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Gallery: Local businesses discuss influence of Sundance Film Festival on Park City, Utah

By Niveda Tennety

Feb 3, 2020 5:11 pm

People stroll down historic Main Street, the primary location for many Sundance-related events and businesses in Park City, Utah.

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

Mary Flinders, a barista at Atticus Coffee & Teahouse, dresses up in a space-themed outfit. The staff sports a differently themed outfit each week of Sundance. The coffee shop and bookstore has been serving customers in Park City for 10 years.

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

Flinders said that, during Sundance, Atticus Coffee & Teahouse becomes a space for festivalgoers and participants to mingle.

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

During the film festival, the coffee shop offers a limited menu and refrains from accepting phone orders because of the influx of people. ‘’We have to sacrifice some of our quality for quantity when Sundance is in,’’ Flinders said.

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

Flinders said that even though the business does not depend on Sundance for revenue, the festival does attract tourism that makes the coffee shop more well-known. ‘’Utah kind of gets left in the dust sometimes, so it’s an honor to host a film festival’’ Flinders said. ‘’But, like I said, we have to accommodate a huge amount of people – a swarm – in a week, so it just kind of changes the game.’’

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

Roger Jorgensen is a Park City resident and a delivery man at a pizza shop called Davanza’s. Having worked at Davanza’s during Sundance and throughout the rest of the year, Jorgensen said that the whole atmosphere of the town changes during the festival. ‘’(Davanza’s) is a real local spot. But, at this time, there are no locals coming here. I walk around, and I don’t see anybody I recognize,’’ Jorgensen said.

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

Jorgensen said that Davanza’s is just as busy during the rest of the year, although the difference between the tourists that come to ski and the Sundance festivalgoers is stark. ‘’I wouldn’t say the general Sundance crowd is that affluent. The normal ski vacation crowd is probably more affluent,’’ Jorgensen said.

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

A beer can collection, alongside portraits of restaurant patrons, lines the walls of the restaurant. The entire collection totals about 4,500 cans. The family-owned business located in Park City was founded in 1979.

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

Jorgensen considered the economic impact of Sundance on different kinds of local businesses. ‘’Like I said, the restaurants are going to be full anyway,’’ Jorgensen said. ‘’But the ski industry suffers. And that’s a big part of the town.’’

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

Leandro Namem, Toby Allison and Nykolas Desharnais, employees at Utah Ski & Golf, pose for a photo in the store. The store is located in Allison’s grandfather’s old house and was founded by Allison’s father.

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

During Sundance, Namem, Allison and Desharnais work on spring projects, such as cleaning, and prepare for the next busy ski season. ‘’(The business) slows down,’’ Allison said. ‘’Everyone in town is here for the movies and stuff, so no one is here to ski.’’

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

Allison, who has been working at the shop since he was 14 years old, said that the store is one of the only family-owned ski shops in Park City. Allison’s father also owns four other ski shops in Utah. Allison said that, as a smaller ski shop, the business saves money by not using technology for record-keeping purposes. ‘’We’re pretty old school. We write everything down,’’ Allison said.

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

Allison points to a board in the store signed by every employee who has worked there. Since so many skiers go in and out of the shop during ski season, Allison said that the shop doesn’t have to advertise to be able to hire workers.

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

‘’It’s a cool event,’’ Allison said about Sundance. ‘’But we don’t love it all too much. They’re not really here to spend any money. They’re here to look pretty and block the roads – that’s how we look at it.’’

(Niveda Tennety/Daily Bruin)

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