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Introducing Our First TPG Event of 2016: Sundance Film Festival

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One of my favorite things about being The Points Guy is the chance to interact with readers and fans as I travel, especially when I get to hear about how my tips have inspired them to use points and miles to take their own dream trips.

Of course, hanging with celebs is pretty fun, too. Somewhere in between testing out Cathay Pacific’s 777-300ER first-class product and launching Season 1 of TPGtv, I stopped in Park City, Utah, to attend the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

My original plan was to fly straight to Utah from New York on Thursday to get to Sundance, but unfortunately all the direct flights to the area were sold out by then. The good news is that I did end up finding a flight on Wednesday from New York to Las Vegas on Virgin America (review coming soon!), and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to go check out J.Lo’s legendary opening night performance at Planet Hollywood. Isn’t it great when things just fall into place?

J. Lo performing on opening night at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
J. Lo performing on opening night at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

Before long, I was off to Sundance. Because I’m a Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholder, I was given special access to Chase Sapphire on Main, an awesome (and warm!) lounge where I could stop and take a breather from the hustle and bustle of the festival. I picked up my screening tickets from the Chase Priority Box Office and was able to attend various parties and snag impossible-to-get reservations at places like The Farm and The Mustang thanks to the dining concierge perk.

I had so much fun meeting reader and fans at the Sundance Film Festival.
I had so much fun meeting readers and fans at the Sundance Film Festival this year.

I had a great time meeting celebrities like Spike Lee and Allison Janney, who stopped by the TPG-sponsored house at 364 Main. There, our team had set up a first-class lounge so people could stop by to recharge their devices, share their Sundance experiences via complimentary Wi-Fi and warm up with a fresh-brewed soup station sponsored by Campbell’s — the V8 Bar was also a fun spot to hang out and sip smoothies and Bloody Marys.

I also hosted a TPG Reader meet-up happy hour and ran a special giveaway where a few lucky winners walked away with $500 Barclaycard Arrival Cards and a grand prize of two $1,000 Barclaycard Arrival Cards with two tickets to a Sundance screening. Stay tuned for a special episode of TPGtv all about our trip — plus, exclusive interviews with celebrities who also attended the Festival.

I love helping people plan the trip of a lifetime using points and miles.
Spending time at TAO was one of the highlights of my trip to Park City.

The atmosphere at Sundance was electric, with A-list celebs like John Legend, Viggo Mortensen and Daniel Radcliffe roaming the crowd. At one point, we even bumped into Katie Couric! I couldn’t resist asking her about her favorite airlines, hotels and other important travel tidbits like whether she’s a fan of the aisle or window seat — check out the video below to see her answers to our red carpet rapid-fire travel questions.

While this was the first TPG event of 2016, it definitely won’t be the last. Keep an eye on this page to see posts and pictures from all our TPG events, including the official launch party for Season 2 of TPGtv in LA later this spring and a special TPG reader meet-up in Austin before I speak at SXSW in March.

Follow along with all my travel adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (thepointsguy) for a behind-the-scenes look at what I’m working on next — don’t forget to subscribe to The Points Guy on YouTube for new episodes of TPGtv every Monday.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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N/A 16.24%-23.24% Variable Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 0% Excellent Credit