Visiting the Sundance Film Festival is a great way to spend a January in Utah. As the largest independent cinema festival in the United States, the event brings in hundreds of new films. As such, the festival attracts thousands of film fans, movie buffs and industry professionals to Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden, and of course Sundance, Utah for screenings, workshops and seminars. Because it is the capital and most populous city in the state, booking Salt Lake City hotels is the best bet for visitors. Several miles outside of the capital are Park City and Ogden, Utah, the two other cities that host the Sundance Film Festival.
Best Hotels in Salt Lake City
To be in the center of it all, consider the Hilton Salt Lake City Center, which is located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, a short walk from the light rail and numerous popular restaurants. This is a pet-friendly hotel, also featuring a Retreat Spa and state-of-the-art Precor fitness facility.
Visitors can fly easily into Salt Lake International Airport, the largest airport in the region. Salt Lake City also offers tons of attractions such as the Kearns Mansion, the Utah State Capitol Building, and the Utah Hogle Zoo. Park City has several resorts from which to choose, and visitors might enjoy its Main Street Shopping District and Utah Olympic Park. Ogden features the Hill Air Force Base Museum, the Dinosaur Park and Museum, Hill Aerospace Museum, and Peery’s Egyptian Theater. Of course, most visitors will want to spend as much time as possible at the festival itself. Walking through the busy streets affords you the chance to see famous celebrities. You never know when you might run into Ashton Kutcher during a quick coffee stop or Robert Redford during brunch.
Registering for Sundance
Just as you should get reservations at one of the best hotels in Salt Lake City early, a lengthy registration process means that those wishing to attend films at the festival must pre-register for a specific time slot. For those who miss the deadlines, Sundance also offers open ticket sales, wait-list ticket sales, day-of-show tickets, Best of Fest Screening, and Townie Tuesday Tickets (for locals only).
One important tip for new visitors is that most of the theatres do not offer parking, so renting a car to drive between venues is not wise. Free shuttles travel frequently between the venues, and the Sundance Film Festival webpage has a list of all the shuttle routes online, as well as Park City Transit Maps. Nevertheless, a rental may be necessary if you plan to visit the other cities for a showing.
Dress for the Weather
Finally, it is important for visitors to dress with the weather in mind. It gets extremely cold in Utah during Sundance, so you’ll need to take precautions to protect yourself from Utah’s frigid winter air. By keeping these tips in mind, visitors are sure to receive the fullest experience the Sundance Film Festival has to offer. While considerably cold during the festival, Salt Lake City is a gorgeous gem in the American west that is a must-see, especially during winter.
A Free Ride to Luxury
With free airport shuttle service, you can enjoy a relaxed ride from your flight right into the indoor pool. The Sheraton Salt Lake City offers a relaxing getaway from the bright lights of the film festival. Take a few minutes to wind down at the end of a great day in the onsite fitness facility, or get ready for the night ahead at the beauty salon housed in the hotel as well.
A Touch of Class…and a Few Cocktails
At the Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown, you can enjoy 4-star quality and the hotel’s own Destinations Lounge. Have a few drinks with friends and go over the films you saw and the stars you met, or have a round before going out on the vibrant SLC downtown for a few more delicious beverages.