CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (CBS4/AP) – Bud Light’s controversial Whatever, USA festival in Crested Butte was a success, according to a town leader.
Anheuser-Busch paid $500,000 to paint several blocks of a central street blue and otherwise temporarily revamp the town into fictional Whatever, USA, for its “Up for Whatever” campaign.
Crested Butte Chief Marshal Tom Martin said the event went really well and there were only four arrests Saturday night.
“We prepared for the worst and we got the best,” Martin said. “I’ve lived here 37 years and this previous weekend was one of the coolest weekends I’ve ever been here.”
Despite some residents being opposed to the town allowing the Bud Light event in their town, Martin said he thought most people had a good time.
“The majority of people here are really happy that it happened,” he said.
However there were some problems after the event ended. The more than 1,000 people who flew in to the small Colorado resort town for the filming of the Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light commercial had problems leaving the party Sunday evening.
The company said the travel delays stemmed from a large number of people trying to depart the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport after the two-day event.
PHOTO GALLERY: Bud Light Whatever In Crested Butte
“With more than 1,200 consumers attending Whatever, USA, from all points across the country, it takes time to get through a smaller airport,” Nick Kelly, a Bud Light spokesman, said in a statement. “We have a process in place to have all of our guests make the return trip home as safely and smoothly as possible.”
Kelly said the company offered to pay for accommodations for those miss connecting flights because of delays, but everybody was able to travel later Sunday night.
A private security company fell behind on screening requirements for travelers leaving on chartered planes, Transportation Security Administration spokesman Ross Feinstein told The Denver Post.
Some visitors complained about the delay on social media.
“I don’t know exactly what happened,” McKenna Reagan, from St. Paul Minn., told the newspaper. “I know a lot of people were upset.”
Before the delays, some residents of the town didn’t take too kindly to the secretive event arranged between Anheuser-Busch and town leaders – but others embraced it.
Martin said Bud Light was tremendous to work with and so was their security company, Patriot USA.
Crested Butte, population 1,500, is more of a craft beer town, home to art galleries, artists and second-home owners. There are no fast food restaurants or chain stores.
For the weekend event, workers installed a sand volleyball court, a multistory cowboy boot statue, a gorilla and a director’s chair that comfortably seats six people.
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