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Crested Butte Says Yes To 'Whatever'

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (CBS4)- The Town of Crested Butte decided to allow the "Whatever" Budweiser festival to take over the town next weekend despite some strong opposition from residents.

Late Thursday the town council voted to approve the permit for the festival to take over their streets next weekend, Sept. 5-7.

Bud Light also doubled their offer to $500,000 for the permit to be there during the festival, including set up and tear down. It's part of the beer company's "Whatever" advertising campaign.

Crested Butte is located about 200 miles southwest of Denver.

Whatever map
(credit: CBS)

The initial meeting that started Monday went more than six hours long and was continued until Thursday.

The topic-- whether Crested Butte should be the backdrop for a massive Bud Light event.

Some residents feel the festival will cheapen the town's image they've worked hard to create.

"We used to be known as the last great American ski towns. We would lose that if people thought we were sell outs," said Crested Butte resident Jim Harlan.

Bud Light would take over Elk Avenue and the surrounding blocks of downtown Crested Butte.

"I think long down the road is what's really at stake if this thing is embarrassing," said Harlan.

Many residents argue the issue is dividing neighbors. Business owners believe it will be great for the local economy.

That is a big issue for many residents, the secrecy. Many learned of the event just a few days ago.

"It seems like the council thought that maybe if they brought this to the town, the town would have a lot of issues so they thought maybe beg for forgiveness then ask for permission," said Harlan.

Ochs also owns a business on Elk Avenue.

"This is the time of year when we start to see numbers go down. We already have lodging completely full, there's a huge event coming to town, there's a possibility for great marketing. It could be really good for us," said Ochs.

Bud Light initially offered the town $250,000 and to replace anything that is damaged during the festivities. Thursday they doubled their offer to $500,000 and the Crested Butte Town Council approved the event.

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