In your recent article, "Sundance Film Festival: "Survey says venue not a money maker in Ogden," published Friday, Jan 18, I am disappointed that the Standard did not consider all of the factors of why this world-renowned, independent film festival is an asset to our community.
Visitors do bring additional dollars into our community, and no one will tout the benefits of that more than I. However, attracting 500-1,600 people nightly into the downtown core has a significant benefit, regardless of where they call home.
In 2012 alone, Ogden received a conservative economic impact of more than $600,000 from the nine-day film festival. This is aligned with the $72 average per person spending listed in your article.
Attendees experience our restaurants, retail and Peery's Egyptian Theater. Numerous restaurants report a 20 percent revenue increase on film nights. Peery's welcomed more than 3,000 patrons during the first weekend of Sundance 2013 with many sold-out screenings throughout the week.
The economic impact listed above does not consider the benefits from exposure and community outreach we receive from our area's official film festival venue. In addition, many patrons will "discover" Ogden during the festival and return for subsequent visits, further impacting the bottom line.
The number of visitors we welcome during Sundance was also discredited in the article. Hotel properties in our area estimate an average 30 percent increase, with at least one of Ogden's hotels selling out during the festival time period. They site Sundance as a contributing factor.
Our destination has the opportunity and accessibility to experience the caliber of films only coveted from others. The festival showcases our area with screenings rivaled to larger cities such as Salt Lake and Park City.
I am disappointed that the Standard would fail to see and report on the impact this event lends our community. The Sundance Film Festival continues to greatly impact the bottom line and is gaining popularity in Ogden. I encourage the community to take advantage of this independent film festival and to experience all Ogden has to offer.
Convention and Visitor's Bureau