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Park City businesses adapt to Sundance
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Grub Steak owner Hans Fuegi poses in his restaurant, Thursday, January 9, 2014. Park City business owners often lease out their restaurants or galleries during Sundance to pay the bills for the rest of the year. But others, like Hans Fuegi, the chef/owner of Grub Steak, won't do it.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Hans Fuegi's restaurant, The Grub Steak, Thursday, January 9, 2014. Park City business owners often lease out their restaurants or galleries during Sundance to pay the bills for the rest of the year. But others, like Hans Fuegi, the chef/owner of Grub Steak, won't do it.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Every booth is full at Hans Fuegi's restaurant The Grub Steak, Thursday, January 9, 2014. Park City business owners often lease out their restaurants or galleries during Sundance to pay the bills for the rest of the year. But others, like Hans Fuegi, the chef/owner of Grub Steak, won't do it.
(Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
The snowy exterior of Hans Fuegi's The Grub Steak restaurant, Thursday, January 9, 2014. Park City business owners often lease out their restaurants or galleries during Sundance to pay the bills for the rest of the year. But others, like Hans Fuegi, the chef/owner of Grub Steak, won't do it.
(Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Jude Grenney, co-owner of J GO Gallery on Main street in Park City along with Curtis Olson, begins the process of packing up the gallery to lease out to Variety Magazine for the first 5 days of the festival. Grenney has leased out the space 3 times in the past 4 years which has proved to be much more profitable despice the hassles of packing up.
(Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Jude Grenney, co-owner of J GO Gallery on Main street in Park City along with Curtis Olson, begins the process of packing up the gallery to lease out to Variety Magazine for the first 5 days of the festival. Grenney has leased out the space 3 times in the past 4 years which has proved to be much more profitable despice the hassles of packing up.
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For example, YouTube has taken over the home-furnishings store Root’D at 596 Main St., giving festivalgoers a place to warm up, listen to live music and view film panels and special screenings. While the owner received a nice rent check, the building also got a facelift. A few days before the festival began, crews were painting the outside of the brown building at 596 Main, changing the trim from yellow to red.

Another well-known national brand, Udi’s, which sells gluten-free breads, bagels and other baked goods, has created a pop-up café at 501 Restaurant. The gluten-free café would will be open through the weekend, said manager Alyssa Marsh, whose parents have owned the restaurant for 17 years. At night, the restaurant plans to host private parties and will be closed to the public.

After the first weekend, "we’ll go back to being 501," she said.

Even Sundance gets into the act, leasing space from local entities such as The Shop Yoga Studio, a not-for-profit that operates on donations. Located in a historic building near the Library Center Theatre, the 5,000-square-foot yoga studio is being used for panel discussions, directors’ luncheons and other events for the festival and its sponsors.

"The assistance we get from Sundance allows us to keep our doors open," the rest of the year, said The Shop founder David Belz.

While short-term leases seem to work for art galleries, T-shirt shops and other businesses, for others, it’s more hassle than help.

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"January is my best month, I gross over $100,000," said Lori Harris, owner of Mary Jane’s clothing and shoe boutique. "For me, it doesn’t make sense."

She said a few years ago, when her shop had both an upstairs and downstairs, she did lease the top floor. Moving inventory in and out of the shop and into storage space took several days’ work. She also had to deal with damage left after a wild party. It’s a common occurrence, she said, and it makes her glad she doesn’t have to rely on leasing.

Hans Fuegi, the chef/owner of Grub Steak, in Prospector Square, has been approached several times about leasing his restaurant at 2093 Sidewinder Dr, in Prospector Square. But he always declines.

"We make the facility available to parties outside of our regular restaurant hours," he said. "But for me to completely shut down during Sundance wouldn’t be a good move."

Located just down the street from the Sundance Headquarters in the Marriott Hotel and not far from the Eccles Center Theatre, Grub Steak gets festivalgoers as well as directors and actors "who just want to relax and have a meal without being bothered," Fuegi said.

Locals also know they can slip in for a meal out without enduring the hassles of Main Street.

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