VIP tales from Sundance

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 24, 2011 8:06 am


By Jill Adler


Just before Sundance started last Thursday I received a gift in my Inbox. Some might consider the Bing List the Holy Grail of partydom. When I saw it right there on my screen I felt instant Nirvana. Really? For me? It was 5 pages long with parties, events, locations and contacts. Everything you need to gain access to the exclusive suites or all-night parties. The list is so coveted that it had to be deactivated and re-passcoded twice because people were selling it on Craigslist.

The Bing List. Bing has their own space on Main Street- The Bing Bar. But in addition to hosting private events, dinners and parties throughout the Fest, they’re keeping tabs on what everyone else is doing. All I can say is thank you, Bing! I gotta be honest. I did feel extra special whenever I knew about a party that wasn’t on the list. There is so much happening during Sundance that one or two people just can’t know everything without help from others attending the independent film fest.

Like the Burton House party. That is until there was no Burton House party.

All’s calm at the Burton House as they prep for their evening bash


We rolled up at the designated time- 7 p.m.- to find Utah caterers Cuisine Unlimited packing it in and security guards claiming they were told to turn everyone away. The only reason given…”unforeseen circumstances.” That usually translates into “the owner of the house just found out you crazy snowboarders plan to throw a party in his house.” About five years ago, the city got fed up with the noise, traffic and complaints about those big, commercial Sundance house parties that they banned them. Ba- bye Absolut Vodka, Mercedes, Levi’s, Universal, Sony, and everyone else who rented mansions around Deer Valley or Park Meadows to host after-midnight soirees. Now, those companies play it safe by renting commercial space for their events. They still have rules but at least the surrounding homeowners can’t complain.

Sniff, so long Burton. I really was looking forward to that event. I had stopped by earlier in the day and they were all excited about it. Danny Masterson (owner of Park City’s Downstairs) hosting, huge food spread, swag bags, DJs, tons of alcohol. They even gave me a Maya pullover shell to wear if it starts to snow again like the night before.

Women’s B Burton Maya Jacket 


We had just come from a sweet shindig at the Carrera Escape so it really wasn’t like we needed another party. It’s just that Sundance invokes excess. You want more. More movies, more drinks, more people watching, more swag. At Carrera, sushi chefs were slicing up custom rolls for guests, POM the pomegranate juice company had either a rum-spiked or vodka-spiked beverage of your choice, Stella Artois provided the beer and I camped out by the potstickers. The party was for Morgan Spurlock’s POM Wonderful’s Greatest Movie Ever Sold.”  It’s a documentary about product placement, funded completely with sponsorship and product placement. We walked with a goodie bag brimming with Sheetz Bros. and Bustelo coffee, Mane n Tail hair products, a Merrell Fleece hat and scarf, earbuds from JetBlue, two movie tickets from and more. The party itself was chill. Good food and a great opportunity to network if you choose. I was there with my boyfriend so it was nothing like the night before at Cisero’s.

Last night’s party at the House of Hype Livestyle Lounge was one of the best I’ve been to. Primarily because of the music. The area by the dance floor was packed but you could still see OneRepublic from the front bar, and they sounded just like they do on the radio.

OneRepublic sings Stop and Stare


I texted Ryan that I couldn’t get him in and proceeded to make new friends. A lawyer/film producer from L.A. instantly made my acquaintance. He was a hoot and still kept me company even after I showed him photos of my four-year-old and told him I had a great guy at home. Most guys would run the other way. I gave him my sister’s number in L.A. and told him to look her up.

Me and Caleb


We bantered, talked films and funding, drank Redbull vodkas and played ‘spot the local’. That’s where you try to figure out who’s from here and who’s not. The quad of Bachelors/Bachelorettes was definitely not. If you watch the show at all, you wouldn’t have any trouble noticing Tristan and Ryan, Tenley and Kipton. Yes, folks, reality TV stars are celebrities too. Snookie hasn’t landed in Sundance this year but many others have. Gotta tell you, I was surprised at how small Kipton is. But then so is Tenley. She’s like five feet tall. So I guess she’d make any guy seem big.

Ryan Sutter looks like he’s ready for bed not Sundance


We stayed there until the band stopped then walked next door for late-night pizza and onion rings at Red Banjo. I thought everyone stopped serving at 10 p.m. but I guess some of Main Street’s spots are staying open later for Sundance partiers.

It was snowing out but we still happily trudged down to the Swede Alley/Deer Valley Dr. intersection before we hitched a ride to the St. Regis. I left my car there after a midday event and grabbed a ride to Main Street so I wouldn’t have to deal with parking. There are enough drivers crawling along that it’s fairly easy to thumb a ride or catch a bus rather than contribute to the hell that is driving during Sundance.

Traffic around Park City proper sucks this weekend


I was pooped and partied out. Hey, I don’t do this every weekend like most of these Sundancers. So when the Burton party wasn’t happening last night and this other party after for a comedy called Catechism Cataclysm had no food and a cash bar it was sign to close up for the evening. I had no energy to stand in line for Third Eye Blind at the House of Blues Foundation Room nor try to talk my way into the Tribe Called Quest bash at Harry O’s. Today is another (longer) day and I’m on the list for the Glee Celebrity Karaoke party at the House of Hype. It doesn’t start until 11:30 p.m.(!!)  but I’m rested and ready to get my Gleek on.


Jill Adler is an award-winning outdoors writer and broadcaster based in Park City, Utah. As a professional skier, rock climber, kayaker, hiker and mom, she goes out of her way to play hard and tell about it. To find out more or to send her a note, follow her on Twitter @pcskigal.