An internship right after college landed Seth Hill in Park City. Originally from Connecticut, he was immediately captivated by the Wasatch mountains, and it didn’t take long for him to find his niche managing venues. He started bartending at Harry O’s (now closed) in 2000, and by 2001, at just 23 years old, he became the general manager.
The promotion happened four months before the 2002 Winter Olympics, so Seth’s initiation was a marathon — 10 days of Sundance Film Festival followed by 18 days of Olympic festivities. Harry O’s thrived during his reign — but in 2006, Seth left Park City to open, operate, and eventually sell, a venue in Florida. When Seth returned two years later, he found a permanent home at Downstairs.
As the venue’s operating owner, Seth came with a distinct vision. “I knew what niche I wanted to go after — an intimate venue, where people can come in and dance,” he explains. “Our clientele helped sway the path of Downstairs. They wanted dance music.”
Seth seeks out talent that can satisfy the high level of quality associated with the Downstairs brand. “I look for DJ’s that can command the energy of the room. We want them to put on a show,” he says. Seth expects performers to connect with every person in the room, “We want everyone to feel involved, to feel happy that they are part of a night at Downstairs.”
With nearly two decades of experience managing venues, Seth knows exactly how to ensure Downstairs consistently delivers a top-notch musical experience. “There is so much that goes into making the place what it is — from the staff to the customer service to the ambiance, as well as the music.” Behind the scenes, Downstairs operates as a family. Seth believes that the camaraderie that starts between the staff permeates to the clientele. “ [Downstairs] is not about me; it’s about the collective effort of the staff and the family atmosphere that we create in here,” he says.
Seth’s favorite part about operating Downstairs is witnessing people have an incredible musically fueled night. Drawing in “people that want to dance” night after night, at Downstairs visitors can feel free to get down and move to the music. And for Seth, that’s what it’s all about.