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Beer Promo Leaves Town Blue

Friday, September 19, 2014

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Residents of a Colorado town were left seeing red after a beer company paid the town a lot of green to paint it blue for a weekend.

Bud Light's parent company, Anheuser-Busch, paid $500,000 to basically rent out Crested Butte, CO, for a weekend to shoot commercials and host its "Whatever, USA" marketing campaign.

The revelry included painting several blocks of the town's main road, Elk Avenue, in "Bud Light Blue"—a move that was supposed to be reversed after the "weekend of spontaneous fun" wrapped up Sept. 7.

But then the rain came, and, unexpectedly, washed the blue paint out.

The Bud Light Blue washed over cars, down the street, and into storm drains. That forced officials to shut down the street for days and deal with the mess—and their now-unhappy residents.

Monsoon Rains

"After the event, we had the monsoon rains that came in and started washing away the paint," Rodney Due, Public Works Director, told

Crested Butte blue paint / @nlofholm

Painting Elk Avenue in Crested Butte, CO, was part of Bud Light's "Whatever, USA" campaign.

"It started lifting it and washing it down the street, so I had to close Elk Avenue," Due said.

Due said that the paint wasn't supposed to just wash away; event promoters had told him they would use street-striping paint.

"As soon as we found that the paint was running and getting on vehicles, I immediately shut down Elk Avenue and called my crews to put down booms around all the storm drains."

"I'm glad it rained. It showed me that paint wasn't OK," Due told The Denver Post.

Paint Wasn't Adhering

The original plan was to put a slurry coat over the blue road, Due said.

"[B]ut it's only as good as the surface it goes down on. We found out that this paint wasn't adhering and it wasn't good, so we weren't able to put the slurry coat on top of it," he said.

Instead, workers had to scrape off about one-eighth inch of the roadway and then repave it. Anheuser-Busch sent contractors to do the work, but the Public Works Department also sent workers to finish the job as soon as possible.

The scraping launched a new round of complaints about the noise and paint dust in the air, The Denver Post reported.

Anheuser-Busch agreed to pay for the extra cost, which was estimated between $30,000 and $40,000.

CB's 'Breathtaking Beauty'

The company said it selected Crested Butte for "its breathtaking natural beauty and colorful cast of characters that make up the town."

Whatever USA

Workers had to scrape off about one-eighth inch of the roadway before they could repave it.

To attend the event, people 21 and over had to send in an audition tape. Out of 204,000 auditions submitted, Anheuser-Busch selected 1,000 people, giving them 48 hours' notice to pack their bags and head to Crested Butte.

"I thought the event went off well. It's just disappointing and really sad that this kind of puts a black eye at the end of it," Due said.


Tagged categories: Coating failure; Coating Materials; Marketing; North America; Paint Removal; Roads/Highways; Traffic paint

Comment from john lienert, (9/19/2014, 10:10 AM)

lousy beer.....lousy paint

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