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U Economic Report Shows 2014 Sundance Film Festival Brings More than Art to Utah

File: Screen Shot Sundance Film Festival Web Page

The overall economic impact of the2014 Sundance Film Festival amounts to $86.4 million for the state of Utah. The University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research conducted the independent study. The report released today also found the annual January event provided $34.1 million in earnings for Utah workers and supported 1,434 full and part-time jobs during the festival. Laurie Hopkins is the Co-Managing Director of Sundance Institute. She says they are thrilled by the positive economic impacts, though their primary focus is to provide a platform for audiences to connect with independent filmmakers and their work.

“And that the Festival has emerged as a tremendous asset to the Utah economy is great and it’s an example of how the arts can be an economic driver,” says Hopkins.

She says the slumping world economy is likely the reason for a slight dip in the number of visitors from outside the country over the last couple of years.

“But what we are happy about is that we are still attaching international visitors. I mean people from 29 countries traveled to Utah for the 2014 Film Festival,” says Hopkins. “In addition to that, we’re seeing a lot of press from other countries.”

Hopkins says she’s hopeful the number of foreign visitors will continue to increase as the economy improves.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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