May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside's Annual Travel Guide, 1999/2000 Page: 1 | 2

On January 20, 2000, the overcaffeinated, underfed independent moviemaking world will descend on Park City, Utah, for the start of the annual ten-day Sundance Film Festival. For skiers who love movies, there is no finer place to be: All films are open to the public, the bars and coffee shops are jammed with famous-looking people in black talking grosses and artistic vision, and the skiing conditions are generally midwinter-perfect.

If you want to immerse yourself in the whole indie-film milieu, book a room at The Yarrow Resort Hotel (800-927-7694) or the Radisson Inn Park City (800-333-3333). Both serve as festival centers and are on the free shuttle bus route, not far from the electric hustle of Main Street and such A-list restaurants as the Zoom Roadhouse Grill, Riverhorse Cafe, Chimayo, and Grappa.

For a more sedate festival experience, stay at the Sundance ski resort, the intimate Robert Redford–owned sanctuary less than an hour south of Park City. Three- to five-night film-and-lodging packages run from $800 to $2,650 for two people and include admission to Film Festival movies in the resort's own screening room, three to five Sundance lift tickets, daily breakfast, and accommodations in rustic-chic one-bedroom cottages (we don't call them "condos" in Bobland)—not to mention a decent shot at seeing the Big Guy himself.

You can purchase multifilm packages in November (call 801-328-3456; prices range from $200 to $3,000; most packages sell out by December 1), which entitle you to tickets to select screenings and to attend parties and other festivities. You can also buy individual tickets ($8–$10) by phone or at the Park City main box office starting in mid-January. Though the movies with the best buzz and biggest stars sell out long before the festival begins, the box office makes available day-of-screening tickets, even for sold-out shows, at 8 a.m.

And while it is quite possible to remain happily theaterbound from morning to midnight, try to pace youself. Remember, there's a great show happening up on the slopes, too. You'll be sharing the lifts with a fab cast of schmoozy characters—bronzed entertainment lawyers, cardiologists who consult for Chicago Hope, producers with projects in turnaround, and writers with dog-eared screenplays tucked inside their parkas—most of whom will make or take at least one cell-phone call before you reach the summit. Oh, and one more thing: Be sure to bring business cards. With enough attitude and some fast talking, you just might end up with a sweet little development deal of your own. —M.L.N.

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