Sundance fest shines on Utah

Event had record economic impact despite lower attendance

The 2009 Sundance Film Festival had an overall economic impact of a record $92.1 million on the state of Utah, supported nearly 2,000 jobs, generated more than $18 million in media exposure and provided millions in tax revenue, according to a study released Wednesday by the University of Utah's Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the David Eccles School of Business.

Sundance, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, said it has brought more than $550 million in economic activity to the state since 1994.

This year, the fest attracted 40,291 attendees, who shelled out $ 34,579,698 for accommodations, $14,976,306 for meals, $4,693,682 for transportation, $7,919,051 for sports and recreation and $4,015,870 on discretionary items.

Those stats don't include money spent on airfare or private dinners, parties and receptions held by the various film industry companies in attendance.

Of the more than 40,000 visitors at the fest, 66% (nearly 26,000) were from out of state or abroad.

Attendance was down 11% from 2008, a fact that fest organizers attributed to the global financial crisis.
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