Amid the Sundance crowds, a couple of gents in Western-style gear venture off the crowded sidewalks and dodge the traffic congestion on Park City's hopping Main Street.
(Photo: Claudia Puig)
PARK CITY, Utah - The Sundance Film Festival means one thing to filmmakers and movie fans, and quite another to locals.
Everyone must contend with the congestion during the United States' most popular film fest. Shivering in the night chill, listening to the clang of the Main Street trolley, waiting more than an hour for a restaurant table, braving the crowds - filmmakers, actors, Hollywood executives, journalists, movie fans and celeb-watchers jostle for a foothold.
Hooded parkas with fake fur are a common sight, but mink coats are also omni-present. Those in the latest ski wear rub elbows with cowboy types who look as if they walked in from the range.
A Sundance lost and found would outfit a snow-wear shop: lone gloves, dropped woolen scarves and knitted beanies lie trampled in the snow. Snowboarders and skiers tote their gear while Hollywood types keep their eyes trained on their smartphones as they negotiate Main Street amid standstill traffic jams.
While most people are in town to watch or pitch movies, many locals have a different agenda.
"The best-kept secret during Sundance is that there are no ski-lift lines and there's great skiing: Nobody's there," says Sandra Morrison,executive director of Park City Museum (parkcityhistory.org). "Everybody's going to movies. You feel like you're on the slopes all by yourself."
Morrison is originally from New Zealand, but has lived in Park City for 30 years, so she knows the score.
But as good as the skiing was this weekend for Morrison and a small group of other snow bunnies, it could always be better.
"Sundance is always supposed to bring the big giant snowstorm, but it hasn't happened yet," says Morrison. "We've only had three storms so far this year and we could do with some fresh powder."