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Hundreds Stuck in Beer Commercial

Small town hosts giant party; visitors face delays in leaving
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2014 11:32 AM CDT
Hundreds Stuck in Beer Commercial
In this Sept. 3, 2014, photo, workers install a "Welcome to Whatever, USA" sign across Elk Avenue in Crested Butte, Colo.   (AP Photo/P. Solomon Banda)

This weekend, a small town in Colorado was transformed into a giant, Bud Light-themed party for the purposes of a commercial. But last night, as shenanigans wound down, about 1,000 people found it difficult to leave—and not because they were having too much fun. The local airport struggled to handle the hundreds who arrived in the town of "Whatever, USA" (real name: Crested Butte; population: 1,500) for the event, the AP reports. "With more than 1,200 consumers attending Whatever, USA, from all points across the country, it takes time to get through a smaller airport," says a Bud Light spokesman.

"We have a process in place to have all of our guests make the return trip home as safely and smoothly as possible," he continues, noting that Anheuser-Busch will pay for any accommodations needed as a result of missed connections. The company forked out $500,000 to paint a street blue and bring in party essentials like a volleyball court, a cowboy boot statue, and a gorilla. Not everyone in the town was thrilled with the idea, the New York Times notes. "The town government is not elected to turn the town into a weekend beer hall, using public resources and public property," says Tim Wirth, an ex-US senator living in Crested Butte. (More beer stories.)

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