Park City • Just as the actors, producers and paparazzi started moving onto Main Street for the Sundance Film Festival, Jude Grenney and Curtis Olson prepared to move out.
The co-owners of J Go Gallery, along with their staff, took down the framed artwork and stored the glass cases, clearing the way for a short-term tenant —"Variety" magazine — to take over. The entertainment crew has turned the space at 408 Main into an elegant celebrity interview lounge for the first five days of the festival.
When Hollywood moves out, J Go will be reassembled, reopening on Jan. 22 with a nice lump of rent money in the bank account.
Grenney and Olson are among several Park City business owners who have found leasing space pays financial dividends— at least during the hectic first weekend of the 10-day film festival, which runs through Jan. 26.
"The first weekend is mostly people in the film industry seeing movies, networking and having coffee. They are not spending a lot of time shopping," Grenney said. "The second weekend is more of our clients — film lovers and skiers — who spend more time shopping."
Grenney and Olson’s proof is more than just anecdotal. Last year, the J Go owners decided not to lease the gallery during the film festival as they had done so for many years. "We wanted to compare which one is better."
"Well, we chose to rent again," said Grenney, who wouldn’t disclose the dollar amount of the lease. However, she did say "It’s a couple months’ rent for our time and effort."
Grenney said her staff, which gets hourly pay plus commission, doesn’t really enjoy closing down for seven days. "They get extra hours before and a few days after to help move, but that’s not much fun."
But it’s become a necessity for many in this ski and tourist town. While business booms in the winter, and there’s a robust summer clientele, foot traffic slows in fall and spring. Of course, expenses don’t stop in those shoulder seasons.
Leasing the space during Sundance "helps stabilize the cash flow," Grenney said.
The story is the same at shops on or near Main Street, the hub of Sundance activities and nightlife.Next Page »