Colorado Coalition Submits Strong Proposal to Host Sundance Film Festival

Proposal outlines plan to host Sundance Film Festival in Boulder starting in 2027

DENVER — Today, the State of Colorado announced plans on behalf of the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Boulder) and a regional coalition of partners, including the City of Boulder, the Boulder Chamber, the University of Colorado Boulder and the Stanley Film Center, to submit a proposal today to host the Sundance Film Festival in Boulder, Colorado starting in 2027.

“The Sundance Film Festival has a deep history in the Mountain West, and we can think of no better home for its next act than Colorado. With the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop and our deep commitment to the arts, we can help the Festival achieve even greater success while preserving what makes it special, building on Colorado’s iconic creative brand and our strong arts community,” said Gov. Jared Polis.

In April, the Sundance Institute initiated a process to consider host locations for the internationally renowned festival, starting in 2027. Boulder, Colorado responded to a Request for Information in May, along with several other cities throughout the country, which led to an invitation to submit a host-city proposal. The Colorado Office of Film Television and Media (COFTM) and the Business Funding and Incentives division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) collaborated with Visit Boulder to support the development of a competitive application that highlights how Boulder and Colorado can help preserve and grow an inclusive Festival centered around artists and filmmakers while engaging diverse audiences.

Hosting the Festival in Colorado represents a unique opportunity to create hundreds of new jobs for Coloradans, attract thousands of out-of-state visitors to the state, and boost winter tourism in Boulder and surrounding areas. The Festival would also elevate Colorado’s creative industries while benefiting the hospitality and small businesses that rely on tourism.
“Colorado’s creative industries contribute $16.8 billion to our economy every year and account for nearly 4% of jobs. Hosting the prestigious Sundance Film Festival will grow the sector’s contributions to our state while raising Colorado’s profile across the globe, benefiting the many small businesses that depend on tourism and out-of-state visitors for their livelihoods,” said OEDIT’s Executive Director, Eve Lieberman.

The Sundance Film Festival will have a significant and growing economic impact for the host state. The 2023 Festival contributed over $118 million to Utah’s economy while creating 1,608 jobs for Utah residents and $63 million in wages. Over 21,000 visitors came from out of state.

Earlier today, the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved a one-time $1.5 million incentive as part of Colorado’s proposal to host the Festival. The non-state match for this funding will substantially exceed one-to-one, with cash and in-kind contributions from the City of Boulder and the coalition of regional partners. OEDIT is also contributing an additional $325,000 to the proposal, including $250,000 from the COFTM over five years and one-time contributions from the Colorado Tourism Office ($50,000) and Colorado Creative Industries ($25,000).

“When the Sundance Institute invited us to explore Boulder as a potential location for the Film Festival, we recognized an incredible opportunity to contribute to a longstanding artistic tradition while boosting visitation and local business support during a traditionally quiet time of year for our local restaurants, hotels and retailers,” said Charlene Hoffman, CEO of Visit Boulder.

Boulder's close proximity to the mountains and love of the outdoors has inspired creatives, artists and visionaries for over a century. Paired with Boulder's walkable urban footprint, unique event spaces, access to the University of Colorado at Boulder and its close proximity to Denver International Airport, Boulder offers a well-matched destination for the Sundance Film Festival.

“We were thrilled to welcome the Sundance Institute’s prestigious Directors Lab to the Stanley Hotel and Estes Park this May. The success of that event showcased the many resources our state has to offer Sundance Institute’s unique programming, and we welcome the opportunity to grow this relationship in such a meaningful way. This is an unprecedented opportunity that will benefit the Sundance Film Festival, the City of Boulder and the State of Colorado,” said Colorado Film Commissioner Donald Zuckerman.

The proposal is due to the Sundance Institute June 21, 2024.

About Visit Boulder

Visit Boulder, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the official destination marketing organization for the city of Boulder, Colorado. Established in 1985, Visit Boulder strengthens the local economy by inspiring visitor connections to Boulder’s vibrant landscape and unique culture. (

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