Sundance sets up shop for good

Film fest parks it in Park City

The Sundance Institute is moving to Park City, Utah, year-round, ensuring that Robert Redford’s film festival won’t be leaving the mountain resort town for years to come.

Under an 11-year agreement approved late last week by local elected officials, the Sundance Institute will relocate its administrative headquarters from Salt Lake City to Park City. Agreement includes an option to renew for another 10 years when the arrangement expires in 2018.

Pact between the nonprofit cultural org and the Park City Council silenced rumors that Redford might be considering moving the winter fest elsewhere.

Key to the agreement is Park City’s promise to pay the Sundance Institute $220,000 a year, while the local chamber of commerce and visitor’s bureau will increase its annual grant from $50,000 to $160,000.

Sundance still may have to hunt for other funds, though, since it will lose money it received from Salt Lake City’s Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) program. This year, org is slated to receive around $550,000 from ZAP.

Sundance Institute managing director Jill Miller said there’s no doubt the org can make up for any shortfall from other sources. She also pointed out that Sundance’s full-time presence in Park City will give the fest room to grow.

When it moves to its new home in late 2006, the Sundance Institute will occupy a renovated historic building at the Spiro Mining site and the Silver Star development, which are located at the base of the Park City Mountain Resort.

“We have enjoyed being part of the community for more than 20 years through the film festival, and this agreement formalizes our connection with Park City on a year-round basis and for years to come,” Miller said.

Sundance said it won’t be abandoning Salt Lake City. Beginning with the upcoming film festival in Park City, which runs Jan. 19-29, there will be a corresponding “festival corridor” in Salt Lake City, with screenings and other events at the Rose Wagner Theater and Broadway Center Cinemas.

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