Park City gears up for Sundance crowds, traffic

Posted at 10:32 PM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 00:32:53-05

PARK CITY, Utah -- It's the busiest 10 days of the year for Park City. The 30th annual Sundance Film Festival begins on Thursday.

An estimated 60,000 people per day are expected to converge on the city.

"With issues nationally and internationally obviously we have taken it seriously and we always do," said Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter.

The Park City Police Department is one of 10 law enforcement agencies that will be responsible for public safety. New this year, film viewers will have their bags searched at theater doors by Sundance security.

"Just looking for major items, things that are potentially dangerous, weapons, those types of things," Carpenter said.

With an abundance of visitors, and lack of parking spots, people are being urged to take a taxi, car pool or use public transportation. Seventy free buses will be in service in Summit County, running all the way to last call.

"It's super easy to use, we have this awesome ‘my stop’ app that you can download, you can see where the buses are and how easy it is to use, anyone can do it," said Jenny Diersen, Park City Special Events Coordinator.

Those who plan on driving, the city encourages motorists to park at the China Bridge Parking Garage next to city hall.

Cost to park in the garage is $25 a day until Tuesday when it will drop to $10 a day.

Parking on Main Street will be strictly prohibited. People will only be allowed to drop off. If any driveways are blocked on surrounding streets, those responsible will face the penalty.

"We are obviously going to have to remove vehicles immediately so that we can create access to vehicles so if we have to tow we'll tow," Carpenter said.

With potential snowfall, the city is also committed to keeping streets and sidewalks clear, by hauling it away.

"We have designated snow storage areas and we take the snow to those areas as not to impede safety, business access and overall travel within the system," said Alfred Knotts, Transportation Planning Manager.