Sundance veterans like to reminisce about the good old days — when it was a film festival rather than a 10-day marketing blitz. The subject of their latest grumblings might be the Sky Lodge — Park City’s first downtown five-star boutique hotel that just opened, trumpeting “indulgent ultra-everything furnishings” and a publicity hook they’ve coined YouCentricity. Their one-bedroom suite’s winter rate of $625 nearly doubles during the festival (starting tomorrow), though guests can expect a roster of high-end brands (“custom Kohler bathrooms” and Mascioni linens), hand-planed wood floors, and the usual electronic goodies (HDTV flat panels, Bose iPod docks, etc.).
Depending on your affinity for crowds, the Main Street location is either a blessing (ski-in/ski-out access to Park City Mountain Resort), or a curse (clots of teenagers surrounding anyone remotely quasi-famous). A chief draw might be the guest-only Sky Club, a rooftop retreat with a heated terrace and a soaking grotto — though perhaps not for guests in the $2,500 penthouse, with its outdoor hot tubs, chef’s kitchen and private cinema. With the Sky Lodge billing itself as “SoHo meets the mountain,” two-dozen of the big film entries featuring the Big Apple, and Nobu Matsuhisa breezing into town for this year’s fest, Sundance is more Manhattan than ever before. You’ll find the old-timers on Main Street, crying into their huevos rancheros at the Morning Ray Cafe.