Crested Butte mountain to be bathed in blue
The Mt. Crested Butte Town Council is on board for Whatever, voting unanimously this week to approve two special entertainment districts for the September 5-7 Bud Light event and a signage and lighting plan that includes bathing not just the peak, but the entire Crested Butte mountain in blue light from sundown of each day until at least 2 a.m. the following morning.
“We’re borrowing the spotlight from Crested Butte Mountain Resort and we’re supplementing it with a few other ones; literally the whole mountain will be blue,” Adam Herndon, the marketing director for the event, told the council during the meeting that took less than an hour. “We’ve been working with the airport and the FAA, and as far as flight patterns being disrupted by a big blue mountain, we have that taken care of.”
In addition to the lights on the mountain, large Bud Light and Whatever signs will hang from the Snowcrest Bridge, around Mountaineer Square and from the exterior of the Elevation. There will also be small signs, statues and pieces of “art” placed throughout the businesses taking part in Whatever, USA.
“We have a taxidermist coming in for the event and he’s doing a lot with squirrels,” said Herndon.
“We’re working with the businesses to have the installations fit well with what is already there, and as soon as we’re finished on Sunday we’ll begin taking things down. We’re actually way better at taking things down than putting things up. By Monday afternoon we should be pretty good as far as having everything back to the way it was.”
While much of the hoopla surrounding Whatever will take place in downtown Crested Butte, Bud Light has contracted with CBMR, the Lodge at Mountaineer Square and the Elevation, as well as other Mt. Crested Butte businesses to provide lodging, food and entertainment for contest winners, VIPs and event staff.
“I think of it as light jazz up here versus rock and roll down there,” said Herndon of the role Mt. Crested Butte will play in Whatever. “But yes, we’ve taken over every property we can get our hands on.”
Winners of Whatever will begin arriving at the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport via chartered flights on Friday at about 10:30 a.m. and will continue to land until about 3:30 p.m. From the airport they’ll take branded motor coaches (20 will run in continuous loops) up to Mt. Crested Butte, where they’ll check in and find their rooms.
In addition to the chartered flights, about 95 percent of all the passengers coming into the airport between Thursday, September 4 and Monday, September 8 will be associated with Bud Light and the event.
In total there will be 1,152 winners and media, plus 600 staff, and likely another 500 to 750 people coming into town, said Herndon. “Probably 2,500 people up here is my estimate, but all 2,500 won’t be here at any given time. Our goal is to do this well and to keep it classy.”
According to Mt. Crested Butte mayor David Clayton, 2,500 people is about half of what the town handles on a normal holiday during the ski season. “Let’s keep this in perspective,” Clayton said.