- Associated Press - Thursday, May 15, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Visitors spent more and stayed a little longer during this year’s Sundance Film Festival, leading to a larger economic impact to the state than the previous year, shows a new University of Utah report released Thursday.

The study says the festival increased Utah’s gross state product by $86 million - compared to $69 million in 2013. This year’s figure includes $6.9 million in tax revenue.

The study says 45,000 people who attended the festival spent nearly $64 million, about $7 million more than the year before. Visitors spent an average of $250 more during their visits and stayed nearly one extra day, found researchers based on surveys filled out by attendees.

Attendance has remained about the same for the past four years.

The uptick in the economic impact figure is also attributed to researchers expanding the reporting period for the money spent by the Sundance Institute in Utah to prepare and put on the festival. This year’s study includes six more months of that spending than previous reports.

The festival was held Jan. 16-24 in Park City and three other Utah locations, marking the 30th year of an event that brings Hollywood stars and international attention to Utah.

Gov. Gary Herbert, who recently honored Sundance founder Robert Redford for his cultural and economic contributions to Utah, lauded the festival for its continued impact on the state. Herbert said the global exposure is invaluable.

Nearly seven in 10 festivalgoers were from outside Utah, with California accounting for the largest share of visitors. There were also attendees from 29 countries, with Canada, Australia, France and Mexico accounting for the largest shares.