Idyllic mountain town Crested Butte, Colorado is in for a real treat this weekend. The town’s mayor and city council have sold out for $500,000 to Anheuser Busch in exchange for a 3-day party/commercial shoot for Bud Light’s “Up for Whatever” campaign. Crested Butte will be renamed Whatever for 72 hours while 1000 “young adults” run rampant over this town of 1500 residents.
Tapped Life has visited CB (as the locals refer to it) on several occasions and is a huge fan of this earnest settlement. Located in a box canyon, it’s a ski Mecca and resort town that tries to maintain its independence while supplying the right amount of extravagance to keep the tourist dollars rolling in. It’s a balancing act that leaves many locals working several jobs in order to afford to live in a beautiful place and have an active, yet relaxed lifestyle.
It’s no wonder that CB’s officials would accept an offer to transform their town for a very brief period of time. Half a million dollars is a big payout for a town whose annual budget is $10 million. What’s a few days’ inconvenience for the chance to have 1000 tourists in town for the weekend and the chance for up to 300 locals to get hired by AB to help with the festivities? Seems like a wise investment that will benefit the town in several ways.
Some locals have voiced their displeasure of the sell-out mentality of town officials. Fearing that their town will now be seen as a place that any big corporation can come to and rent for the right amount of money. They may have a point: Crested Butte’s mayor and city council originally accepted only $250,000 for the pleasure of being transformed into Whatever. Only after citizens cried foul did AB pony up an additional $250,000 for this weekend’s bender.
The main street and its light poles have been painted Bud Light blue. Local establishments have been given Bud Light makeovers. Apparently a giant blue cowboy boot has been strategically placed along the main thoroughfare along with hot tubs, a concert stage, and tons of sand. What exactly is going to take place in Whatever this weekend remains to be seen. But the truth is that very little of what makes CB special—and the attributes that the marketing folks said made CB the perfect choice for this event—will be on display this weekend.
Many locals will not be allowed to participate in the 72 hours of Whatever. Only those deemed worthy are given an official wristband and are allowed to enter the party. The 1000 partiers being shipped in have already been selected from a pool of 150,000 who meet the criteria for this uber-staged “spontaneous” Up for Whatever whatever it is.
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