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Sundance goes virtual; Park City businesses feel the impact

Posted at 9:04 PM, Jan 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-31 23:25:17-05

PARK CITY, Utah — During the Sundance Film Festival's first weekend of 2021, Main Street Park City looks normal. There are families and skiers, some locals eating at restaurants but no massive crowds or closed off areas like the area is used to. The Sundance Film Festival is completely virtual this year.

Previously, Park City Mayor Andy Beerman told FOX 13 that Sundance brings a big economic boost to the area with many businesses seeing 10 to 15 percent of their annual sales over the two-week period.

READ: Park City business owners coping with lack of Sundance visitors

Melissa Peretti, the general manager of Eating Establishment, said it is 100 percent slower.

“We are making a lot less. And also, just the friendships and just the people who come during Sundance, they are amazing people,” she said.

Typically, there would be long lines to get inside any restaurant. It would be non-stop for two weeks, Peretti said. Sunday brought a typical crowd.

“We did have a pretty busy day today. Saturday and Sunday are a fairly busy, but it was a lot slower,” she said.

READ: At Sundance, pandemic dramas unfold on screen and off

Some visitors still made their way to Main Street, not knowing what they would find, Peretti said.

“We have seen a few people from Salt Lake who still thought that Sundance was going to be happening and they came to check out, maybe see if they could see some famous people,” she said.

For Tracey Miller-Smith, flying in from Georgia wouldn’t have been an option if Sundance was still happening.

“We thought, 'What a perfect weekend to come,' and we found out Sundance was not really going to happen, so that is even more perfect,” she said.

For more information on Sundance, click here.