Crested Butte waffling about Bud Light’s 3-day ‘Whatever’ takeover

Elk Avenue in downtown Crested Butte. (Credit: YouTube / MrAbh002)

Elk Avenue in downtown Crested Butte. (Credit: YouTube / MrAbh002)

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. — Anything can happen in Bud Light’s “Are you up for Whatever” commercials. And that’s exactly what some residents in Crested Butte seem to be worried about.

The beer maker, according to a Denver Post report, has agreed to pay the Crested Butte $250,000 in order to gain complete access to the mountain town’s main thoroughfare, ice arena and performing arts center, all of which will be dressed up and flooded with over 1,000 flown-in “revelers.”

The event, all staged to film a “Whatever USA” commercial, is scheduled to take place from Sept. 5-7.

More than a few critics of the plan showed up at a crowded public hearing on Monday night to voice their disapproval, with many bemoaning town officials for the secrecy surrounding the project.

The hush hush nature of the event is, according to Dan Marshall, who was hired to aid in the planning process, at least partly to do with safety — “We don’t want 35,000 people showing up to this,” he said.

But that secrecy likely also has a lot to do with Bud Light’s ad campaign. The “Whatever” ads premiered at last year’s Super Bowl, and featured an unsuspecting beer drinker getting whisked away to a night of chats with actor Don Cheadle, ping pong with Arnold Schwarzenegger and an on-stage appearance during a performance by the band One Republic.

And despite the vocal detractors, David Ochs, director of Crested Butte’s Chamber of Commerce, said there are quite a few residents who support to the event. In fact, Ochs said a poll conducted by his office showed 90 percent of the town’s resident were in favor of the idea.

As of Tuesday, the event was continuing as scheduled. But according to the Post report, there is still a chance the plan could be squashed in the next two weeks.