Sundance Film Festival 2018 Generated $192M In Economic Impact For Utah: Report

Sundance Film Festival 2018

UPDATED clarifying year-over-year changes in data: The Sundance Film Festival generated $191.6 million in economic activity for the state of Utah and created $100 million in wages for Utahans, according to a new report from Y2 Analytics. More than 124,000 people attended the 11-day festival in January.

“Spending during the Sundance Film Festival generates many positive economic benefits,” the report states. “Tourism-related industries are beneficiaries of spending that would not otherwise be part of the state’s economy, and that spending entering the state induces additional spending as companies hire additional labor, increase their capacity, and purchase the goods that are necessary to accommodate the additional visitors.”

The festival created 3,323 jobs for Utah residents this year, and produced $19.2 million in state and local tax revenue. This year’s numbers are considerably higher than in years past – a reflection of a new methodology in analyzing the data, which had previously been performed by the University of Utah.

Out-of-state spending topped $156 million, although only 36% of those who attended came from outside Utah. Most of that – $62 million – was spent on lodging; $30 million on meals; nearly $38 million on recreation and entertainment, and over $17 million on car rentals and other transportation. The average out-of-state visitor spent about $3,500 during their stay. The average Utahan spent only $334.

Nearly three in four had attended at least one Sundance fest before, and nine out of 10 said they’d definitely or probably return again.

The report (read it in full here) also found that the festival draws an older, smarter and upscale crowd, most of whom were women. Nearly half of those who attended had bachelor’s degrees; 23% had master’s degrees, and nearly 9% had doctorate or other post-graduate degrees, while fewer than 3% only had high school degrees or less. Fifty-nine percent of attendees were women. Those aged 26-64 made up over 78% of the attendees, while and only 1/10th of 1% were under 18.

Over half of the attendees made $50,000-$200,000 a year, with only 12% making less than $35,000. Over 15% of all attendees – and more than 28% of the out-of-staters – had incomes of over $300,000. Less than 12% of the attendees were employed in the entertainment industry, although more than 27% of the out-of-state visitors were employed in the industry.

Californian’s made up the lion’s share of the out-of-staters, accounting for nearly 37% of the non-Utahans. Canadians accounted for over 37% of the foreign visitors, followed by the UK (12%) and Australia (10%).

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