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How to Sundance Like A Local

Posted by Scott Maizlish on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 at 12:27pm.


Ask any Park City local and they’ll tell you there are two ways to Sundance:

1. The right way.

2. The way tourists do it.

The annual Sundance Film Festival, held each year in the quaint, vibrant mountain town of Park City, Utah, is a jam-packed 10 days of A-list parties, star sightings, people watching, skiing, live music, and oh, yeah — movies. Which anymore, seem to be a bit of a Sundance afterthought.

In fact, the word “Sundance” is now used as a verb by locals to describe the festival. As in, “How are you going to Sundance this year?” Local translation: “Are you hunkering down or taking part?”

Though Sundance does bring some unwelcomed traffic jams and attitude, for the most part, locals enjoy this event as much as the tourists do. But they participate very differently. Here are a few tips from Park City locals on how to better blend in, not stick out like a frostbitten thumb, and enjoy Sundance like the ones who live here.

1.  Ride the bus. Park City offers an unbeatable transit system. The busses are free and take riders all over the town. During Sundance especially they are the best way to get around. Not only do you not have to fight for a parking spot that will set you back $50, you also never know who you’ll meet on the bus.  Celebrities have been known to ditch their limos in favor of this more practical transportation. And all sorts of wheeling and dealing goes on between stops. Got tickets you can’t use? You’ll likely find someone willing to put your name on the list for an impossible-to-get-into party in exchange.


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2.  Color is the new black.
The locals call Sundancers “PIBs,” which stands for People In Black. You’re going to see films, not to a funeral. Add some color! You’ll blend in better if you’re not dressed head-to-toe in black.
Photo Credit

3.  Lose the ‘tude. There’s a saying Park City over Sundance that goes like this: “Don’t you know who I am? No? Good, we’re even.” Locals understand that with the Hollywood scene comes a little ego. But throwing a fit at Starbucks because the barista forgot to add extra foam to your non-fat, extra-hot soy latte just isn’t how we do things here. You’re in the mountains. Breathe in the fresh, crisp air and try to relax.Mountain time is a state of mind, not just a time zone.

4.  Dress appropriately.
It’s winter. In the Rocky Mountains. It’s probably going to snow. It’s definitely going to be cold. You need shoes with good traction, a coat and covered legs. We know you want to look nice and show off your Southern California tan, but mini skirts and high heels make us laugh.And they’re not just an impractical choice, they’re also dangerous! Walking on the hilly, snow-covered sidewalks in stilettos has been the cause of many trips to the local hospital. And lines into venues often start outside. There’s nothing sexy about frostbite. Dress accordingly!

5.  Lanyards are for losers.
I know that sounds harsh, but if you don’t want to be the subject of a local’s Facebook post about the funny place a “PIB wearing his lanyard” was spotted, understand they’re not always necessary. I’ve actually seen people wearing these at the gym ON THE TREADMILL and in hot tubs. Trust me, there is no VIP exercise equipment because you bought a festival pass. In fact, it’s really not necessary to wear these unless you are at a movie. The bartenders don’t wait on you faster and the locals just chuckle. Your movie tickets are equally as valid if tucked away in your purse or wallet rather than displayed around your neck.
Call Scott Maizlish for more insider tips or  Park City Real Estate needs at 435.901.4309

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