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Starbound - Zooming in on Robert Redford
(2015 - Winter Issue)

Writer: Diane Slawych

Robert Redford is more than an actor.

The 79-year-old screen legend is also a producer, director, philanthropist, and, believe it or not, the owner of an award-winning restaurant and a spectacular resort, both in Utah. That’s right, the Sundance Kid is in the tourism business.

Dine Among the Stars

His popular restaurant, Zoom, which opened in Park City in 1995, is named after a type of camera lens with which the actor has more than a passing familiarity. Hearty American cuisine and fresh local ingredients dominate the menu.

In the summer there’s live music on Thursday and Saturday nights, however winter offers the best chance of spotting Redford in the flesh, especially during the 10-day Sundance Film Festival in January. The internationally recognized showcase for independent films gained prominence after the actor established the Sundance Institute for aspiring filmmakers in 1981. Photographs and posters from the festival and the institute cover the restaurant’s walls.

Zoom is housed in a Victorian-style Union Pacific Depot, which was called “one of the finest” buildings in the city when it opened in 1886, six years after train service to Park City began. The main dining room still displays one of the scales used for weighing freight. In 1898, the depot survived a blaze that destroyed much of the commercial district, and was damaged again in an arson fire in 1985. It was fully restored and is now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

A Mountainside Getaway

A 45-minute drive away in Provo Canyon is the Sundance Mountain Resort consisting of 105 rustic, modern cottages (think earthy tones and rough-hewn woods).

Guests can do it all here. Relax in the peaceful mountainside setting; take courses in oil painting, pottery and more in the art studios; enjoy entertainment at the Bluebird Café or the Harvest Market festival; be pampered at the spa; or engage in such outdoor activities as hiking, horseback riding, golf in the summer or skiing and snowboarding in winter.

Fans should check the schedule for the free Redford Film Series, where they can enjoy classic and new Robert Redford films at the resort’s Screening Room Theater. Recent films included The Way We Were, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, Electric Horseman and Sneakers. The resort also offers packages, which include accommodation and tickets to the Sundance Film Festival (January 21–31, 2016) in Park City.

Travel Planner

Air Canada flies to Salt Lake City via Chicago or Denver. From there it’s about a 40-minute drive to Park City or 50 minutes to the Sundance Mountain Resort. Options for getting to the resort from the airport range from a shared ride to taxi or shuttle service (for up to three persons). For details, contact the resort at 1-866-259-7468 or sundanceresort.com. For Zoom, check zoomparkcity.com.

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