Winter Escape: Sundance Strategy

    Photo: Photograph by Jill Orschel

The Sundance Film Festival, which takes place January 21–31 in Park City, Utah, is ten days of mayhem that, if you're not in the industry, is best skipped. Those who attend have to fight for lodging, go dizzy sifting through the available screenings, stand in long, cold lines, and endure the gaggle of star gazers on Main Street. Our advice? Go native. Immediately following the festival, the Sundance Institute screens the award-winning films for the locals. Tickets for Best of Fest are free on a first-come, first-served basis at the main box offices in Park City, Salt Lake City, Sundance resort, and Ogden on January 16 and 17. Early birds can grab four tickets, so call a buddy in Utah and have him score you a pass. High-rollers: Crash at the brand-new Dakota Mountain Lodge, the first Waldorf property in a ski town (doubles, $350; dakotamountainlodge.com). For more affordable digs, try the Carriage House (doubles, $115; allseasonsresortlodging.com). Before the screenings begin, you'll want to get into some powder. From the top of Park City's McConkey's lift, traverse skier's left to the Black Forest, a north-facing glade that often gets overlooked.

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