car in Park City, yes the town is small and you can stay on the mountain, but how else are you going to shop?  If you decide to go all limo (or all city bus) you'll need to get from Salt Lake City International Airport to Park City. Premier Transportation gives great service.  The drivers are local and they have SUV’s that can haul all of your gear.

Great Eats:

Reservations are must for a good meal during Sundance unless you want to eat at 5:00 p.m.  Park City boasts a long list of fabulous restaurants.  My two favorites are Chimayo and Oishi Sushi and Grill.  

Cozy up by the fire at Chimayo and order one of their award winning margaritas.  They don’t really say which award they won, but does it really matter?  Who doesn’t love being able to get Cabo Wabo tequila in the mountains?  Don’t be fooled by the Aztec décor, this is no taco joint.  The food is truly unique and gourmet.

Another mountain surprise is the world-class sushi being served up at Oishi Sushi and Grill. Their specialty rolls can stand on their own against any from the swankiest California joint

Day One:

Hit the slopes of course.  Park City is the only town that offers lift service directly from historic Main Street.  So whether you stay on the mountain or in town, getting to the slopes is easy.  If you choose to drive, there is plenty of parking including a toasty garage.  Didn’t wake up early enough to ski?  No worries, Park City Mountain Resort offers night skiing.  See films all day and ski all night, who needs sleep?

Apres' Ski:

No trip to Park City would be complete without a little (or a lot) of shopping.  We’re not talking t-shirts that say “Ski Naked-Add Color to Your Cheeks”, though you can find those if that’s what you’re after.  Main Street is a snowy strip of shopping paradise.  Something about being in the mountains out west brings out the cowboy/girl in all of us.  So really, you should have the boots to go along with that yeehaw feeling.  

Burns Cowboy Shop is the place to get your authentic western gear.  They are a family owned business dating back 112 years in Utah.  They have something for everyone in the family.  The prices range from the expensive but worth it Lucchese to every day cowboy fair.  They even have children’s sizes,  after all every cowboy was little once.

Once you’re rocking some boots and a big old belt buckle, you’ll need some turquoise to complete the look.  The Crosby Collection Store on Main Street is your next "must shop".  Bing and Vickie Crosby will give you the 411 on good turquoise, where it comes from and how to spot it.  They can help you find a $1,000 buckle or a $15 pair of earrings for your niece.  It's my all time favorite place to shop in Park City.

Day Two:

Why be content risking your life on skis or a snowboard when you can do it in a bobsled?  Park City was the site of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and offers the only full track bobsled experience for regular people (that's us) in the United States.  Reservations are recommended, all details are at the Utah Olympic Legacy website.

The sleds are retro-fitted so that one huge man in front (yes, all men) does both the driving and the all important braking.  Three passengers pay $200 each for the privilege of careening down the track at speeds of around 80mph.  "What’s the big deal?" you’re thinking, you just drove 80 last weekend on the way home right?  Add a few 180 degree turns and before you know it you’re pulling 5gs.  Astronauts pull 3gs during shuttle take off.  Why would someone do this?  So they can say they did of course.  Oh, and you can hang the picture of you and your driver with the “sled” on your wall.

Apres' Bobsled:

A trip to the spa is what’s in order after a death defying rocket launch down the icy track.  Book the Serenity Suite at the super swank Montage in Deer Valley. Serenity is a spa suite for couples or small groups, it includes an entry room with two fireside copper tubs, a wet area with multi-headed shower, a massage room with its own fireplace and two custom therapy tables, and an outdoor private balcony with lounging chairs and radiant floor heat. That can go along way to working out those 5g neck kinks.

Day Three:

Spend the day celeb gawking or catching some soon to be Oscar winnning films at the festival. You can buy Sundance Film Festival Credentials for $200.  What does this get you?  

  • Sundance House Presented by HP
  • Filmmaker Lodge
  • New Frontier
  • Sundance ASCAP Music Café (daytime admission)
  • Festival Co-op
  • Salt Lake City Café at the Beehive Tea Room

Can’t make it to Park City for Sundance but you want to look like you did?  Or more philanthropically, support the independent film industry?  Shop the Festival Store online, we won't tell.



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Comment posted by santafetraveler on January 21, 2012 6:16 PM MST

Lots of fun stuff- thanks! People can start planning for next year.

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Comment posted by Andrea Guthmann on January 19, 2012 7:42 PM MST

Thanks for the fun look at a weekend in Park City!

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Comment posted by hw from Riverside on January 19, 2012 5:40 PM MST

Ok my friend i had no idea you were there right now- lucky you. i am so jealous. we left Monday just as the snow was starting to come. Save some powder for me please! xo

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Comment posted by snowboards on January 19, 2012 12:16 PM MST

Great advice/itinerary

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Comment posted by Amber on January 19, 2012 8:48 AM MST

I like how you've mixed the best of Sundance with the best of Park City! Sundance really isn't my scene but I was surprised by how FUN it was when I went a few years ago. There is definitely a great vibe in Park City during it!

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Comment posted by Kristen on January 18, 2012 7:04 PM MST

Fun! I'm headed there next week...thanks for the tips! Looking forward to lots of new snow and uncrowded slopes!

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