While Park City is still wary of the threat of a potential boycott by gays and lesbians at this month’s Sundance, it’s the crushing effect of the economic collapse that has civic leaders really upset. Still, leaders don’t really understand why the LGBT community would skip Sundance. Peter Curtis, President of Park City Mountain Resort points out that the rest of Utah considers Park City to be ‘Sin City’. They also call chocolate milk, ‘fire water’.
Curtis talks about the potential boycott to the L.A. Times‘ Travel section:
“It’s a whisper campaign, if anything,” Curtis says.
Craig McCarthy, communications manager for the Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, notes: “The noise from the economy is really overshadowing everything else.”
Bill Malone, its executive director, says: “Measuring the impact of a Proposition 8 boycott is impossible. The big story is the economy.”
Park City is “probably one of the most gay-friendly cities in the state of Utah,” Malone says, pointing to the community’s diversity and welcoming atmosphere, so much so that — according to Curtis, the ski resort president — the community’s known as “Sin City” in other parts of Utah.
“We’re definitely aware of the emotion around the [Prop. 8] issue,” says Jill Miller, managing director of the film fest’s sponsor, the Sundance Institute, in Park City. She notes that advance ticket sales are actually up, compared with last year.
“Sundance has always been a place that fosters dialogue about the issues of our time,” she says. “So it would be unfortunate if people were to boycott the festival, because that’s exactly where these kinds of discussions that need to happen do happen.”